Salhouse cafe battle reaches boiling point as one owner announces business will be closing
- Credit: Archant
It is a seemingly peaceful village situated on the edge of the Norfolk Broads.
But for almost two years a battle for customers between two neighbouring cafes in Salhouse has been quietly brewing away.
And with a third now planned to open a few hundred metres up the road on Slad Lane, the issue has reached boiling point.
Now, Kerry Radley, who owns Radley's on Lower Street, has announced she will be closing her business this year due to a drop in trade.
The 44-year-old claims it has suffered ever since a second cafe, called Prima Rosa, opened next door-but-one.
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Miss Radley said she had also been 'trolled' online with fake reviews and has had her shop sign near Salhouse Broad smeared in faeces.
'I wanted to create something for the village where people can get to know each other, but the community just doesn't use it,' she said.
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'And Prima Rosa has taken a lot of my summer trade because it is the first stop for people visiting from the broad.
'It has been soul destroying to be honest.'
Miss Radley said she had invested £75,000 into the business, which also serves as the village shop and Post Office.
The mother-of-three said she opened in August 2014 in a bid to restore some of the amenities the village had been lacking.
But months later in May 2015, Salhouse parish councillor Martin Nudd and his wife opened up their own tearoom metres away.
Mr Nudd said they had 'no idea' of Miss Radley's plans when they put their bid in for the site in April 2014.
He added: 'We are two completely different shops and I think we both attract people to the village, albeit we both sell coffee.
'It will be a great shame to lose the Post Office.'
Mr Nudd said his concern was now with a third tearoom which has been planned for a cottage near Salhouse Broad.
The new cafe, proposed by the Woodbastwick Estate, was given the green light to go-ahead following an appeal last month.
Mr Nudd added: 'They were initially going to start with 32 covers, but that has increased to 68 covers. Their aim is to capture everyone from the campsite and the broad.'
The Woodbastwick Estate was approached for comment, but did not respond to calls.