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Harpers in Market Buildings, Maidstone, closes its doors for good

A married couple have spoken of their heartbreak after having to close their cafe in Maidstone.

Staff at Harpers served their last customers on Saturday.

Claudine and Nick Bedford, who owned Harpers
Claudine and Nick Bedford, who owned Harpers

As well as selling coffee and cake, the Market Buildings business stocked gifts and homeware.

In a statement owners Nick and Claudine Bedford said shutting was the only option, but they were proud of what they achieved in the past two-and-a-half years.

A post on the shop's Facebook page said: "It is with heavy hearts that Claudine and I have to announce that Harpers is now closed.

"This may have come as a shock, but behind the scenes multiple factors have forced us to make this extremely tough decision.

"As many of you know we bake everything ourselves. This means our days are extremely long and this has had a massive effect on family life.

"Whilst our love and passion for the business remains, we must now put our focus on family and creating a better balance.

Harpers shut its doors for good on Saturday
Harpers shut its doors for good on Saturday

"We have been up for sale since June and it was our hope that someone would continue with and grow this wonderful place but despite much interest, unfortunately this has not been the case, and this is now our last and only option.

"To say we are heartbroken is an understatement.

"For the last two-and-a -half years Claudine, myself and our fantastic team have put our heart and souls into Harpers and made massive sacrifices to make it into what it is today. We are so proud of what we have achieved.

"We would like to thank all our customers past and present for their support and commitment.

"One of the greatest pleasures about owning and running Harpers was all the people we have met along the way. It has been an absolute privilege.

"There are still some fantastic independent shops, coffee bars, cafes, restaurants and businesses in Maidstone.

"Please try to give them your custom, as we know first hand how important it is to them."

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