Independents part of town centres’ fabric

Jane Bowman and Tracy Stokes at The Old Copper Kettle Tea Shop, Crowland
.  ANL-140703-131423001

Jane Bowman and Tracy Stokes at The Old Copper Kettle Tea Shop, Crowland . ANL-140703-131423001

South Holland’s town centres would be much more unattractive without the presence of independent businesses, according to staff at a Crowland tea shop.

The Old Copper Kettle in North Street has been an oasis for its customers since March 2007 when the late Sue Hartley came up with the idea of opening a traditional English tea room in Crowland

Tracy Stokes, who works at the tea shop, said: “Sue wanted to bring her friends from Peterborough into Crowland but there was nowhere they could sit down and have tea and cakes.

“Unfortunately, Sue died about two months before the shop opened and it was always her dream to run a tea shop.

“But she did leave us with instruction to make sure everybody who visited The Old Copper Kettle leaves with nice memories of the place and feeling that they have been well looked after.”

The tea shop’s ethos fits in perfectly with the Spalding Guardian’s Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign, encouraging readers to play their part in ensuring businesses like The Old Copper Kettle thrive in South Holland.

Tracy said: “We get lots of people coming back on a regular basis and one man has been coming in three times a week for the past seven years.

“We have excellent support within the community and I love working here because it’s a nice place to be and we have a nice group to work with.

“Some people say it’s one of the nicest tea shops they have ever been to and I think it’s a very good meeting place where people feel relaxed and comfortable.”

“It’s also made the centre of Crowland look more attractive, rather than having an empty shop here.”

Political and business leaders like South Holland and The Deepings MP, John Hayes, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Ursula Lidbetter and South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter have all given their support to our Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign.

Tracy said: “I always enjoy coming to work at The Old Copper Kettle, but there are so many shops closing in local communities and there’s no way of getting them back.

“I think the Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign is very important because if local businesses aren’t supported, you’ll lose them forever.”




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