Many readers will remember Longs the Bakers in the High Street. They had a small cafe on the first floor. It was a popular meeting place in World War Two and despite the strict rationing there was always a cup of tea and a cake of some sort to enjoy.
The business was well established by 1930 and was still going strong as late as 1990. I can only guess that it’s demise came because there was a dwindling number of customers because the new Supermarket scooped up a big percentage of bread sales.
Webbs were also large bread producers in the years before and after the war, they sadly also stopped trading as a result of the new supermarket and because, at the same time, the limited parking in front of their Cinque Ports Street shop was changed into a no parking zone at the same time.
There was a time, around the beginning of the new millennium, when there was no bread baked in Rye at all.
Things have changed now. The Rye Bakery with their Poppy’s Cafe, Shop & Patisserie in the High Street, opposite where Longs used to be sells fresh baked bread, hot from the ovens at the Atlas Business Park where they have a state of the art bakehouse.
The Jempson Brothers have taken over Budgens (how good it is to see the two young Jempson Brothers taking on the multiples) they are gradually changing the store to meet local needs. Bread baked in the Peasmarsh Bakery is finding its way onto the shelves and their bread is also to be found at Jempson’s Bread & Cake Shop, with cafe attached, on the corner of Cinque Ports Street and Market Road.
It’s nice to have choice again. Rye has overcome many setbacks in the past but to see small signs, despite the current recession, that the High Street is holding its ground is reassuring. It seemed we were about to lose Ashbee the Butcher but I am told the future of this, one of Rye’s oldest surviving businesses, is assured.
I’ll meet you in Longs has now become, I’ll meet you in Jempsons, or Poppy’s.