go

Independent Newbury outlet announces impending closure

High business rates and competition from national chains cause

Jane Meredith

Reporter:

Jane Meredith

Contact:

01635 886637

Independent Newbury outlet announces impending closure

SKY-HIGH town centre business rates and fierce competition from national chains have forced the impending closure of yet another independent Newbury outlet.

Frecsa, a coffee house in Northbrook Street, has announced it will close on Thursday, December 22, after a hard slog over the last two years to establish the business.

The proprietors of the venture – which dishes up home-made food to rave reviews – are Sarah Elwahsh and her husband Ahmed Elsenusi, who live in Newbury and were “heartbroken”.

“We built everything from scratch,” said Mrs Elwahsh.

“It’s very sad, but there is not enough trade to cover our costs.

“We offered a very different and unique style to Newbury.

“We really tried hard but we couldn’t hold on anymore.”

She said Frecsa was unable to compete with the extensive marketing of national chains, of which there are several branches in Newbury.

Her husband has found employment as a software engineer and it was very unlikely they would re-open, either in Newbury, or elsewhere.

Locals have taken to social media to lament the impending closure, including 35 who have left comments on the Newburytoday Facebook page.

Jane Pestridge said: I, my husband and friends will miss this lovely, quirky independent! “Such a shame. I am truly gutted. It is my go to place for coffee and food.

“We need more places that are like Frecsa not less. What happened to embracing individuality and supporting small independent businesses that people put their heart and sole into?

“Good luck and best wishes sent to the lovely people that owned and ran Frecsa, You and your cafe will be missed!!!”

Ben Richardson said: “A real shame. Great place, great coffee and very nice owners/staff.”

Helen Cook said: “What a shame – this place knocked the spots off the chain coffee shops in town. Great coffee and food. Sad to see you go.”

Alice Fogg said on Twitter: “So sad. Amazing food and fab coffee.

“Thanks for bringing variety to Newbury high street.

“Such a shame that we, once again, have one less independent to choose from. All the best!”

Equally upset was Wendy Hewitt, who also took to Twitter to comment: “Really sad to hear that we will so miss the best coffee in Newbury and feel really sorry that yet another independent vacates the high street.

“Wishing you all the best.”

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • MrWhiskers

    19/12/2016 - 15:03

    It would be refreshing if Newbury was the town that said "no" to the large Coffee and Restaurant chains. As it is, there is too much money in it for the greedy people at the council, so that will never happen. While the rates are sky high, only the biggest (and most boring) businesses can buy in. Newbury is fast losing its identity and becoming just another town people describe as "the London overspill".

    Reply

  • Browntrout

    14/12/2016 - 09:09

    Hey NWN I didn't even know this business was there. I appreciate it is the responsibility of the business owners to make some noise for us consumers but maybe a nice weekly high profile article from you guys promoting Newbury businesses might be an idea. Tell us who they are, what they do etc.. it would make your product more interesting and keep Newbury up to date through reporting rather than just advertising.

    Reply

    • NewburyDenizen

      14/12/2016 - 09:09

      Same, never heard of the place.

      Reply

      • NewburyDenizen

        14/12/2016 - 09:09

        Actually, having just looked on Streetview, I do know where it is, but I stopped going up that end of the highstreet when the Waterstones turned into a bank..

        Reply

        • Bombey

          14/12/2016 - 16:04

          Waterstones turned into a coffee shop.....

          Reply

    • Bombey

      14/12/2016 - 09:09

      you know where Costa, Starbucks Cafe Nero are though?

      Reply

  • Bombey

    14/12/2016 - 08:08

    "forced the impending closure of yet another independent Newbury outlet"... such negativity. Care to name these cosures NWN? What about Nelsons & 7Bone who are in the process of opening, or the several other indies which have open this year?

    Reply

    • NewburyDenizen

      14/12/2016 - 09:09

      I've not heard of these independent stores either.

      Reply

      • Bombey

        14/12/2016 - 16:04

        Nelsons have now opened in the Kennet Centre. 7Bone is due to open in what was Oldbury's. It pays to walk around the town one lives in occasionaly.

        Reply

        • gkcdavis

          22/12/2016 - 14:02

          Completely agree Bombey, too many people shopping online is ruining high streets.

          Reply

News

Box clever and give big softie Rocky a champion home
News

Box clever and give big softie Rocky a champion home

Champion boxer Rocky is appealing for a knock-out home

 
Hermitage development is on hold as plan is rejected
News

Hermitage development is on hold as plan is rejected

Application for 37-home scheme in village branded 'disappointing' by planners

 
News

'Amazing' support for charity Christmas fair

 
News

Newbury explosions 'could have been catastrophic'

3comments

 
News

Serial shoplifter dodges prison yet again

12comments