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Costa Coffee at the Cooperative

From Stella Bird

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Costa coffee is on our high street via the back door, via the Cooperative.

Following the floods, Hebden folk supported the Muse Cafe who were considering closing. Now they are under threat again, ironically from the Coop, who are proud to support local business.

The Coop don't need the money from Costa or take away coffees. I am a Hebden Bridge cafe owner (The Bicycle Den) and resident and whilst there are plenty of cafes and competition, our individual styles are what contributes to the uniqueness of Hebden,  I dont want any of us to compete with faceless big brands like Costa. 

Hebden Bridge defeated Sainsburys so I would hope we can defeat the non tax paying Costa Coffee. Also that we can again support local business (yes including my cafe) but mainly Muse cafe. Both Muse Cafe and myself use a small Bradford coffee supplier (Limini) who  source ethically. 

The coop manager stated: 7am trades people want take aways ( there are a few cafes open at that time); that they consulted staff and customers (anyone get questioned? On the QT staff have agreed Costa is not welcome but of course can't voice that to the Coop. I reckon it's a nationwide decision); that they do support Muse Cafe by directing people there who want a sit down coffee! (I doubt it, but Muse also do take aways). 

I would encourage people to go and speak to the manager of the Cooperative, so that they start to feel the negative consequences of their decision. Plus petitions, a mini boycott maybe, signs in shops? 
Come on Hebden lets keep our high street as unique as we can!

From Joe Ridley

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The 2015/16 accounts for Costa's parent firm Whitbread say it paid £116.1m of tax on £546.3m profits - an effective rate of 21.3%.

From Helen Taylor

Sunday, 17 December 2017

 I agree that a Costa machine poses a threat to the town's viability and character (albeit a small one - the threat, not the machine which is rather large). I have just written the following email to the Cooperative. Here are their contact details from their website in case anyone else wants to write. 

Call 0800 0686 727.  Write to us at Co-op  Food, Customer Careline, Freepost MR 9473, Manchester M4 8BA. Membership enquiries, call 0800 023 4708. Email  membershipcontactus@coop.co.uk

"Hi. I would like to make known to you my objection to the placement in your Hebden Bridge store of a Costa Coffee takeaway coffee machine. Hebden Bridge is a town of very predominantly independent businesses, many of which serve coffee, including takeaway. You did not need to bring competition from a big national chain, which Hebden Bridge has so far avoided. Hebden Bridge's economy is very much centred around its being full of characterful small businesses which offer an alternative to the clone-townscapes almost everywhere else. Visitors' positive experience of coming to somewhere very much coffee-chain-free will be eroded by the presence of Costa. This may seem a small thing but is to my mind significant when we really do see Costa etc everywhere else and it's actually refreshing to spend a day somewhere without seeing coffee chains. 

Please consider removing this Costa machine as it will affect the trade of local small businesses on which the survival of the town depends. I see that somewhere a justification has arisen that this machine caters for the 7am tradesman trade which most places in Hebden Bridge don't. If that's the Coop's position then the Costa machine could offer coffees only until other outlets open and provide this service and after that the Coop's machine could be shut down until the next morning. Otherwise, Costa will quite simply be taking away trade from independents. 

I would also point out that if the balance tips and independent businesses close, the footfall of the town is likely to rapidly decrease, with consequent loss of customers to the Coop too.  

Please reconsider the benefit and wisdom of having your Costa machine in the branch."

From David Thompson

Monday, 18 December 2017

Coffee machine!? Can we have a Wetherspoons instead? The price of beer in Hebden Bridge is outrageous. The excuse is that it's a "tourist town"...so it's OK to steal from tourists is it? They don't reduce the price for local folk do they?

From Christine C

Monday, 18 December 2017

I just wish all the coffee bars, who charge city prices, for their coffee, would serve consistently good coffee. There seems to be only 1 coffee shop in the town that manages to do this. 

I also feel the people of Hebden Bridge should not have their right to choose where and which coffee to buy taken away from them. People who are looking for a quick, convenient coffee fix will use it.

This is one, self service, take away coffee machine in a town that has many coffee shops, not a problem in my mind.

From Tim B

Monday, 18 December 2017

Costa is the problem for me - bland coffee from a multinational corporation for identikit towns - blurgh!

Much cheaper and tastier coffee from the Station Cafe

And don't get me started on Weatherspoons - economies of scale selling short dated beer from large producers at knock down prices.

Much of the beer on offer in Hebden is fresh, well made beer, often brewed locally, a totally different product from the Wetherspoons dishwater and so priced accordingly.

From Kevin S

Monday, 18 December 2017

It's a vending machine that is there for people on the go, workmen up early and need a brew or people who are just nipping in for a meal deal.

Nobody moaned when it was in the garage in Mytholmroyd.

How many cafes actually open in Hebden at 7 am for a take out coffee with parking.

Seriously it's a vending machine and if that is a threat to your cafe you really need to up your game. 

As for its Costa and a chain, we have Ladbrokes and Boots and One Stop to name a few. 

From Paul Clarke

Monday, 18 December 2017

Not in favour of the Costa machine but worth remembering the Co-op is itself part of a chain . . . albeit a rubbish one.

From David Thompson

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Why are we people so rude about the co-op. When I was young it was a godsend, honest value and the "Divi".  Would they like a Tesco, Sainsbury or Morrison's? Probably a Waitrose or Booths more suited to Hebden Bridge snobbery.

From Kez Armitage

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

 I must take issue with Tim B on his tirade against Wetherspoons.

He attempts to perpetuate the urban myth that Wetherspoons buys beer at or near its sell by date. How on earth would that work with a company like Wetherspoons, one of the largest buyers of cask beers in the country? Does such a large buyer really buy on the basis that breweries overbrew, and are likely to have enough surplus beer stocks to satisfy the high volume market? Or do Wetherspoons ring up the breweries and demand that large quantities are held back to near the sell-by date so that they can buy it at a discount? It's not a viable or sensible business model for such a large operator.

Secondly, if you go into a Wetherspoons pub, you will see a variety of local beers. In Todmorden, for example, they've had Rudgate (York), Elland, Slightly Foxed (Mytholmroyd), Bridestones (Blackshaw Head) and many others from small local independent breweries. In fact I can't remember a time when there wasn't at least one local beer on offer. The Wetherspoons in Huddersfield, Brighouse and Rochdale invariably have local beers too. Yes, they have the multinational brewers there, but that's as well as, not instead of, local breweries.

Many Wetherspoons are Cask Mark accredited (45% have a 100% score) so you are most certainly not getting an inferior product to that in local pubs.

Of course they're not cosy locals, and aren't everyone's cup of tea, but they serve a purpose, and have done a lot of positive things for the real ale cause. Please don't accuse them of things they simply don't do. 

From Jill Robinson

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

I have had the dubious honour of bring ejected from two of Wetherspoons establishments. On both occasions, it was my dog Izzy to whom they objected, and one time I was merely in the garden. So the fact that Hebden pubs welcome dogs is a plus.

From Jeremy Godden

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

 Unless you enjoy a dog free environment.

From Tom Schofield

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Sometimes Hebden Bridge is beyond parody and this is one of those times.

From Andy P

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Rather than putting effort into challenging Co-op's decision to sell coffee (they already sold on-the-go food, was that a problem too?), maybe this is an opportunity for cafe owners to improve their businesses.

Give customers something a vending machine can't, extend opening hours, make it convenient, make prices competitive. 

From David Thompson

Friday, 22 December 2017

Congratulations to Tom Schofield who's brief contribution summed up the situation perfectly.

From Allen Keep

Friday, 22 December 2017

I baulk at buying over-priced, not very good coffee from anyone - so I tend not to. I guess I would prefer to be ripped off by a small business than a big one but there's something unappetising about small businesses complaining about big ones or about competition -that's what capitalism is all about unfortunately and I suspect most if not all small businesses aspire to be big ones. 

Capitalism is also about big or small businesses (and especially in trades like coffee) acquiring the products of the labour of the poor and selling them at a mark up to the privileged (or back to the poor). Of course, nearly all coffee sellers, including Costa, claim to be ethical and environmentally friendly and perhaps they have been forced to be so by customer pressure - which is a good thing.

I don't care a toss for Costa, or their vulgar machine but it's clumsy to label them as tax dodgers and to assume they are vastly less ethical than smaller coffee businesses like Lumini.

While the over reaction to a coffee machine and how it threatens (the rather self-defined) essence of Hebden Bridge is verging on the comical I do have sympathy, of course, for those who want to resist the blanket chainstore grim reality of most towns. It's not helpful either to point out they are already here - nobody wants more of something they didn't want in the first place.

From Gary W

Friday, 22 December 2017

As someone that grew up in Hebden Bridge, I notice that people like me are usually sanguine about changes to the town as it evolves over time. I am one of those who would like to see another decent sized supermarket here to keep the Co-op on its toes. I would also love to see a Wetherspoons too as I look on enviously to how Todmorden has developed over recent years.

However this open attitude is significantly less common in those that have moved to this town and seem to want to keep it as it currently is in perpetuity. 

The way Allen describes capitalism is not how I see it. Capitalism has seen the single biggest contribution that us great apes have come up with to tackle the poverty, poor health and the hard short lives that had been with us for previous countless millennia.

However, creating the this life enabling wealth and lifting the living standards of the many does not naturally happen by just having a free market economy. The best marriage comes about when the unparalleled wealth creation of well regulated capitalism is partnered by democratic socialism to ensure a fair distribution of these collective benefits.  

From Tom C

Friday, 22 December 2017

I understand the frustration with wishing for things "as they used to be" but times change. Gentrification is happening all over the UK with positive / negative effects. I'm saying its not perfect or ideal for families with roots in Hebden but what can you do? 

From Zilla Brown

Friday, 22 December 2017

I agree mostly with Gary Ws comment. As someone who has lived in this area all of their life I accept the changes time brings to the town- as we have to.People come people go.

However I get impatient when some people (as on this thread ) assume that they speak for me and that they surely must represent the majority  of the town, that everyone must agree with them or it’s a really bad thing in some way. I don’t personally want to defeat anything mentioned  on here . 

They say that we must agree with them about their ideas of “their town” and “their great little shops” etc. These phrases have only recently sprung up and  in direct proportion to the gentrification of Hebden along with the pushing back under the carpet of all things locally unsatisfactory to such people. Bit like a warped version of “League of Gentlemen” isn’t it?

Why shouldn’t early morning workers be able to get a hot drink quickly if nothing else is open? Personally, I would like more choice not less, perhaps a Wetherspoons, and another supermarket (I would have liked Sainsburys actually). Also some real competition to some of the dreadful dishwash served up locally at city prices that is supposed to be coffee. If we are going to big up Hebden and eulogise about it to the heavens then you can’t blame big companies for taking notice and wanting a slice of that cake, although its only a paltry coffee machine at this stage don’t panic. 

Perhaps it would be better to keep a bit quiet about things, and actually, thinking about it, if we became more like everywhere else we wouldn’t be so overwhelmed by tourists as we are now. What a relief that would be! Anyway, in the end its inevitable that it’s the size of the town and retail area that will limit things not  by insisting  that we are  too good for things and not that kind of town.

From Chris Barnett

Saturday, 23 December 2017

I'm not sure that Gary W's view of capitalism as "....the single biggest contribution......to tackle the poverty, poor health and the hard short lives...." is one that many people would agree with.

Has he not read any history (or even Dickens?)

Poverty, poor health and hard short lives are still with us, despite capitalism's valiant efforts to put an end to such things.

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Gary’s right in the sense that, unlike feudal or command economies, a demand-led market economy encourages innovation and improvement and this has driven up living standards over the centuries. Capitalism is rightly in the doghouse for a lot of things but one could argue that without it the NHS - were it to exist at all - would probably kill more people than it cured. And without capitalism there wouldn’t be any coffee in Hebden Bridge.