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Butchers in a stew about town as shop shuts after 19 years
GREAT Malvern town centre is no longer a destination for everyday shopping, say the owners of an award-winning butchers which is closing tomorrow (Saturday).
Chrys and Fiona Titshall opened their store, Malvern Country Meals, near the top of Church Street in 1994 and quickly won acclaim.
They featured as one of Rick Stein’s Food Heroes, and their sausages won many awards. But they say changes in the town centre and customer base mean it is no longer viable to keep the shop open.
Mr Titshall said: “The change in Great Malvern has been slow but one that has taken the town from a local shopping centre to a pretty tourist and cultural destination. “It is still a wonderful place to visit, eat out, and enjoy fantastic entertainment, and browse in antique, gift and book shops.
“But facts must be faced, and we have accepted it is no longer the destination of choice for most people to do their everyday household shopping. “The next generation are not coming in. To trade from Church Street is no longer a sound commercial option.”
Chris Marks, chairman of Great Malvern Association of Traders (GMAT), is sad to see Malvern Country Meals go and agrees the town centre has changed. He said ensuring it has something to offer to everyone is a top priority.
“We are very sad to see a long-standing business of this calibre close and, on the whole, would agree the make up of the shops and services offered in Great Malvern has changed and understand their decision,” he said. “The way both locals and tourists use towns like ours has changed dramatically over the past decade with the growth of out-of-town supermarkets and internet shopping, and we’re pleased Great Malvern has adapted, ensuring it has a bright future.
“However the issue of the town not having a strong offering for the everyday shopper is one we are looking to address. “We are particularly pleased to see the recent opening of Parson’s Bakery in Church Street, which is a very good start.”
Mr and Mrs Titshall plan to re-deploy the two employees from Malvern Country Meals to their wholesale operation Teme Vale, near Bromyard, which has gone from “strength to strength”.
He also said Malvern C o u n t r y M e a l s w i l l maintain a presence at shows, markets and food festivals, and has set up an order-and-collect service.
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