Independent cafes shake off concerns amid Starbucks opening plans

Dwayne Shanahan, the owner of Coco in Dereham said he is not that worried that Starbucks' political arrival. 

Dwayne Shanahan, owner of Coco in Dereham, said he is not worried about Starbucks' potential arrival - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Cafes in Dereham have said they're not scared of the "big boys" after American chain Starbucks recently announced plans to move into the market town.

Earlier this month, the international chain put forward an initial proposal which revealed its intention to move into the town centre.

If approved, the new cafe would be located at 40 Market Place.

The town has an array of cafes and coffee shops, many of which say their years on the high street mean they're not scared of a bit of friendly competition.

Coco, found on Norwich Street in Dereham.

Coco found on Norwich Street in Dereham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Dwayne Shanahan, the owner of Coco, found in Norwich Street, said: “I'm not really that worried, we have our regulars here and we have built up a good reputation in our six years of trade.

“We have our home-cooked meals and people often sit in for a couple of hours at a time, rather than that grab and go service.”

The Partea Hut tearoom is now trading from Dereham Windmill’s community hall and coffee shop, off Gr

The Partea Hut tearoom is now trading from Dereham Windmill’s community hall and coffee shop, off Greenfields Road. Pictured is Alison Webb, owners Tes and Donna, and Brian Webb. Picture: DEREHAM WINDMILL - Credit: Archant

Donna Cann, joint owner of The Partea Hut, found near the town’s windmill said: “I’m not worried about it, we have a regular following and we’ve been here for three years and we have built up a loyal customer base.

“It is a different kind of experience, this is a sit-in with a china cup and a cake. We do not worry about the big boys.”

The Partea Hut found near Dereham's windmill.

The Partea Hut found near Dereham's windmill. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

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However, not all owners are feeling positive ahead of Starbucks’ potential arrival.

Jose Mohiz, co-owner of Smile, Dinner's Ready, said: “There are a lot of cafes in Dereham already. We are worried it will become totally saturated that we might lose out.

“We are thinking about customer offers, to get people back in.

“We do not know what is going to happen, the customers are free to go wherever they want in the town.”

Norfolk Kitchen on Market Place, in Dereham.

Norfolk Kitchen on Market Place, in Dereham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Meanwhile Lorraine Hardy, the owner of Norfolk Kitchen, added: “We will have to take it in our stride as we always do. 

"If Starbucks are going to come, they are going to come and we cannot stop them.

"Dereham has become a little cafe centre, there is more choice here than ever.”