Historic ice cream cafe to shut up shop over winter for the first time in 90 years due to soaring bills
A historic ice cream cafe in mid-Wales has taken the decision to close for the winter for the first time in its 90-year history due to soaring bills.
Conti’s Lampeter said that they were taking the “unprecedented” decision as charging their customers the necessary prices to break even would be “embarrassing”.
The cafe was one of 17 opened in Wales in the 1930s by Artillio Conti who, at the age of 13, made the journey to Wales from near Parma in northern Italy.
The cafe is now under the stewardship of Jo Conti, who is the fourth generation of the Conti family.
In a message to their customers they said: “Due to the current economic climate, we at Conti’s Lampeter have taken the difficult, unprecedented, and demoralising decision to remain closed throughout this coming winter period. This is the first time we have had to do so in our 90-year history.
“As most of you will appreciate, we’ve always aimed to use local, high-quality ingredients for our offering. We are determined not to lower our standards to continue trading, that wouldn’t be a fair or proper direction to take.
“The cost of raw ingredients has skyrocketed. Charging our loyal customers the necessary exorbitant prices would be way too embarrassing and stressful.”
The message added that there are “also the massive increases in energy costs to consider”.
“Keeping the cafe warm and comfortable over the winter months would prove too costly, and nobody wants to sit in the cold!” they said.
“And let’s not mention the problem of persistent, recurring staff shortages!
“After many long discussions, we feel we cannot absorb all these extra charges, whilst remaining a profitable business. Conti’s Ice Cream will continue as before, and Conti’s Llanerchaeron will re-open in February.
“We hope you can see things from our point of view; perhaps understand and sympathise with our situation. Hopefully, the country’s current economic situation will improve soon, and we will all survive this biting recession.
“In which case, we will be waiting to welcome you back again with open arms and a lovely cup of coffee! Thank you for your understanding.”
A number of customers sent the cafe appreciative messages.
John Rees said: “Such sad news, Conti’s has been a corner stone of Lampeter for so many years. I began calling there in 1971 when waiting for a bus connection to Aberystwyth.”
Pauline Thomas said: ” Lampeter won’t be the same without Conti’s cafe on Harford Square. I really do hope that you see a future in the next few months.”
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