Councilor Letts leaves bitter taste in mouth of coffee house owners

METTRICKS Coffee House established a pop up store at the Bargate in the city centre, but have been overwhelmed by the amount of money they have been asked to pay. William Sancroft reports.

The owner of Mettricks, Spencer Bowman, whose business has another chain set up in the Old Town area of Southampton City Centre, posted an emotional message on the companies Facebook page.

The message took aim at the City Council Leader Simon Letts, and his support to give the corporation that owns the derelict Bargate Shopping Centre a business rates tax holiday for the next two years.

Run by the Mettricks family, their message is to bring better tea and coffee to our great city, using local, high quality meats and dairy products.

The long rant that Spencer put on Facebook was received with both anger and support from the general public, with some expressing their disbelief. Comments included “Our councils are beyond belief” and “Let the spirit of independence win!”

In a city where independent shops are hard to come by and independent coffee shops even harder, it is hard to swallow that even the council seem to be against small businesses prospering.

Councilor Letts did respond to the continuous emails from the public by saying that the matter would be reviewed by the end of the year when the lease on the store runs out.