One of the most prominent food establishments in Torquay suddenly closed last weekend. Dot’s Pantry, the café/ bakery located in Union Street, is owned and ran by John Doherty, who stands as a Conservative in the Torbay Council election this week.
Doherty revealed that he and his family made the hard decision together in closing their café for non-payment of business rates sent in bailiffs by the Torbay Council. On Facebook, hundreds of locals and loyal customers reacted heartbreakingly as they heard the news that the café closed on Saturday.
The devastating fall of Torquay town centre’s footfall eight years ago was blamed by Doherty along with the Town Hall’s lack of leadership. He also stated that this year, the footfall took a nosedive of another 30 percent since the BUYology in the then BHS building closed.
The building will now be converted into a multiscreen cinema. Doherty announced the closure of his café via its official Facebook page to which hundreds of their followers reacted with grief.
Doherty was once an employee in the field of supermarket management on the Isles of Scilly. After his employment in a supermarket, Doherty decided to run a café in Union Street which he named after his beloved wife.
Among the people who aired out their disbelief of the café’s closure is Norman McNamara, the catalyst behind the Purple Angel Dementia Charity. He said that Doherty’s café is another victim of the high street decline. He also expressed his gratitude towards the café for its support to his charity program.
As of today, Doherty is busy in his campaign for a Conservative position in the Torbay Council. If he wins in the coming election, he vows to work in revitalising the centre and bring prosperity and more job opportunities. Over the past few years, the number of their local town centre’s retail jobs had drastically fallen which concerns him.