Bank holiday trade boom for Ottery

PUBLISHED: 13:51 18 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:58 18 June 2010

A GLORIOUS Bank Holiday weekend meant booming business for Ottery traders who are hopeful a vibrant summer will keep the town s economy healthy.

A GLORIOUS Bank Holiday weekend meant booming business for Ottery traders who are hopeful a vibrant summer will keep the town's economy healthy.

More than £63million was spent across Devon over the four-day Easter break and tourism bosses estimated around 570,000 "staying visitors" descended upon the region- and some of Ottery's shops, restaurants and hotels told the Herald they reaped the benefits.

On Saturday shoppers were left queuing up outside Wendy's Greengrocers in Jesu Street. Owner of 27 years Chris Wade was happy to see a busy town-centre and feels Ottery's local trade is in good shape.

He said: "Its was nice to see the town busy and people shopping locally- more like the old days."

"We have our regulars but there were a lot of strange faces- a bus driver even told me he was bringing people in from Sidmouth and Honiton."

"To be honest it is like that (busy) all the time. People like local produce- we are picking up a lot of trade and it is for that reason- you only have to look at other businesses like the local butchers- more emphasis on food miles these days than anything else."

New restaurant and soon to be bead and breakfast, Stafford House in Cornhill got a perfect welcome as hungry customers filled to capacity four nights running.

Owner Catherine Mover said: "We had to turn people away. I wasn't expecting it and had to go and buy new stock on Saturday morning.

"We had a full house Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and after a soft opening over the last few weeks were definitely pushed to our limits- it was certainly quite a nice welcome."

The rush is now on for Catherine to get the premises bed and breakfast up and running for what promises to be a busy summer.

She said: "It has to be sorted by second week of May we have bookings and June is filling up fast."

Owners of East Hill's Mazzard Farm Holiday Cottages, in its first full year, also had to turn away customers. The business is now "pretty much" fully booked until the end of September according to its owners.

Ottery Tourist information manager Phyllis Baxter said it was a "glorious Easter weekend for everybody".


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