A BICTON resident’s hopes of running a thriving, old-style deli are being hampered by her customers’ very modern addiction to caffeine and a nearby cafe’s monopolistic grip on a brew.
Emily Randall opened Blossum Catering in Harris Street six weeks ago, and her super-healthy take-away foods proved an instant hit with locals and passing workers.
But she says many of them won’t return because an exclusion clause in her lease forbids her from selling hot tea and coffee. The clause was added at the request of the Little Stove cafe in the same row of shops.
“My customers are screaming for coffee,” Ms Randall told the Herald.
She says she under-estimated how welded people can be to their caffeine hit when picking up a sanger and desperately wants the property managers to remove the clause.
They were initially receptive and agreed to ask Little Stove’s owners, but when they got knocked back things soured somewhat.
“A petition was placed in-store at the request of my customers, but as punishment the property managed revoked permission for Blossum to host a food truck, which was designed to be a promotional evening for not only Blossum, but my neighbouring tenants,” Ms Randall said in frustration.
The petition garnered about 150 signatures in three days.
Ms Randall was also warned off contacting Little Stove’s owners over the issue again.
She says she’s a big fan – and a customer – of the cafe, and reckons the pair could create a great local scene without affecting each other’s profits.
Sue Pember runs a property boutique in the complex and has sided with Ms Randall.
She says Little Stove’s already so busy that there’s often long waits for coffee.
She says that can make it tricky when trying to conduct business with clients and having an overflow would really help.
“I have staff in my office, but there aren’t many choices; Little Stove’s aren’t really office lunches so it would be great to be able to grab a lunch for under $10 and a coffee.”
The Chook tried to contact Little Stove’s owner and were given an email, but hadn’t heard back before deadline.
by STEVE GRANT