A MOTHER and daughter team are amazed at the response to their new independent ice-cream parlour, Hooray's, which opened on Stratford High Street on Friday.
On their first day Sara and Sasha Young had people queuing outside waiting to be let in, and since then it has proved popular with passers-by.
Sasha, who is a partner in the business at only 22-years-old, has had to rope in her friends to help.
She told the Herald this week: “It’s gone really well. People don’t realise we are an independent, and then when they find out, everybody’s really supportive.”
As well as ice cream and sorbet homemade on the premises, there are waffles, crepes and coffees.
However, the feedback hasn’t been all positive, with some residents complaining about the expensive prices on the company’s Facebook page.
But they were defended by other customers who said the prices were necessary considering town centre business rates.
The mother-daughter team, who were both born in Warwickshire but lived in Zambia until Sasha was 18, said they were still “working everything out” and would look at their price structure before an official launch next month.
The return of high street independents is gathering momentum up and down the country, and Stratford is no different.
In Wood Street, 26-year-old Libby Simpson opened menswear shop New Idle earlier this month.
Having worked in town for three years at women’s fashion store, Aspire Style, she said: “I heard people all the time saying there was nowhere to shop for men, so I thought why not go for it.”
Admitting that expensive business rates were one of the hardest things for independent shop owners to manage, she said: “We’re just trying to get people through the door, because we have had such a good response from everyone that’s come in.”
Strada closing down
Back on High Street, it’s a different picture for Strada, a few doors down from Hooray’s.
The Italian restaurant confirmed this week that after bank holiday Monday they would be shutting their doors.
Strada is going to be replaced by a Thai restaurant called Giggling Squid, due to open just before Christmas.
Andy and Pranee Laurillard, the husband-and-wife owners of the small Thai chain, currently have six restaurants in the south of England, but have announced plans for three more, including one in Stratford.
Andy said: “We are prepared to encounter growing pains, but we will remain food-led rather than brand-led. It's all about getting the food right.”
Elsewhere, the town’s third Subway sandwich shop recently opened inside the visitor information centre in Bridgefoot.
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