Little town has 'euphoric victory' over coffee giant

26 October 2012

CostaCoffee is just about the most evil thing ever, right? There's all those coffee houses stealing our children and making us perform vile sex acts on each other and, of course, forcing us to drink over-priced coffee.

And so, we can all breathe a sigh of relief when we find out that Costa is fallible after a town in Devon celebrated a "euphoric victory" in a battle to prevent the coffee chain from opening on its High Street.

Costa Coffee withdrew plans to open a shop in Totnes, despite being granted planning permission from South Hams District Council. Thousands of people rallied behind a campaign against Costa, but probably can't be bothered mobilising against things that really matter.

Totnes Tory MP Sarah Wollaston had feared the place would become a "clone town" and the decision to stop Costa was announced in a letter from the company, co-signed by Wollaston and Totnes mayor Pruw Boswell, and addressed to "the people of Totnes".

Costa managing director Chris Rogers admitted the company had "recognised the strength of feeling" against it, which isn't surprising if you're been to Totnes (hummus, musicians, bloggers and dog reiki, that sort of things). Wollaston and Boswell said in the letter: "As your MP and mayor, and speaking on behalf of the people of Totnes, we would like to thank Costa for being prepared to listen to our concerns and showing that they care."

Mayor Boswell said: "This is a euphoric victory for Totnes. I want to pay tribute to ‘caring Costa’, to the hugely supportive Dr Wollaston, and to the community of team Totnes."

Holly Tiffen, of the Notocosta campaign, said: "If Costa had arrived, it may have opened the floodgates for other chains. Costa didn't realise what they had taken on here. It should send a very clear message to chain shops to think twice before doing the same elsewhere."

Ian Gregory, owner of Fat Lemons vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cafe said: "I am surprised by the decision because we thought it was a done deal. This battle shows that people power can influence a decision. Costa realised its place was not here."

Totnes sounds awful doesn't it?

TOPICS:   High Street News

12 comments

  • Kevin
    And of course if it had gone ahead it would have been empty all the time as there would have been no customers. Funny how that never seems to happen though isn't it.
  • badger
    It's Totnes' loss. Costa make nice coffee; often better than the independents who would like to continue overcharging without good competition. By pulling up the drawbridge the independents have shown themselves to be just another cartel --which ironically is what they'd claim they were trying to keep out.
  • Chewbacca
    "Fat Lemons vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cafe" You missed a bit: Taste free.
  • Expendable B.
    Good stuff. Nice to see there's one place that will at least offer some resistance to shitey chain stores mauling everything.
  • Mustapha S.
    But all these independents would love to be a chain store! Ask any shop owner if they would love to have presence in every town and city in England, making then millions every year they'd say yes.
  • Jesus
    Quite right expendable blueshirt...... I presume the computer or phone you typed your message on was purchased from a non chain store? And your internet connection provided by an independent broadband provider getting their money from wheat-grass juice sales on the local markets near their offices...... After all, can't have those bastard mega corporations taking over the world now can we!
  • shiftynifty
    euphoric ....you get that from a caffeine buzz yeay.....
  • Pizza A.
    At least Costa are a UK company paying *some* UK taxes.... I could understand if it had been Starfucks.... (sorry, typo there)
  • Zleet
    At least those who work in Costa are given 'some' semblance of training in making coffee. My younger brother worked at a Costa for a while and had to go off and do a residential training course on making coffee and using the machines. He then worked for one of these independents opened by two mid-life crisis city types and had to teach the staff how to correctly use the machines and to clean them properly.
  • Gabriella C.
    Ironic though that Pizza Express are now interested in the same unit they managed to persuade Costa Coffee not to open in. I think it's rather sad. There are places for independents and chains. Out of all of the chains, Starbucks is the one I am not keen on.
  • keith
    And for every one that didn't want it on their dooostep there's probably another individual screaming to feel that reward of securing your first ever job and paypacket as they try and contribute to society. Totnes must be very well off I would imagine......but aesthetics must be at the top of the list of some folks priorities. But then what do I know, I'm from the Midlands!
  • keith
    Another thought - what would you go out for.........? a nice smooth latte or a pair of diamond encrusted wellingtons or the latest Apple Cassette Walkman with built in exploding battery (for free)? At least at a coffee shop you'd be socializing...........maybe pop into another shop (even in Totnes) and 'buy' something - surely not?

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