New era for Marlborough's Food Gallery
There's a changing of the guard at the Food Gallery - the café at the west end of the High Street that specialises in 'only the best' coffee.
For the past year Kat Holman has been running the Food Gallery Express - at the east end of the High Street, close to Waitrose. Now, Food Gallery founders Bob and Nikki Holman have announced that this branch will be closing on Saturday (August 27.)
When Marlborough Tiles decided to move their showroom to the Elcot Lane factory, the Food Gallery took a sub-lease on the shop for the final year of the 28-year lease. Bob Holman told Marlborough.News: "We had the opportunity to have a year in the premises to see if the principle worked. And it did work."
With the lease ending, they had to decide whether they could take on a full lease there: "The term and the rent made it too risky to continue."
The Food Gallery Express was a take-away version of the Food Gallery: "Everything was slightly different - except the coffee - buns instead of sandwiches, different brownies, different cakes, different Scotch eggs. It was the same, but not the same."
"Many of our customers welcomed having a branch there serving good coffee. We also gained many new customers - who were closer to that end of town."
The 'silver lining' to the closure of the Express branch will be that Kat is joining her brother Richard to run the Food Gallery. And their parents, Nikki and Bob, will take on a more strategic role - planning the business and its future. But - and it's a big but - they will still be cooking the cakes and soups.
And for worried fans of the Belgian chocolates sold exclusively at the Express branch - "They were a real hit" - those treats will be transferring to the Food Gallery.