A coalition of Ripon businesses is backing a petition calling on Costa Coffee to abandon plans to open an outlet in the city.
Janet Hudson, who owns the historic Wakeman’s House Café on Market Place South, distributed a ‘No to Costa Coffee’ petition to shops in the city after Harrogate Borough Council gave Costa the green light to open at the former Bonmarché store on Fishergate.
Ms Hudson, 44 – who runs the café with her sister Julie Sweeney – collected more than 100 signatures in support of the campaign in the Wakeman’s over just two days and will hold a public meeting to discuss launching a city-strong campaign.
“We need to celebrate our independent shops and encourage people to come into the city which means more retail shops – not Costa Coffee. Costa is not going to get people travelling into Ripon.
“We offer gingham tablecloths, afternoon tea and homemade food. That’s what Ripon is about.
“Costa can’t bring anything to the city but it is considered more important to fill empty shops, as if it doesn’t matter what shop it is . But it does.”
Liz Guest, owner of Big Bites on Old Market Place, said: “Ripon does not need another coffee shop. We need something to attract visitors. I have filled two pages of the petition with signatures in two days.”
A public meeting will be held at the Wakeman’s on Monday, November 19, at 6pm. Ms Hudson will also meet with Ripon MP Julian Smith later this month. Telephone her on on 07714 421783 for details.
But we are asking you: will a campaign against Costa Coffee stop an outlet from opening in the city?