Laporte’s, proudly billed as offering the best breakfast in Lewes, has announced its shock imminent closure.
The café, in Lansdown Place, has blamed the fierce competition in the county town for its demise.
It was launched in 2006 by Tanya Laporte and her daughter Indianna Dabson with an eclectic mix of food, art and antiques.
A message from ‘Tanya, Indianna and Esmé’ to ‘dear loyal and valued customers’ explains the outlet’s problems.
It says: “It is with a heavy heart we wish to inform you that we shall be closing the doors to Laporte’s at the end of January.
“This is down to severe localised competition.
“We have had an incredible 11-year journey, one that we are immensely proud of.
“This journey has enabled us to live out our ethos of supporting local producers and by supporting us, you have supported them.
“We have made some wonderful friends along the way. Thank you for your tremendous support.”
Throughout January, the café will be selling off its furniture and equipment. The kitchen will only be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the week the café will still be serving coffee, cake and sandwiches.
The closure has provoked an outpouring of dismay on the Laporte’s Facebook page.
Yaz Norris posted: “I am so sorry to hear this guys. This must have been an incredibly difficult decision. Thank you for such fond memories in my first ever place of work – in your first café across the road!”
Jo Carter said: “So sorry to hear this. Took my discerning French in-laws to lots of Lewes cafés and restaurants and they voted the food in Laporte’s was simply the best. You will be missed.”
Nell Simmons posted: “That is so sad. It’s about time the independent businesses were given more support and the chain businesses were kept to a minimum.
“Give local business a helping hand.”