Published: 13:16, 12 October 2018
| Updated: 14:16, 12 October 2018
A popular coffee and bicycle shop in Folkestone town centre has been plunged into administration, it is understood.
Ben Bartlett’s 13CC in Rendezvous Street, also home to vegan cafe Sister Seitan, closed its doors for business today.
Josh Wakeling, who for two years ran the bicycle repair shop upstairs, said: “We are shutting up as of today.
“It has been a bit of a shock to everyone here, there are about four members of staff.
“With everything that’s gone on I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do next, I might try something different - I might continue this business from a new venue.”
Mr Wakeling added the venue is a key meeting place for cyclist, including Folkestone Velo Club who turn up by the dozens on Sunday mornings.
Company director Benjamin Bartlett has been contacted for comment.
"We are eternally grateful for your custom and support during the last five months..." - Sister Seitan spokesman
Sister Seitan, co-owned by Renata Brightman and Samantha Fairclough, took over the ground floor earlier this year peddling vegan fast food and typical coffee shop fare.
The closure, which comes with a “heavy heart” has left those at the firm “furious”, a spokesman said.
"It is with heavy hearts that we have to inform you that as of today we are no longer trading at our Rendezvous Street, Folkestone location.
"Yesterday with no warning and only 24 hours notice, we were told that our landlords at 13cc have gone into immediate administration and that we had until today to clear out the cafe.
"We are furious for ourselves, for our staff and for our customers.
"Our whole team has worked so hard to establish us on the Folkestone cafe and food scene and found us fame Vegan and non-Vegan alike.
"We are eternally grateful for your custom and support during the last five months," they said in a Facebook statement.
In a twist of fortune the duo has already been booked for a pop-up event at Folkestone Quarterhouse next weekend, they added.
Since the announcement ex-customers and well-wishers told of their disappointment.
Cathy White said: "This is so sad.
“I’m so sorry for you guys but I know you’ll bounce back with smiles on your faces and will be even more successful. Better things are on their way.
Tom Fox said: "This is horrible news! Best food by the best people. Here’s hoping you find a resolution soon.”
The venue offered bike repairs and rentals, held various workshops alongside selling food and drink.
Rated five stars on Google, testimonies tell of the company’s fast and reliable service.
Annette Nixon wrote: “Fantastic customer service and very professional fitting.
“Josh was very knowledgeable and was able to explain technical terms at my very basic level.”