Express & Star

Popular Black Country cafe and bakery to close due to cost-of-living crisis

The cost-of-living crisis has bitten hard for two Black Country independent businesses after they announced plans to close down.

The Reading Rooms and Bean and Baked are based at Pelsall Village Centre, but will cease trading on October 14. Photo: Google Street Map

The Reading Rooms and Bean and Baked in Pelsall have been part of the community since 2018, serving locally brewed coffee and a wide selection of food and baked goods at Pelsall Village Centre.

However, owner Laura Tarburton has made the decision to close down both services on Friday, October 14 after finding that the cost-of-living crisis had made running the businesses almost impossible.

In a post on the Reading Rooms Facebook page, Ms Tarburton said the businesses were still recovering from the last two years and had been dealt a final blow by the current crisis, with cakes becoming "extortionate" to bake.

She said: "It is with a very heavy heart that I find myself announcing the closure of The Reading Rooms and Bean and Baked.

"Despite recent restructuring, the businesses, which are still recovering from the events of recent years are not in a position to move forward in the current climate we find ourselves in.

"You are all sick of hearing 'the cost of living' I am sure, but this was the final blow to the businesses.

"Our beautiful homemade cakes are becoming extortionate to bake, the cost of coffee has increased, two of our staples, eggs and butter, are increasing what feels like daily and what felt like a 'hiccup' has become an impossible environment for us."

Ms Tarburton also spoke of her own sadness at closing down, saying the Reading Rooms had been an important part of Pelsall and spoke highly of her staff.

She said: "Both I and all of the fantastic, talented, hard working and downright lovely staff are so very sad to announce this news.

"We know that The Reading Rooms in particular has been such an important part of Pelsall community.

"We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing your happiness, comforting you during your sadness, and serving blimmin' good coffee and cake for as long as we have.

"I know you all adore the staff, so please be assured that I will do everything possible to help where needed in finding them new employment. They are a wonderful and very highly skilled group of people."

Ms Tarburton said both businesses would be closing on Friday, October 14 and gave a final thank you for the support by the public.

She said: "We have reduced the Bean and Baked website offering at to just afternoon tea, brownie boxes and cake boxes so if you would like a final fix or to support us, we are taking orders right up to the 14th for local delivery and collection.

"If you do have gift vouchers you can use them up until the 14th on either the website (contact us) or to eat in or takeaway.

"There is not a refund option on vouchers regrettably so please do use them and if you have orders placed with us beyond 14th October we will be in touch this week.

"Thank you so, so much for your wonderful support over the years. We have loved serving you."