Spar Eat 17 Whitstable, Kent

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Last July Eat 17 opened its third store - the first outside of its East London heartland - in the affluent Kent coastal town of Whitstable. The store was welcomed with open arms, having secured the jobs of 12 existing staff, including store manager Sam Cornelius (pictured), who had worked in the store in its previous incarnation as an M Local. While the building itself is largely the same, Eat 17 spent £70,000 on window graphics, freezers and a deli counter to ensure the store is every bit as stylish as its big city counterparts.

Theatrical touches

East 17 Whitstable

The jewel in Eat 17 Whitstable’s crown, the deli, serves a selection of toasties, sandwiches and salads, as well as local meats and cheeses.

East 17 Whitstable

Small and local suppliers are frequently invited to run tasting sessions in-store

East 17 Whitstable

The base of the seafood chiller is adorned with beach pebbles and a mini deck chair.

A counter at the store entrance displays a mouth-watering selection of cakes from the local baker.

Another display stand is piled high with the new Eat 17 Bacon Jam cook books and chutneys, so customers are in no doubt as to where they are.

The brand is also visible on customised wallpaper and window vinyls, with the store owners represented in cartoon format and featuring the firm’s “not your average store” slogan.

Specialising in specialist

East 17 Whitstable

Eat 17 outlets are probably the only c-stores in the UK that have more facings of Buddha water than Coca-Cola! Chosan Hibiscus drink, Karma Cola or BLK: Alkaline water are just some of the inspiring beverages on sale.

East 17 Whitstable

Niche organic, gluten-free and veggie lines appear across all categories as well as on a dedicated Free from section.

The store stocks 2,800 SKUs, including 1,800 local and regional lines from 30-40 local suppliers, and hundreds of small suppliers to boot.

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