Bakery owners moot market switch as High Street saviour

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THE proprietors of Brydon’s Bakery Restaurant say the best present they could receive to celebrate 20 years in business would be the moving of the Saturday market.

The owners of the iconic cafe have been the toast of their customers and also the Scottish Parliament, after MSP John Lamont lodged a motion to honour a century of trading for the business on the High Street.

But although it continues to be a mainstay of the town, owners Nick and Jackie Powolny say the changing face of Hawick has brought alot of difficult challenges.

“It’s been tough, and we’ve had to diversify almost every year,” admitted Nick.

In 1993, Mr Powolny says there was only the Green Cafe and Nardini’s to compete with, but explained: “There is so much more choice with the likes of Sarah’s, Sonia’s, Sergio’s, Beanscene, Wetherspoon’s and Subway. And there were no baguette shops.”

Indeed, Jackie says they’ve had to keep adapting to survive, commenting: “You would never have done a takeaway coffee 20 years ago, we have to keep making changes, like moving couches in last year.”

And over the years the Powolnys have watched footfall in the High Street steadily dropping, with the closure of mills such as Glenmac resulting in no benefit to remaining open past 4pm.

But although Brydon’s still remains popular with its loyal customers and boasts a successful outside catering business, there is one aspect of life in Hawick which they say should change for the better. “I think the Saturday market should be on the High Street,” Nick asserted. “If we were hit with the people that go to the market, we would get the hustle and bustle of a Saturday morning, and it would be more vibrant.”

And although they’re still going strong after 20 years, Jackie added: “It would be the single biggest step towards saving Hawick High Street.”