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Customers welcome Starbucks back to Grimsby as new plans for drive-thru store are revealed

Coffee lovers have welcomed the return of Starbucks to Grimsby's Freshney Place Shopping Centre.

Customers welcome Starbucks back to Grimsby as new plans for drive-thru store are revealed

A queue of customers formed outside the the new store before Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, councillor Ron Shepherd, cut the ribbon at 9am.

It marks the return of the American coffee giant to Grimsby after it left Freshney Place in 2013.

And it appears the business will increase its presence in North East Lincolnshire, with franchisee Alok Yadav unveiling plans to open a drive-thru Starbucks in the Grimsby area in the near future.

"The town is thriving and the coffee shops have always been busy here," Mr Yadav, franchisee and director at K Beverage Ltd said.

"Coffee is something we are really passionate about but it's not just about selling coffee.

"We will be supporting local charities and even though we have a big name behind us K Beverage Ltd is a small family-run business and it's about giving back to the community."

Between £250,000 and £300,000 has been invested into the new shop, which has taken the spot of the former Muffin Break near the empty BHS premises.

It has created 12 jobs, five of which are full-time and the remaining seven are part-time.

K Beverage Ltd opened their first store in February 2016 and they now run ten Starbucks across East Anglia and Lincolnshire.

And Mr Yadav said he hopes to open up to 40 Starbucks outlets over the next five years - including a drive-thru shop in the Grimsby area.

One of the first customers to sample a coffee was Councillor Shepherd.

"I think it's a fantastic investment in the shopping centre and I'm pretty confident that with the developments which are planned at Freshney Place there is going to be extra footfall coming through," the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire said.

"It's quite an honour to open a Starbucks and it does represent a huge investment for the town.

"It's a top brand and we should be encouraging more to come and have a look at what's on offer in the shopping centre. It's brighter and roomier than the last one and it has a more pleasant feel to it.

"My wife is a Starbucks fanatic and she likes the Toffee Nut Latte. I'm more of an Americano man myself."

The first 100 people to visit the store this morning were handed a free goody bag, containing chocolate and a re-usable tumbler, which entitles customers to 25p off their drink every time they use it.

Alf Jobling, 51, and Nicki Cowl, 38, were impressed with what they saw.

A supervisor at the former Starbucks in Freshney Place, Nicki said: "It's so exciting. I'm buzzing to have it back.

"I met Alf when I was serving and he was a customer so it's nice to see him sat here having a coffee.

"It was like a big family back then and I'm still in touch with the friends I made working there."

Nicki, who is now manager of the Freshney Place fragrance store Love Aroma, added: "The new Starbucks looks really nice.

"I will be very skint now it's back!"

It comes just two months after another Starbucks opened at Meridian Point, Cleethorpes.

Speaking previously about Starbucks' return to Grimsby, centre director at Freshney Place Amanda Austin, said: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming Starbucks to the centre.

"The café has a wonderful connection with customers from Grimsby and nearby areas so I’m sure our customers will be equally pleased to hear this wonderful news.”

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