An award-winning food shop has closed in Worthing - and this is why

The Sussex Produce Company in Goring Road, Goring. Picture: Beccy Cooper
The Sussex Produce Company in Goring Road, Goring. Picture: Beccy Cooper

An award-winning food shop has closed in Worthing - and this is why.

The Sussex Produce Company has closed its store in Goring Road, Goring, after 18 months at the site.

Owner Nick Hempleman said they had reached the break clause in their lease, at which point they would have to commit to five years at the premises.

But after feedback from customers, who complained about struggling to find parking spaces nearby, Nick said he had decided 'the location wasn't quite right' and was looking to move somewhere with better facilities, 'especially farm shop sites'.

Two sites were currently being considered, and he hoped to move 'as soon as possible' as the fixtures, fittings and refrigerators were all in storage.

He said: "I am sure there is a future for us in Worthing. The demographic is good, we've got a good customer base, the people are very nice and Worthing Borough Council has been very supportive.

"To our customers, I want to say thank you for all your support and you are obviously very welcome in our Steyning store and café, which is unaffected by this decision.

"If you know of anywhere suitable for us to move, drop us a line, and keep supporting independent shops and businesses out there - they are the lifeblood of the community."

Reacting to the news on her Facebook page, councillor Beccy Cooper said: "I'm so sorry to see The Sussex Produce Company on Goring Road closed for business.

"We have got to do more to help our high streets. Rents are astronomical and businesses just can't afford to keep going.

"On Goring Road, there is also an issue with parking - businesses have stated that there needs to be more one or two-hour parking slots, so customers from further afield, or with reduced mobility, can come and go.

"I will do my best to address this issue, and all the best to The Sussex Produce Company in future premises."

The Steyning-based company has been in operation since 2007, and was named Sussex Food Shop of the Year three times in the Sussex Food and Drink Awards. It specialises in local produce, from beer and bread to vegetables, meat, fish and ice cream.