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'Support your local shops'- bakery boss's message to public

PUBLISHED: 10:30 18 January 2020

Sally Gooding (left), Kelly Dent, Susan Gooding-Lewis (centre), Carol McComas, Janine McPherson. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Sally Gooding (left), Kelly Dent, Susan Gooding-Lewis (centre), Carol McComas, Janine McPherson. Picture: Sarah Hussain

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The owner of a Norfolk bakery is encouraging the public to support their local shops warning people that "once they're gone, they're gone."

The bakery on Railway Road in Downham Market has been running for more than 100 years. Picture: Sarah HussainThe bakery on Railway Road in Downham Market has been running for more than 100 years. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Susan Gooding-Lewis, 50, manager of KniCat Bakery Ltd on Railway Road in Downham Market is asking people not to forget small independent shops.

The business owner, who bought the bakery in 2000, started work in confectionary after finishing school and has since worked her way to the top.

After 20 years of running the shop she has said business has been unpredictable in recent years and customers are not as loyal as they used to be.

The mother-of-two said: "Business is very up and down.

Customers from as far as Norwich travel to the bakery for its bread. Picture: Sarah HussainCustomers from as far as Norwich travel to the bakery for its bread. Picture: Sarah Hussain

"It's quite sad, because over the last few years a lot of the old and regular customers have passed on.

"Years ago you could plan out every day because it was the same old but now it's a guessing game.

"It can be quite stressful and we seem to be working harder now.

"It's hard to get holiday times but you get on with it, you have to really.

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"Not many small bakery businesses are around anymore because the supermarkets are taking over, but we're still getting on."

Customers vary every week but the shop can see up to 140 people visit a day.

Despite the changes over the years the bakery still receives regular customers with some travelling as far as Norwich.

Mrs Gooding-Lewis said: "We get a great lot of regular customers, they're brilliant.

"We don't want to let them down.

"I'd say to people, don't forget your local shops, keep supporting them. Because once they're gone, they're gone.

"We're always here and we try to supply everything that you need."

The traditional family-run bakery, which employs 13 members of staff, uses local suppliers to make their food and delivers to neighbouring towns and villages such as Munford, Southery and Wisbech.

The most popular sells are the multi-seed breads, long sandwiches, bread pudding, carrot cake, apple and fruit puffs and various pies.

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