It is fair to say the standard of shops on offer in a local area has a huge impact on the community, and how people feel about an area. When there is an excellent range of boutique and interesting stores, people in the local area feel happier here.
There is also the fact that these stores bring people to the area, and this is likely to positively impact on the local property market too.
It has been a challenging time for local businesses, but one industry has performed well in the past year. Local baking is taking off, and this is reflected in the number of stores offering specialist items.
A lot of people have started baking more at home, but there are times when it is best left to the professionals.
There is dough to be made in the bakery business
Hampstead High Street has changed significantly over the past year. Several shops and restaurants have closed down, leaving empty premises dotted around the village – visible scars of the pandemic’s effect on local businesses.
Nicole Lanzman, a local bakery owner spoke to Ham& High, saying; “This is a Jewish bakery, and there’s a large Jewish community in the areas we have chosen to open in: Hampstead, West Hampstead, Belsize Park. If we were the same as Gail's or Paul's or any of the other ones on the High Street, we'd just be another bakery. If you look around, every single cafe and bakery is full of people. At the weekends there are queues.”
Tami Isaacs Pearce owns Karm Bread in South End Green and she also spoke with the Ham & High, saying; “There's always a little hype when a new bakery opens. I remember when the Heath Street Bakehouse opened, and that made me hold my breath initially, but there was no impact. And then Bread Ahead came with their doughnuts and, again, no change at all.”
Good people are working hard to earn a crust in the local area
Tami has raised concerns about the level of competition though, saying; “Now Ole & Steen has got there I reckon it's going to knock the socks off most of them there. If you go there now, you'll see where the queues are. Although Ole & Steen are a big chain, they haven't reached the suburbs yet. And I think Gail's has infiltrated everywhere, and it's becoming a bit Gregg's. Of course, I like what they do, I respect them, but I think that now it's just becoming a bit pedestrian. Their offer is good but it's the same same and it's just everywhere you look.”
Eleanor Ladjassa of Boulangerie Bon Matin said; “We’re incredibly passionate about what we do, and we spend a lot of time making sure that the quality of ingredients is really good. We’re really lucky that we’ve been so supported by the local community recently, and we have a team that knows our customers by name.”
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