The community has turned up to show their support for a much-loved Swindon sandwich shop due to close this week after being open for 31 years.

The owner of Prospect Place’s Baguette Bar has said that it will close its doors for the last time on Friday due to rising costs and fewer customers.

Rising energy and food bills, increased business rates and a reduced customer base since the coronavirus pandemic have made it harder to meet the shops’ outgoings.

Swindon Advertiser: Baguette Bar

Brenda Ronayne, 76, owner of the sandwich shop, said: “31 years is a long time. It’s a big part of the community and our lives.

“There’s only so much money you can take in in a shop this size, and it is not enough to match the outgoings.

“I am very likely to cry in a minute because the more I talk about it the worse it gets.”

Customers have told Brenda their memories of the shop: one woman remembered ordering a ham, but being too ill to come in to pick it up so Brenda sent it to her in a taxi with a few mince pies to cheer her up.

Brenda said: “She said she has never forgotten it. That must have been 15 years ago and she still remembers it, and her daughter still comes here. It is families who come here, not just the odd customer passing by.”

Swindon Advertiser: The owner has thanked the customers for continued support

The shop was originally opened as a convenience store by Brenda and her husband John, who loved baguettes having lived in France.

After John passed 21 years ago, Brenda has been running the shop on her own, currently with two staff, Lucy Hayes, 61, and Jo Osbourne, 48.

Brenda said: “It’s a lovely team, it’s a nice place to be and the people appreciate it. I cannot remember the last complaint we had.

“Lucy who works on the till is in bits every 10 minutes because everyone wants to talk about the closure. The two girls who work here love working together and love their jobs, so it is very upsetting”.

Their most popular sandwich is the chicken, cheese, chorizo and chipotle, which is known as the four Cs.

Brenda said the secret to their success is hard work, adding: “I want the food to be the way I want it to be.

“I don’t just sell anything to anyone and we’ve always stocked the best of everything. 

“But of course soon that will all be gone.”

The shop will be open until stocks last on Friday.