The threat to Bella's Cafe in the Eastbourne Railway Terminus
28th July 2020
... Comments

As you may know, I started a petition in support of Bella’s café whose existence is threatened by Costa Coffee who intend to move into the Railway Station Terminus right next door to them.   

As I write we have 1780 signatures and steadily increasing which shows that people do care for this Café and do not want it to be removed from the Eastbourne station.  You could argue that Costa Coffee is all about choice.  If Costa decides to move into an area and people flock to their Café, are they not providing a service and a choice for coffee drinkers?  You could also take the opinion that this is ideal capitalism where the strong will win over the weak and provide the lowest cost service for all.  However, history has shown us that unfettered domination of a business scene by a few large players works against us.   In place of individual effort and flair we get standardisation and uniformity.  In place of long-term presence, if the business model doesn’t fit, we get empty shops when a corporate decides to pull out and retrench.  But most important of all, we loose our local diversity and colour.  We loose the relationships with local people that the business has built up over the years.  We loose a bit of Eastbourne when yet another small business disappears due to high rents or displacement by a large competitor.  

Am I an anti-capitalist?  Not really.  I run a business where there is plenty of competition and where I accept that I won’t win against them all.  But in the case of Bella’s it’s the scale of what Costa is doing that makes the difference.  They have, already, a café right across the road from the station and two more in Eastbourne.  Where does it stop?  A Costa on every corner?  

We see in Eastbourne a good number of independent coffee shops - evidence that people have different tastes and that they like different atmospheres when they have a coffee. This is a healthy sign for the town.   

Costa has decided to move next door to Bella’s and I feel that we must draw the line between what is good business development for Eastbourne and what is definitely harmful.  That’s why I started the petition. 

If you can help with your networks to spread the word it would be greatly appreciated.  The petition site is at  Stop Costa Coffee from hurting Bella's  

Finally, a great way to show support for Bella's is to leave a review on them right here on thebestof Eastbourne.

About the Author

Don F

Member since: 17th July 2020

Engineer and consultant with an interest in organisational development. Currently running a small electrical, electronics and restoration business in Eastbourne. Very interested in the welfare of small...

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