A POPULAR Southsea patisserie is to close its doors today after 16 years of business.
Heidi’s of Palmerston Road is serving customers for the last time after the branch announced earlier this week that it is closing after the landlord upped the rent for the stop.
The branch – which is very popular with locals across Southsea – is providing a comments book for customers to leave their thoughts on its departure in-store.
Alison Loughton, manager of the branch said: ‘It is a very sad day for us today as it is unfortunately our last day.
‘There have been tears over the last few days as some of our customers who have been coming here for as long as 15 years have popped in to say goodbye. It has been emotional for us.’
Ms Loughton said the staff have known about the closure for some time and a sign went up on Tuesday notifying customers about the decision.
She said: ‘We were hoping to renegotiate with the landlord but the rent’s going up on the lease which is also about to expire so the decision was sadly made to close the store.
‘We have had such lovely messages from people coming in to the store and in the comments book. This place has always been about the community and acting as a place where people can rely on as a meeting spot.’
The branch employs three full-time staff and seven part-time staff.
While the Southsea branch is closing down, Heidi’s has nine other shops still going in Drayton, Cosham, Cowplain, Emsworth, Havant, Hayling Island, Petersfield and Alresford.
Ms Loughton added: ‘This place has always been special because of the relationship we have built with the customers. Regulars would come in and we would already know what they were having before they walked through the door.
‘I will definitely miss my job here as it has been brilliant working with the people here and the community. We want to thank all our customers for coming to us over the years. We have had some laughs and we have had some tears so thank you for your support as you are the people that have kept this shop open for the last 16 years.’