Shropshire cafe owner thankful for support as office workers return and boost trade

As lockdown restrictions eased and many of the county's workers started to return to the office, there is one industry that has seen a big benefit.

Owner Steve Whittingham, and partner Abby Matthews, at The Happy Bap, Bishops Castle
Owner Steve Whittingham, and partner Abby Matthews, at The Happy Bap, Bishops Castle

Local cafes and quick-stop sandwich shops are the often the main place office workers stop to get lunch or a bite to eat on their lunch break. And as people return to office life, they are also helping to boost trade for many local eateries.

The Happy Bap in Bishop's Castle is a cafe and coffee shop on the town's high street.

Steve Whittingham, owner of The Happy Bap, said trade had been going brilliantly since they fully reopened, with support from the whole town behind them.

"We have been really busy every time we've opened," Steve said. "In fact, we've been so busy I'm actually completely out of stock now and have had to restock everything top open again in a few days.

"The business has been really, really good and well supported by the locals. During lockdown we did takeaway once a week and had speciality bread brought in from a baker's in Ludlow. That was really popular, it was great. Everyone has been so supportive.

"I also have been doing lots of baked goods which have been popular. That was during lockdown until May, then in June we did a couple of days open and also in July. August we have been open as normal.

"A lot of people are fine to sit inside and eat, but we have also got a lovely garden that has been done up so people can sit outside as well if they like."

The cafe is situated amongst many other independent shops and eateries that make up the south Shropshire market town of Bishop's Castle.

Steve said "it's just the way the town is," that everyone supports local shops and he added he was really grateful for residents' support since opening.

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