THERE was a time when you couldn't move
in Nantwich for antiques shops, but
nowadays the outlet of which we have a lot of is coffee shops. (With
charity shops close behind - but that is another story.)
Of course, all the coffee shops would appear to be surviving
which suggests that
there is a need for them. But it seems strange that a small town like
Nantwich - tourist magnet though it is - should need so many.
I mean, we are not
Chester, York, or any of the other tourist attractions, which - being much
bigger, of course - need a large number.
Although, since I first wrote this
item, I have found that many other towns have an awful lot of coffee shops
At one time there was the
odd place that served coffee - apart from restaurants. Then, shops set up for one type of commodity
would open up an unused floor and sell coffee, with all the extras, of
Other shop owners, obviously having
done their market research, decided they could do the same and more and more premises followed suit.
There was a drive at one time for
upper floors to be used for accommodation - if the owners didn't want to
"live over the shop" there were plenty of people who did, it was argued.
I am not sure what became
of that. Clearly some people do live in flats in the centre of town,
although others are put off by the rowdies who invade the town at
weekends. For the record, this is being dealt with.
That is probably one
reason why some shop owners preferred to use the space upstairs for a
fact that even with so many coffee outlets there are times when you cannot
get a table for love nor money proves the need for the service.
And it isn't a case of
there being one on every street. Some streets don't have any. Pillory
Street has three.
When the Chronicle closed
its Nantwich office in Mill Street, the premises were snapped up. Not for
another office, but for a coffee shop.
One place that sells coffee is a
shop in name only. The Church Shop - more correctly the
Visitors' Centre - in the porch of Nantwich Parish Church. And on
Saturdays, the Parish Hall across the way
is the venue for local
organisations to hold coffee mornings . . .
Another church premises to serve
coffee is the Methodist Centre in Hospital Street. Formerly the
schoolrooms of the church across the road, it now houses both buildings.
One "coffee shop" goes
under the different name of a Tea Shoppe! A previous proprietor, when it
was called Inglenook Tea Shoppe, genial Bob Hope
(yes, that's his real name) told me he was the only tea shop in the county.
seems that to be able to use that description you have to sell at least 10
different teas as loose leaf. Those tea bags will not do. The
shop later (2012) became Molly's Tea Shoppe after having other owners in
Just for the record, the
pictures on this page are not an indication of the quality of the drinks on sale. They were placed
randomly as the page evolved and the size and shape of the images is simply according to how I took them.
When I was researching the coffee
shop phenomenon I asked for a list of coffee shops in the town to make
sure I wasn't missing any out. The source - I won't name them for
obvious reasons - said no they didn't have a list. In any case, they
tended to come and go.
But I don't think that is
the case. Apart from one supermarket which closed down its coffee shop /
restaurant when it changed hands.
In February 2014, the one over Bratt's
ladies shop in Churchyardside closed.
And, although it is named as
Teresa's Ice Cream Parlour, it lists coffee as one of a number of items
it sells, so I'm
including it in this list of coffee shops!
The latest coffee shop is Blooms in Pillory Street.