The Village Bakery in Combe Martin in danger of closing its doors
IT could be a gloomy Christmas for one Combe Martin business if its trade does not pick up.
The Village Bakery has been run by Keith Palmer for the last eight years but is in danger of shutting down.
This would result in Keith losing his home in the village and having to move away from the area.
The four staff he employs would also lose their jobs.
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Keith believes the business is going the same way as a lot of others in the area and says more needs to be done to stop shops such as his from suffering a similar fate.
He said the increase in people doing their food shopping online has drawn people away from local shops.
Parking meters installed on the street outside the shop has also put people off coming into the bakery, says Keith.
"A lot of it is since they put the meters in the High Street so people won't stop," he said. "People cannot be bothered if they have to stop there just to come in for a loaf of bread.
"We have had a bad summer with the Olympics and the rubbish weather.
"All the businesses in Combe Martin are struggling. It is a knock on effect made worse by the rise of internet shopping.
Keith has gone without pay for the last month. He believes more needs to be done by the parish council to support local businesses.
"You only have to look up the High Street to see how many houses are there that used to be shops. The village is more or less closed down.
"You would think the parish council would try doing something to drive the business in.
"All they are worried about is dog poo and whether the chairman wears their chains.
"If they don't get something happening in the village it is going to die."
Carol Holness, also known by her singer/songwriter name Nancy Nova, lives in Combe Martin and is a regular visitor to Keith's bakery.
She thinks more people need to support local shops to ensure their survival.
"We need to work together and not be swallowed up by the big places. It is sad, especially for a place like Combe Martin which has a lovely seaside.
"There is nothing better than going down the road and getting bread baked by your local bakery rather than something wrapped up in plastic from God knows where.
"I do a lot of travelling and when I am going away for a while I make my sandwiches with Keith's bread because I know it will last a few days."