Bay Tree Café to close at Trowbridge Garden Centre
The Bay Tree Café is due to close on Saturday, July 29 after the Trowbridge Garden Centre decided not to renew its lease when it expires at the end of the month.
Instead, it plans to open their own café in the autumn as part of an ongoing investment to improve the garden centre on the Frome Road.
But some customers say this won’t work as they will miss the team behind the Bay Tree Café.
For some, the Bay Tree Café is one of the main reasons for visiting the garden centre, enabling them enjoy reasonably priced food and drinks while socialising with friends and relatives.
More than 220 have left comments on the café’s social media post, most expressing shock and sadness that it is being closed.
Many have vowed to boycott the garden centre, saying the café and its ‘lovely staff’ are their main reason for visiting.
Carol Warner, the owner of the Bay Tree Café, said: “We are devastated. Absolutely devastated. I have been here for 11 years after taking over the café in 2012.
“I employ nine staff, all of whom stand to lose their jobs unless I can find somewhere else, and I would take every one of them with me.
“I have had people coming in a crying when they found out that we are having to close. This place is not about the money, it’s about the people.
“Before taking on the café I was in the care sector for 17 years. I have had such lovely emails and messages from people who come here regularly.
“We take the time to talk to them. It is very sad. We are like a family here and we have such a great team.
“This has come as a huge shock to us all. However, we would like to thank all our valued customers for their friendships and support over the last 11 years and we will take away many good memories with us.”
Chris Wilde, general manager of Trowbridge Garden Centre, said: “The Bay Tree Café will be closing on these premises when its current license agreement expires at the end of July 2023.
“Trowbridge Garden Centre have been in consultation with the management of the Bay Tree Café since February this year.
“They have been informed that a new license agreement will not be available and that we would like to work together to minimise disruption to both businesses.
“During autumn 2023 a new café, with a fresh look will be opened under the direct management of Trowbridge Garden Centre. This is the latest phase in our development programme which has already seen a refurbishment of the retail areas.
“Everyone at the Garden Centre wishes to thank Carol and her team for all their hard work over the last 11 years and wish them every success with their future projects.”
He added: “The staff are employed by the Bay Tree Café, they have told us that they are looking to move to alternative premises, something which we have offered assistance with.
“While the staff are still employed by the Bay Tree Café it would be unfair for the garden centre to offer them alternative employment.
“If the Bay Tree Café does not move to alternative premises, then the garden centre will look favourably at applications by any of the existing team for employment; clearly the staff team are well liked by the customers and have lots to offer.”