People power fight to save More Than Coffee in Fleet
By Lou_101 | Saturday, March 03, 2012, 15:12
More than 50 supporters turned up at More Than Coffee in Fleet this morning to show their solidarity with the beleaguered café.
Supporters young and old came to More Than Coffee this morning
Many people in Fleet are angry about what's happening to this popular cafe
The owners' daughter with the petition...
The campaign to save the popular business has 'exploded' online attracting more than 3,000 hits in the past few days – spread between Facebook, Twitter, here on Fleet People and on community blogs.
A petition started only a few days ago at the shop counter already has more than 300 signatures, and there are plans to also create an online version for supporters unable to come into Fleet to sign it.
More Than Coffee owner Sarah Anderson is going on the radio on Monday morning to talk about her plight.
And her landlord has now finally agreed to meet her a few hours later.
All this from a single tweet only five days ago.
"I'm overwhelmed, absolutely overwhelmed by all this support," she said.
More Than Coffee has been told by The Hart Centre managing agent Colliers International that it must move from its current unit even though its lease is not up.
Colliers says it is simply acting under instruction from the landlord.
More Than Coffee has been offered one of the 12 empty units in the Hart Centre as an alternative, but with set-up costs at some £40,000, they say they cannot afford it so they would be put out of business.
If the family run business is forced to close it will leave husband and wife team Sarah and John Anderson and their two young children homeless and bankrupt, she says.
Colliers has told Sarah and John it has two other new businesses interested in their unit.
But most people at the café this morning told Fleet People that they would boycott any new business opening in the More Than Coffee unit.
More than Coffee has been in business in Fleet for more than 13 years, first on the high street and for the past three years in the shopping centre.
More than Coffee has even offered to increase its rent more than 50 per cent in a bid to stay, but has been told Colliers would probably prefer one of the new businesses to move into their unit.