Cafe wars begin in Kettering today in a David v Goliath battle for coffee drinkers.
Kettering town centre is proving that it is full of beans with 13 cafes now open.
Independent coffee house Bewiched started business in the High Street on Wednesday, August 29, and today will see hot drinks chain Costa Coffee open up next door.
Matt Fountain, owner of Bewiched, said: “People have said we are mad opening up a shop next door to Costa but I’m looking forward to them opening.
“We will offer a quality alternative to Costa in terms of quality, ambience and seating.
“I think it will drive a lot of people down to this side of town for coffee and we can offer them a good alternative.
“We’ve had two years in ironing out the details in making the perfect cup of coffee.
“Ultimately the cream will rise to the top and I feel our products will shine through.”
Bewiched, which only opened its sister store in Wellingborough 18 months ago, also serves hot food such as paninis as well as sandwiches.
Costa Coffee announced plans to open up its second outlet in Kettering several months ago.
The chain’s new unit in High Street complements another Costa in Gold Street.
Hussain Dadabohy, who will be running the shop as a franchise partner of Costa, said: “The existing shop in town is very busy and at peak periods we have people walking out because there is no room for them to sit down.
“We feel there is demand for another Costa and it will attract a slightly different customer base as it’s the other end of town.
“We don’t see Bewiched next door as competition.
“We offer different products and ultimately it’s down to the customer what they prefer.”
Mr Dadabohy said that an agreement is in place to have outdoor seating at the High Street Costa.
This year has also seen the opening of two other coffee shops in town – JavaJava next to the library and Cransley Hospice’s cafe in Horsemarket.
Mr Fountain said business has been good so far at his Kettering branch of Bewiched, which employs five people.
He said: “Perhaps it is because we’re on the High Street, but we’re seeing on average about 200 people through our doors in Kettering – we only get about 80 a day in Wellingborough.”