Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes will be holding a drop-in session for members of the public as part of the Totnes Independent Coffee Festival from 10:30am on Friday 18th May at Bistro 67.
The drop-in is for anyone who wants to come and talk to about any issues, but it is a great opportunity for people to discuss their views on the effect of chain stores in Totnes with Sarah, over a cup of coffee of course! And remember, while you are there, you can give the coffee your score and enter the prize draw as part of the coffee festival!
The Totnes Independent Coffee Festival, initiated by Transition Town Totnes, celebrates the many and varied independent cafes and shops in the town, and highlights that the presence of a Coffee Shop Chain would threaten the local vibrancy and creativity that we have in the town.
Sarah Wollaston has offered her support for the Totnes Independent Coffee Festival and the independent cafes and shops in the town, and supports the need to keep chains out of Totnes in order to keep local businesses and supply chains afloat and keep money in the local economy.
Sarah Wollaston says “I am looking forward to supporting Totnes’ Independent Coffee Festival and will be holding an informal drop-in surgery at Bistro 67, Fore Street on Friday 18th May. Please show how much you value the diversity of our town by visiting one of Totnes’ wonderful independent cafes or bistros this week and let me know your views or just drop in for a chat on the 18th from 10.30. Whilst chain coffee shops may bring employment in some locations, in Totnes they would risk decimating our independents and displace existing jobs. We don’t need another clone high street and certainly not in Totnes.”
Local independent shops often support local supply chains, so when you buy a coffee at a local cafe, you are more likely to be supporting other local businesses in the area, for example, local coffee suppliers or local dairies, than if you were buying from a chain coffee shop. Larger chain shops tend to use their own centralised suppliers, therefore not supporting, and often threatening, local businesses.
Don’t forget, the Coffee Festival will culminate in a barista-style competition on Sunday 20th May from 10am, during the Good Food Market, where staff from participating establishments in and around Totnes will compete to be named the best barista in town. There will be entertainment laid on and demonstrations to the public in the skilled art of coffee making.