ONE of the Ashbourne’s most prominent town centre cafes is closing this month after more than 100 years serving the town.
Spencers The Baker, which first opened its doors to serve refreshments in 1908, is handing over the keys of its Market Place shopfront to clothing retailer Fat Face, and will cease trading on Sunday, August 26.
The split-level cafe is part of a business run by the Spencer family which has been trading in Ashbourne since 1826.
Its directors, brothers Simon and James Spencer, have signed a leasing agreement for 35-39 Market Place over to clothing brand Fat Face.
The bakery situated behind the cafe, off Union Street, which supplies shops in and around Ashbourne, will continue to trade as normal and Simon, 51, and James, 50, say they may look for another retail outlet in the future.
Most of the cafe staff have found other jobs and a sister cafe in Wirksworth has been unaffected by the closure.
Simon Spencer, who is also deputy leader of Derbyshire County Council, admitted it was a “difficult decision”. He said: “I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the business and my family to thank all our loyal customers over the years and promise that they still buy our products in other parts of the town.
“I would also like to thank all our loyal and dedicated staff — we’ve had generations working here and they’ve all been loyal and very much valued members of the team who have made it the success that it is.
“The town has changed and people’s interests have changed and I believe that Fat Face will enhance the retail and the vitality in Ashbourne and bring another dimension to the town”.
A spokesman for Fat Face, which has more than 200 stores in the UK and Ireland said: “We are very excited about bringing Fat Face to Ashbourne. It’s a fantastic market town with so much potential, and we’re absolutely honoured to me moving into such an iconic building."