The owner of a Little Common coffee shop says she could be forced out of business when a nearby supermarket starts to sell take away coffees.
Kathy Morris of Espresso Max fears the decision by Tesco Express in Cooden Sea Road to start selling Costa coffees later this month will affect her trade.
For a big company to come in and start taking away business is not onKathy Morris
Kathy relies on take-away trade to keep her business afloat, particularly during the summer months.
She told the Observer: “A third of my profit is take-away coffee and it’s such a small, quiet village.
“I rely on the summer trade here as well.
“A lot of people get take-aways to go to the beach.”
Espresso Max, which has been trading in Little Common for around three years, is one of three shops selling teas and coffees in the village.
Kathy says all the shops cater for different tastes, but Tesco’s decision could have a knock-on effect on all of them.
She said: “We all have our own little niche.
“But for a big company to come in and start taking away business is not on, really.
“Because it’s Costa, that’s a very popular brand.
“Tesco have got all this money for advertising. I have not.”
Kathy says the decision to start selling Costa coffees will mean that Tesco will have broken a promise it made to Little Common’s traders and residents when the supermarket giant first arrived in the village.
Kathy said: “When Tesco first came here, it was promised they would not interfere with the small businesses. That they would only sell certain things.
“In this economic climate, something like this in a small village could end up closing me down.”
Kathy expressed her concern to the manager of the Tesco Express branch, who in turn spoke to a regional manager.
However Kathy understands that there was no response from him.
Kathy believes that the presence of Tesco is having an affect on other businesses in the village.
The Little Common Co-Op, which stands directly opposite Tesco Express, is due to close on April 1.
Although the store has not cited Tesco as the reason for its closure, many villagers have been quick to point the finger at the supermarket giant.
Kathy said: “They are trying to kill our village completely.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We believe our customers will appreciate being able to pick up a coffee-to-go from the new Costa machine.”