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Fierce competition forces independent coffee shop to close
FIERCE competition from big stores such as Waitrose has led to an independent coffee shop shutting.
Choco-Latte, based at Liston Court, Marlow, closed its doors for the final time on Saturday.
Owner Aimee Hyatt told the Free Press that a free coffee for customers offer from Chapel Street based Waitrose had been among the factors making it hard for her business.
Coffee giant Costa is also just a short walk away.
She said: "With all the competition in the town and with Waitrose giving free coffee we were finding it difficult to compete.
"The independents can survive but not with chains springing up everywhere."
High business rates, which go to the treasury, were another key factor, she said.
"The rates are abysmal, I think that's what brings the downfall of all small businesses," she said.
Despite the shop closing, she said it can still be considered a success, having survived nearly four years. During that time a number of other younger small businesses in the area have closed.
Customers were sad to hear Choco-Latte was closing, Miss Hyatt said.
"People felt cheated that another independent has not been able to succeed. I think we were really highly supported by people because we were independent but it wasn't just enough.
"Everybody was so supportive and we want to thank them for that.
"We've had such lovely, positive messages from our customers."
However, Choco-Latte was only one of two business in Liston Court run by Mrs Hyatt.
The second, Celebrations, a party shop remains open and is continuing to thrive, she said, adding she hopes it will expand now that this is her sole focus.
There are three employees at the party store.
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