We’ve a wealth of experience

I write in response to comments made by Mr Paul Nightingale last week, regarding the proposed Jurassic Coast Interpretation Centre at Orcombe Point.

I feel that, if Mr Nightingale is going to champion himself as the pioneer of such a project, he needs to be in receipt of all of the facts before his opinion goes to print.

Under section five, he refers to Foxholes Cafe as being “so often closed”, in answer to a question posed about a possible relocation of a seasonal cafe.

I would like to point out to Mr Nightingale that Fortes at Foxholes opens its doors to locals and visitors, alike, in the month of February and says ‘au revoir’ to its customers in October (weather permitting).

This period of opening, for any seasonal business, would be considered a lengthy one by anyone’s standards. Indeed, many other seafront cafes choose not to open until Easter, as is their prerogative.

Fortes at Foxholes has been in the same family for 60 years and the business is now managed by the fourth generation of the Forte family. The family, prior to having the cafe at Foxholes, also owned Channel View and Harbour View Cafe (see attached photograph of my uncle, Guido Forte, taken circa 1959).

Therefore, the family, as business owners, have a wealth of experience and are more than familiar with the economics of running a seafront business in Exmouth. Outside of the months quoted, when the business is open, it is simply not financially viable.

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If Mr Nightingale’s wish is to front a project for the town, then he is due a certain amount of credit, but why he feels the need to dissect a thriving and long-serving business, which is not even situated in the vicinity of his proposed plan, is baffling.

In addition, as Mr Nightingale’s plan involves an area of outstanding natural beauty and will touch the lives of nearly all Exmouth residents, it is paramount that this new centre should be a creation by the people of Exmouth, not just the vision of one businessman.

Andy Heard

(via email).