Cake shop to move out of Oxford’s Covered Market

Peter Trimming Burger and chips cake at The Cake ShopPeter Trimming

The Cake Shop’s designs include very realistic recreations

The owners of a much-loved cake shop inside a historic indoor market say they are having to move out because the location is no longer viable.

The Cake Shop is to move from the Covered Market in Oxford to new premises in the town of Witney.

In a statement it said the site “does not offer traders of our type the same benefits as it did in years past”.

Oxford City Council said it was sorry to see the shop go but was searching for a trader “offering a similar use”.

Tom Bridgman, executive director of development, said: “They have been very popular and there was always a crowd pressed up against the window to see their artistry.”

The Covered Market has been operating for more than 200 years in a building dating back to the 1770s.

Oxford City Council Covered MarketOxford City Council

Oxford City Council said footfall in the market was increasing

But The Cake Shop, which launched in 1986, said it had “experienced problems with access, challenges around the zero emissions zone, excessive structural issues and high levels of rent relative to footfall”.

“Unfortunately, this part of Oxford no longer represents good value for money,” it claimed.

“Whilst the council may claim footfall is strong, this is falsely representative for businesses of our nature.

“It is evident to us that the footfall in the market is driven towards to the take-and-go food vendors or cafe type businesses.

“The council masterplan is driving away many of the original traditional vendors.”

It said the authority had not been a “tremendously supportive partner” in finding a solution to keep the shop there, and had shown a “lack of compassion or genuine concern for traders in general”.

It added that while it felt “let down”, it would “always feel part of the rich history” of the market.

Super-detailed

Mr Bridgman said: “The owner has told us that they want to consolidate their businesses and move into larger premises in Witney.

“We really wanted the The Cake Shop to stay in the Covered Market, but, sadly, we don’t have a unit large enough for their needs.

“We are pleased that they are staying in Oxfordshire and wish them all the best for the future.

“We are already searching for a new trader, including those offering a similar use, to fill the gap and join the Covered Market family.”

Council statistics show the market had 600,774 visitors in the first two months of 2024, compared to 543,161 in 2019.

Sushi Bowl, the Hamblin Snack Bar, Il Corno, Crystal Spirit Emporium, and OxUnBoxed, have recently opened there.

The Cake Shop’s new premises will include a dedicated consultation area, and a space to watch the team create its cakes.

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