The owner of a popular independent Liverpool cafe says he fears for the future of his business in the face of rising costs and increased competition from global chains.
A number of Liverpool independents have faced closure in the past year on account of the soaring prices of rent, electricity and supplies – and the treasured local Fika, on Woolton Road, is feeling the strain.
In a Facebook post, the cafe said it had been forced to reduce opening times and revealed it was “disheartening when you see queues around the car park at Costa and Starbucks”.
The statement was supported by upset commenters, one who replied: “What hope is there for small independent businesses today?” and another commenting, “Costa and Starbucks should be obsolete!”
Owner Anthony Grice told MerseyNewsLive: “I fear what the future may hold.
“We are fighting a losing battle against the major franchises in the city.”
His worry is not unfounded, given that a company such as Starbucks is operating 18 locations just in Liverpool.
“The biggest challenge is definitely the price of electricity,” Anthony said.
“This has been a bigger crisis to hit our business, even more than the pandemic did.”
“We feel like we are running on a treadmill 90% of the time and it’s a day-to-day operation to keep the shop afloat.”
The news of a popular local business struggling to stay afloat has been particularly upsetting for customers given the work the cafe did to provide food packages for vulnerable people over the pandemic.
Anthony Grice’s work over the pandemic was so well appreciated that he was nominated for the National Award for Work in our Community.
In another act of generosity, on January 7 this year, Fika posted 5000 “messages of positivity” to homes across the city – offering a free coffee with the aim of reaching out to anyone who may be struggling in such financially challenging times.