City centre quieter due to work from home order

Owner Maggie Christensen inside the new Frå.kost bakery and café.

Owner Maggie Christensen inside the new Frå.kost bakery and café. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Coffee shops have been among the first to suffer from the government's latest work form home order. 

From Monday office staff have been told not to mix in a bid to stem the new wave of coronavirus. 

But many city businesses rely on workers being in the centre.

Maggie Christensen owns Frå.kost which is a tradition Danish bakery offering food and drink suitable for vegans. 

She said: “I have already experienced a drop in footfall.”  

Maggie Christensen outside Frå.kost in St Augustines Gate. 

Maggie Christensen outside Frå.kost in St Augustines Gate. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Though she says the drop has been apparent since the start of December. 

“I put it down to people being focussed more on their Christmas shopping,” she said.  

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Maggie is opting to stay safe and follow the rules now to avoid any further lockdowns.  

Fra.kost will serve authentic homemade Danish pastries which are suitable for vegans. 

Fra.kost will serve authentic homemade Danish pastries which are suitable for vegans. - Credit: Maggie Christensen

She added: “Whatever is going to happen, I just have to find a way to make it work.”  

Mercedes Hood, owner of Aroma near Norwich Cathedral, believes the business' prime location has so far been key.  

Mercedes Hood (centre) and Aroma team are all wearing masks and are double jabbed. 

Mercedes Hood (centre) and Aroma team are all wearing masks and are double jabbed. - Credit: Mercedes Hood

She said: “We are still not quite at pre-Covid Christmas trade levels.

“The majority of our customers are coming in wearing a mask without needing any prompting. 

“We are all double vaccinated at Aroma but it is a judgement free zone."

Aroma are not judging peoples jab choices, just offering a friendly and safe service. 

Aroma are not judging peoples jab choices, just offering a friendly and safe service. - Credit: Mercedes Hood

She added: “The only choice we are asking people to make is ‘mince pie or cinnamon bun with that coffee?’  

“People are welcome to sit inside just as before but everything we sell is easy and quick to take away and eat on a stroll through the open air at the Cathedral.”  

Aroma serves coffee and pastries in a prime city location and has not seen a major drop in trade as yet. 

Aroma serves coffee and pastries in a prime city location and has not seen a major drop in trade as yet. - Credit: Mercedes Hood

But it was not just cafes reporting slower trade.

Popular destinations such as Gentleman's Walk and Castle Quarter were visibly down in numbers.

Nicci Vandoran, of the Disposables Bar in the Castle Quarter, was among those who noticed a quiet Monday morning.

"I came in on the bus from Great Yarmouth and it was empty," she said.

"It was very quiet in the mall up until 12.30pm considering we are only two weeks away from Christmas."

Charlene Cary, of Cary's Flowers in the market, said her journey to work was a lot less stressful with fewer commuters.

"We came from Cromer Road and it was so quiet," she said.

"Normally if we set off at 7.45am we are struggling to get the school run on time for 8.30am.

"But today I left at 8am and got to the school at 8.20am."

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