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Owner Ian Jepson and his team will be spreading seasonal cheer and offering free teas, coffees, butties and ‘plenty of mince pies’ to anyone who wants to call in.
“As we always say, it doesn’t matter if people are regular visitors or on their own at a loose end and fancy popping in to say hello,” Ian says. “We’ll be open between 9.30am and 12 noon.”
He adds: “I started the tradition when I first took over Coast and I don’t think we’ll ever consider not doing it.
“There’s always a really nice atmosphere and, yes of course, it’s rewarding for me and the rest of the staff. But it’s also just a lovely way to start Christmas Day.”
Ian began opening Coast on Christmas Day because a lot of his customers are older and live alone.
And it’s become more and more popular as each year’s gone by, and especially during the pandemic.
“Last year we were pretty much full for the whole time. As one person left, another one arrived,” explains Ian. “There’s a real mixture of people who come in, from regulars who just want to say hello and Happy Christmas, and some we have never seen before, maybe who live alone and want to get out and see some other people on Christmas Day.
“The worst case scenario is that people have lost loved ones, or they might have had normal plans disrupted – which can happen now at the last minute. They may just want to do something a bit different.
“Some people don’t like Christmas because it might bring back bad memories, but whatever the reason, they can come here, have a chat and a catch up, and enjoy the happy atmosphere.”
More than £300 has already been collected to help Ian and Coast treat people at Christmas, and any money donated on the day will go to the Trussell Trust charity which works to stop hunger and food poverty in the UK, and provides emergency food and support for people who need it.
“And that, unfortunately, is needed more than ever too this year.”
Ian says: “We open up because we enjoy helping people out. We have done it for four years now and it feels more important than ever. Everyone who comes here on December 25 has a great time, and it’s our way of giving something back.”
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