Costa Coffee's Totnes pull-out 'delights' cafe owners

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Vintage Tea
Image caption,
Victoria Pengilley from Vintage Tea in Totnes said her customers are "really pleased" about the news

Independent coffee shop and restaurant owners in a Devon town are "jumping for joy" after Costa Coffee decided to pull out.

South Hams District Council had approved plans by the national chain to open in Fore Street, Totnes.

Campaign group No To Costa spent three months petitioning against the plan, collecting more than 5,000 signatures.

Public opinion in the town prevailed and Costa Coffee has now reversed its plans.

Hannah Jones, 30, director of The Kitchen Table, a catering company in the town, said she was "delighted" and thought it was a "wise decision by Costa".

'Dreaded Costa sign'

"The majority of the town would have backed the independents, giving no power to a multinational company," she said.

"It's just shown what a strong community we are and how much all the businesses have pulled together."

Miss Jones said that "we can survive by supporting each other".

The town boasts 41 independent coffee outlets and has a reputation for having an "alternative" image.

Victoria Pengilley, 34, owner of Vintage Tea, said she had been "dreading the Costa sign going up".

"I didn't think it would have affected us too much as we are more tea-based, but it is great news for the town," she said.

"Everyone who's heard the news is jumping for joy."

'Boost to town'

Martin Turner, 43, owner of the Tangerine Tree Cafe, said he is glad Costa "listened to the overwhelming opposition of the town".

Image caption,
The town has 41 independent coffee shops

"I'm really happy and it will give such a boost to the town," he said, indicating he hopes a local business will now take the empty shop on.

Maha Roberts, 62, who has owned Willow Vegetarian Restaurant for 25 years, said it was "great news that such a big chain had been ejected".

"At first I didn't think there was much we could do to keep Costa out, but we pulled together," he said.

He said the news would "cheer a lot of other people in the town".

Costa currently has 19 stores in Devon and employs nearly 200 people as well as sourcing local products.

It has more than 1,390 shops across the UK, and another 800 internationally.

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