LEADING Stroud figures have reacted to the closure of a new chip shop in the town centre.
The Valley Fryer – which opened just four months ago in Stroud – has shut permanently with the devastated owner blaming rising energy bills and industry costs.
It opened in Merrywalks as part of the Five Valleys Shopping Centre in January in what had been the former bus station kiosk next to Vue Cinema.
Owner Jordan Butler-Allen closed the business on Saturday, May 14 – just four months after opening.
“I am absolutely devastated,” he said.
“The rising costs within the industry mixed with the rising cost of energy have made building the business up incredibly hard.
“It has been a true pleasure to gain regular customers and be able to meet so many wonderful characters.
“As my first business it has been a learning curve I will not forget.”
Chairperson of Stroud Chamber of Commerce’s reaction
Commenting on the closure and cost of living crisis, Tony Davey, chairperson of Stroud Chamber of Commerce, warned of an ‘economic shockwave’ running throughout the country.
“Various cost rises, attributable to the Ukraine conflict, energy price rises, the pandemic and the continued impacts of Brexit are hitting businesses and the consumer,” he said.
“The current situation also highlights how fragile many of our supply chains and sources can be.
“There are indications that this is a shockwave and in that we hope for some stability soon that may help rebalance our economy.
“Without doubt it is a tough trading landscape at the moment – the message to keep using your local businesses to feed your local economy and secure local jobs is as important now as ever.”
Stroud’s Conservative MP Siobhan Baillie said there were ‘no quick fixes’ to the crisis.
“The loss of any local business is very sad news,” she said.
“I take time to speak to businesses each week to understand what they are experiencing.
“The cost of living is a major issue all over the country.
“With global forces at play, there are limited levers that any government in the world can pull to alleviate these cost pressures.
“We spent hundreds of billions of pounds supporting jobs and business during the pandemic so it is devastating to see businesses close and jobs lost after they worked so hard to survive the crisis.
“I maintain that the Government needs to be candid with people about the stark reality of what the UK and countries around the world are currently facing.
“There are sadly no quick fixes to the problems despite what some will claim.”
Five Valleys Shopping Centre’s reaction
Jessica Derham, Five Valleys Shopping Centre manager, said ‘multiple factors’ contributed to the shop’s closure.
“Multiple factors contributed towards the Valley Fryer winding up and we are saddened that the conclusion has been its closure,” she said.
“We wish Jordan well and trust that he has made the right decision for himself and his family.
“The Five Valleys Shopping Centre has celebrated the opening of the Choux Bun Appétit French pastry unit this week and further announcements on new businesses will be made soon.”