A Market Rasen businesswoman who shut up shop on Saturday has slammed the town for not supporting its high street retailers.
Maria Pemberton took over West Wold Delicatessen in June 2013, when it traded as Greens of Lincolnshire. The deli had started as a community company in Portas Pilot initiative.
“It’s the old adage of lack of footfall. We have had some tremendous local customers but just not enough of them. With market forces as they are, the business is not financially sustainable. We are very disappointed, especially after the revamp (in August),” Maria complained.
“We thought we were giving Market Rasen something that they wanted. We have had a lot of customers saying they are disappointed. A lot of others have said ‘I am sorry you are closing’ but you never see them. Maybe if they supported us, we would still be going,” she said.
Maria says it was a ‘difficult decision’ to close but as a mum of three young children she had to consider the sacrifice of keeping the business.
MR BIG had helped her run the business, including the ‘transition’ from Greens to West Wold.
“Sadly, I lay the blame fairly and squarely on the residents of Market Rasen,” Maria said.
She explained many Rasen residents who work in Lincoln, Scunthorpe or Grimsby will shop there and those who don’t out of town will shop at the towns supermarkets.
“I have spoken to other shopkeepers. They are very disappointed. They say ‘that’s another nail in the coffin of the high street’, I feel sorry for the directors of MR BIG. All the townspeople want to do is criticise rather than support the high street,” she added.
The deli closure follows the recent departures of the Isn’t She Lovely clothing store and Fagins Collectibles.
Maria has already returned to her old job as a paramedic.