BUSINESS in Thatcham is on the up, as has been exemplified by recent openings in the town centre.
The proof was in the pudding when Warings Bakery opened one of its Indulgent Baker stores in the Kingsland Centre last Friday.
Public relations manager, Daniel Carr, said that business had been brisk, with lardy cakes selling out within five minutes.
“We had a queue of eager and interested customers all wanting to see, sample and buy what was on offer,” he said.
“Many commented on how nice it was to have a bakers in Thatcham after being so many years without one, and wished us luck and success.
“Thatcham has a really great vibe and a strong presence of independent traders, making it a great place to shop.
“With residents who like to shop local, commuters travelling in to Thatcham and shoppers visiting because of its diverse range of shops it really was an ideal location for us and the type of community we like to be a part of.”
Also responding to customer need and increased footfall, women’s clothes shop Lily’s Fashion has opened a shoe shop above its Kingsland Centre store.
Shop owner, Christine Black, said that business had doubled since the shop, which stocks Italian, French and German designs, moved to Thatcham from Newbury two years ago.
“I like the personal touch and like the customers to feel relaxed and have a bit of retail therapy and customers are still coming from Newbury and Basingstoke,” she said.
The chairman of Thatcham Chamber of Commerce, Jeremy Cottam, said Thatcham was recovering from “the longest, sharpest and deepest recession” in recent times.
“Many retailers in Thatcham were hanging on and now they’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Mr Cottam said that Sainsbury’s coming to the town, an application for a Papa Luigi’s pizzeria in the former Blockbuster store and the opening of the Little Roma restaurant were signs of recovery.
He said: “We are seeing that Thatcham is progressing well and the majority of empty units have been let or sold.
“We have a good variety of shops and restaurants; we have a butchers, a bakers and I’m sure there’s a hardware store that sells candlesticks so we are serving all the needs.”