A fourth-generation baker’s shop that has served Market Rasen since the 1920s has closed its doors for the final time.
J H Starbuck Ltd in Union Street has been a stalwart of the town’s ever-changing high street with a base of loyal customers.
But, owner Richard Starbuck says Rasen has ‘gone downhill’ in recent years and the introduction of car parking charges has hit his footfall.
Speaking about the decision to close, Mr Starbuck told the Rasen Mail: “It’s just generally something that we’ve looked at on and off for the last five or six years.
“The town has gone downhill, as such.
“If you look at the change with having paid car parking, that’s another thing that’s affected us.
“The shop needs some funds spent on it.
“It’s been 25 years since we had a big spend on the shop.
“I personally believe it looked a little tired.
“Because of the demise of Market Rasen as a shopping centre, does it warrant spending £100-150,000 doing it up, with all the refrigeration it takes?
“It’s not something that’s been a kneejerk reaction.”
Mr Starbuck said the bakery side will remain open and his products will still be available in the town’s Premier Store, Rose and Berries and Lancaster Butchers.
The business also still has shops elsewhere in Lincolnshire.
Mr Starbuck said: “It’s not that there’s no presence of products on the high street.
“My business is based in Market Rasen but not reliant on Market Rasen.
“The business isn’t closing down, it’s a matter of being cost effective for the overall running of the business. “We need a change ultimately, we’ve got to do what’s right for the business.
“Rasen has changed unfortunately.
“Our customers have been good, they all have a similar opinion of Market Rasen.
“My customers are used to products coming straight out of the bakery and that’s still how I want to represent my business in Market Rasen.
“The products going into the outlets will be bakery fresh.
“We’ve loyal and fantastic customers and we’re still excited and looking forward to the future.”