Popular catering kiosk duo at Burnley park win temporary reprieve after customers come out in force to support them
A popular duo, who have gained an army of loyal customers at their park based catering kiosk, have been given a temporary reprieve after failing to win the tender to continue to operate the business.
Sisters Jean Holt and Joyce Finn have run the kiosk at the rotunda on Riverside car park in Towneley Park, Burnley, for the past 15 years. But the tender to continue to run the business was recently won by Park Life Cafes, the same firm that will be operating the park’s Stables café, once refurbishment work is completed.
The move left supporters of Joyce and Jean, whose business is called Caffeine Rush, crestfallen. A petition was launched by supporters to allow the duo to continue the run the kiosk.
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Burnley Council then announced that, with agreement from Park Life Cafes, the council had decided not to proceed with the transfer to Park Life Cafes because the company is concentrating on its refurbishment of the Stables café.
Coun. Sue Graham, the council’s executive member for resources and performance, said: “After listening to park users and the current operators the council has taken the decision to delay awarding the tender for this site until the autumn.
"This will allow the current operators an opportunity to re-tender and will ensure that the council still can demonstrate value for money.
“The rotunda has been successfully run for a number of years by the current operators and is much loved by those who use it.”
The petition in support of Pendle based Caffeine Rush was organised by Craig Holdsworth and Julie Bithell who are regular park users and volunteer marshalls with the popular Parkrun which is held there every week.
Craig said: "Jean and Joyce not only provide a service they are well loved by many people.
"They have been friendly faces for people who come to the park, especially over the past two years when many people have lost loved ones or going through tough times, and they open the kiosk for customers on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
"They are a great asset to the park with a lot of support behind them."
Craig said the petition had turned into a market research project which would be vital for when the sisters submit their new tender.
He added: "We have people in place who are willing to help them with the tender regarding the technical side of things."
A council spokesperson said: “The re-tendering process was carried out in a proper and efficient manner.
“The council is obliged to obtain best value, which means that similar opportunities are periodically tendered on the open market. The current operators won the concession on two occasions through the same tendering process.
“All the income that is received from catering operations in Towneley, together with car parking income, contributes to the maintenance of the park.”
“The council is continuing to work with Park Life Cafes, which is making a substantial investment in the Stables café and is looking forward to its re-opening in May.”