Costa Franchisee of the Year Award beggars belief

Costa obstructing the highway in Guildford

Costa obstructing the highway in Guildford

Bruno Costa regrets selling the company he founded and which bears his family name.

It is easy to see why. Costa has squired a well deserved reputation as a rogue corporation: muscling into towns unwanted, serving lousy coffee, poor working conditions, and less we forget, opening stores without planning consent.

What were Stuart and Lynn Montgomery named UK Franchisees of the Year for, opening two stores in Bristol, Whiteladies and Gloucester Road, without planning consent?

A Bristol councillor has said he is “astounded” by the award. Is this a green light to flout planning legislation? It would seem so when Costa grants awards to those who do.

It cannot even be claimed, they did not know what they were doing when they opened their Costa coffee shops without planning consent, as they made an application and were refused.

This is the second year in a row these two have received the award.

Green councillor Gus Hoyt was none too pleased:

I am quite astounded by this news. Costa are often accused of not caring about the communities they enter and here they are rewarding the man who caused such an upset on Gloucester Road.

Costa claim they add to the local high streets but in this case Mr Montgomery moved into a street with a great abundance of local and independent coffee shops. His shop will affect these business adversely.

If profit and a store on every street is their only motivator then at least they are honest in awarding Mr Montgomery as someone they look up to and treasure.

The people of Bristol in the localities where these franchisees operate have a very simple solution, Boycott Costa! The indie coffee shops in the area should implement the Costa (dis)Loyalty Card scheme and of course accept the Bristol Pound.

If nothing else it exposes as a liar Costa chief executive Chris Rogers following a recent visit to Totnes to hold discussions with the local Member of Parliament and opponents to Costa muscling their way into Totnes.

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