A cake shop is closing after more than 30 years in Portsmouth

A SMALL business is closing down after over 30 years as the owner has struggled to compete with big online businesses.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 1:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:46 pm

Celia Austin, is shutting up her shop Capital Cake Craft on Kingston Road in Buckland for the last time on Friday, January 31.

She said: 'I've been in business for so long and it’s just been getting worse and worse. It’s become impossible to keep up with big businesses.

'Even larger stores are struggling and at 82 it’s time to retire.'

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Celia Austin, 82, is closing her shop, Capital Cake Craft after over 30 years in business Picture: Habibur Rahman

The 82-year-old was born in Portsmouth but spent a lot of her time as a young adult moving around the country with her husband who was in the Royal Air Force.

She eventually moved back to Portsmouth from Oxfordshire with her two children Hayley and Jason after her marriage broke down.

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She said: 'I was devastated, I had no money, I spoke to my children about what to do and we decided to move back to Portsmouth to spend more time with my family.

Celia Austin in her shop Picture: Habibur Rahman

'Me and my sister went for a drink in the pub and she suggested that we start a business together.

'My sister was great at making cakes and I was great at customer services. So we opened up two shops.'

She said she doesn’t remember the exact year they opened the doors, but it was well over 30 years ago.

The shop sold cake-making accessories and decorations such as, ribbon, figurines and glitter for home cake decorators.

Celia's shop was originally a part of the Tricorn Centre, before eventually moving to North End after the site was demolished in 2004.

While talking about the imminent closure of her store Celia held back the tears and said: 'it will be a sad day.

'It’s the end of an era, but I've had a good innings.

'I have really great customers, some lovely ladies come in and everyone is really sad we're leaving.'

The shop-owner said that she hadn't spent much time thinking about her retirement as she has been clearing the store, but will be going for weekend breaks with her sister, and saving up so she can go and visit her daughter in Canada.