Snubbed: Horwich café boss turns down visit from chancellor George Osborne 'because she is too busy with her regular customers'

Thyme Deli and Cafe owner Amanda Biggs

George Osborne in Horwich with prospective Bolton West Conservative candidate Chris Green

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , reporter

A CAFE owner turned down a visit from the chancellor of the exchequer — because she was too busy with her regular customers.

Amanda Biggs, owner of the Thyme Deli and Cafe in Horwich, was asked if she would host George Osborne on his whistlestop tour of the town today.

But she refused the invitation the day before the chancellor’s visit — because she did not want to lose out on the busy lunchtime rush or upset her regular customers.

An aide to Mr Osborne said that the chancellor understood the decision and that he will "definitely" try out the cafe on his next visit to the town.

Ms Biggs said: “They initially just told me it was a senior figure but didn’t tell me it was George Osborne.

"Even if they had it wouldn’t have made any difference.

"I had to tell them no because they wanted to reserve seating for 10 people at our busiest time.

“As a local business I didn’t want to tell my regular customers that they couldn’t come in because that wouldn’t be fair and wouldn’t be good for business.”

She stressed her decision had “absolutely nothing to do with politics”.

Ms Biggs added: “This was purely a business decision. If Mr Osborne had wanted to come and speak to me about my shop at a later time then that would have been fine — this wasn’t politically motivated and it certainly wasn’t a PR stunt for the shop.

“This is the same decision I would make every time.”


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Mr Osborne visited businesses in Winter Hey Lane to find out how the town’s economy is doing and to give his backing to Chris Green, the Conservative candidate for Bolton West at next year’s general election.

Despite not being able to stop for a coffee at Thyme Deli, the Tatton MP and his group called into Cafe Latte and Home Bakery.

Diane Farrimond, aged 50, who works in the shop, said: “We didn’t actually get to sit down with him because we were so busy running around serving people.

“I do think it is good that these politicians are visiting us. They should do it more but if I’m honest I don’t think his government is helping us.”

Mr Osborne also called into J Greeley Butchers.

Owner Duncan Greeley said: “I wasn’t star struck or anything - the chancellor is just a title — it makes no difference to me.

“Things are very tough for businesses like mine at the moment.”

An aide to the chancellor said: “We totally understand that because they are so busy at lunchtime they couldn't take a reservation for a meeting with local businesses.

"Next time George is in Bolton he will definitely try it out. He is on the side of all hardworking people who are running their own business."

Comments (29)

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5:05pm Thu 8 May 14

The Righteous One says...

Good for you

No politician, especially Gideon, should get in the way of normal business - the read and butter (pardon the pun) are any local lifeline!!!

And as Gideon is supposedly the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he should appreciate not to disturb local businesses at the most money making time, especially in these darkened times!
Good for you No politician, especially Gideon, should get in the way of normal business - the read and butter (pardon the pun) are any local lifeline!!! And as Gideon is supposedly the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he should appreciate not to disturb local businesses at the most money making time, especially in these darkened times! The Righteous One
  • Score: -3

5:51pm Thu 8 May 14

Keaw Yed says...

What about the potential free publicity from such a high profile visitor?
What about the potential free publicity from such a high profile visitor? Keaw Yed
  • Score: -53

6:03pm Thu 8 May 14

Lesmathes17 says...

Silly girl!!! Very short sighted. This isn't just publicity in the Bolton news but national publicity for small businesses.
Silly girl!!! Very short sighted. This isn't just publicity in the Bolton news but national publicity for small businesses. Lesmathes17
  • Score: -75

6:26pm Thu 8 May 14

Bilulek says...

What publicity? She's mentioned in Bolton News and most of the article is about her rather than the businesses he did go into. Plus with the current dislike for the conservatives and the government she will probably have more clients just because she said no to them. Well done. I will visit myself
What publicity? She's mentioned in Bolton News and most of the article is about her rather than the businesses he did go into. Plus with the current dislike for the conservatives and the government she will probably have more clients just because she said no to them. Well done. I will visit myself Bilulek
  • Score: 75

6:29pm Thu 8 May 14

Miltzy says...

Good for you. Who in their right mind would want Gideon paying a visit anyway!
Good for you. Who in their right mind would want Gideon paying a visit anyway! Miltzy
  • Score: 68

7:09pm Thu 8 May 14

The Righteous One says...

National publicity - a splash in the pan for 5 minutes and the shop would never have been named anyway!!!! They never are!

If anything she would have lost basically a days business with this visit and because of the person it was how many would then avoid the place, thus losing even more money

These sorts of visits are a poison chalice for any small business!
National publicity - a splash in the pan for 5 minutes and the shop would never have been named anyway!!!! They never are! If anything she would have lost basically a days business with this visit and because of the person it was how many would then avoid the place, thus losing even more money These sorts of visits are a poison chalice for any small business! The Righteous One
  • Score: -59

8:52pm Thu 8 May 14

aardwolf says...

Not much of a business woman! Epic fail.
Not much of a business woman! Epic fail. aardwolf
  • Score: -58

8:59pm Thu 8 May 14

merryhell1@hotmail.co.uk says...

aardwolf wrote:
Not much of a business woman! Epic fail.
Not a fail at all!!!....she got valuable free advertising without brown nosing an unwelcome visitor!!!
[quote][p][bold]aardwolf[/bold] wrote: Not much of a business woman! Epic fail.[/p][/quote]Not a fail at all!!!....she got valuable free advertising without brown nosing an unwelcome visitor!!! merryhell1@hotmail.co.uk
  • Score: 54

9:05pm Thu 8 May 14

Bazzerd says...

way to go for her...self important one off visitors who probably wernt paying...are not worth the one day refusal of your normal customers..who the eff do they think they are???..we are paying those useless twonks!!!...
way to go for her...self important one off visitors who probably wernt paying...are not worth the one day refusal of your normal customers..who the eff do they think they are???..we are paying those useless twonks!!!... Bazzerd
  • Score: 36

10:20pm Thu 8 May 14

questionairre says...

Just look at the minus results versus the plus and see how politically bias is.the readership on this web site is.

No wonder the local council can do what they want with such a blinkered electorate.

Go on give your minuses.
Just look at the minus results versus the plus and see how politically bias is.the readership on this web site is. No wonder the local council can do what they want with such a blinkered electorate. Go on give your minuses. questionairre
  • Score: -21

10:34pm Thu 8 May 14

candycrushruinedmylife says...

Well how rude you are OwdBolt - and wrong, I know the owner well and it certainly wasn't politically motivated, the answer would have been the same to anyone who would request to reserve tables without eating at the busiest time of the day for a Deli. As for the epic fail - the cafe that allowed them to take up their space barely even got a mention in the article, Thyme Deli meanwhile is getting some free publicity whilst not having to turn away regular customers due to the chaos that would have ensued. Turns out to have been an excellent business decision as far as I can see. A fabulous place to eat - you should all try it !
Well how rude you are OwdBolt - and wrong, I know the owner well and it certainly wasn't politically motivated, the answer would have been the same to anyone who would request to reserve tables without eating at the busiest time of the day for a Deli. As for the epic fail - the cafe that allowed them to take up their space barely even got a mention in the article, Thyme Deli meanwhile is getting some free publicity whilst not having to turn away regular customers due to the chaos that would have ensued. Turns out to have been an excellent business decision as far as I can see. A fabulous place to eat - you should all try it ! candycrushruinedmylife
  • Score: 32

10:36pm Thu 8 May 14

Bazzerd says...

questionairre wrote:
Just look at the minus results versus the plus and see how politically bias is.the readership on this web site is.

No wonder the local council can do what they want with such a blinkered electorate.

Go on give your minuses.
ok I had a quick gander...seems to thAT THE PEOPLE IN FAVOUR..IE PLUSSES ARE IN FAVOUR OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO HAVE A FREE CHOICE OF WHO THEY SERVE...WHILST THE NEGATIVES (- VOTERS)..SEEM TO BE RELIANT ON THE PRO GOVERNMENT AGENDA WHERE THEY LIKE TO BE TOLD/DICTATED TO BY THE SUITS WHO THINK THEY ARE SUPERIOR TO LOCAL CUSTOMERS.. in addition some people seem to think that because its a government employee..(paid with our taxes) that it'd be a good thing..she decided not..freedom of choice ..which is what its all about!..except for you obviously!
[quote][p][bold]questionairre[/bold] wrote: Just look at the minus results versus the plus and see how politically bias is.the readership on this web site is. No wonder the local council can do what they want with such a blinkered electorate. Go on give your minuses.[/p][/quote]ok I had a quick gander...seems to thAT THE PEOPLE IN FAVOUR..IE PLUSSES ARE IN FAVOUR OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO HAVE A FREE CHOICE OF WHO THEY SERVE...WHILST THE NEGATIVES (- VOTERS)..SEEM TO BE RELIANT ON THE PRO GOVERNMENT AGENDA WHERE THEY LIKE TO BE TOLD/DICTATED TO BY THE SUITS WHO THINK THEY ARE SUPERIOR TO LOCAL CUSTOMERS.. in addition some people seem to think that because its a government employee..(paid with our taxes) that it'd be a good thing..she decided not..freedom of choice ..which is what its all about!..except for you obviously! Bazzerd
  • Score: 21

10:42pm Thu 8 May 14

Bazzerd says...

questionairre wrote:
Just look at the minus results versus the plus and see how politically bias is.the readership on this web site is.

No wonder the local council can do what they want with such a blinkered electorate.

Go on give your minuses.
..cant even be bothered to give you a minus vote for your ridiculous sheeple view (look up sheeple)...open your mind to other possibilities!
peace.

BaZZa
[quote][p][bold]questionairre[/bold] wrote: Just look at the minus results versus the plus and see how politically bias is.the readership on this web site is. No wonder the local council can do what they want with such a blinkered electorate. Go on give your minuses.[/p][/quote]..cant even be bothered to give you a minus vote for your ridiculous sheeple view (look up sheeple)...open your mind to other possibilities! peace. BaZZa Bazzerd
  • Score: 3

10:53pm Thu 8 May 14

taff ray davies says...

they are all a bunch of tossers anyway would have told him to feckoff
they are all a bunch of tossers anyway would have told him to feckoff taff ray davies
  • Score: 13

10:55pm Thu 8 May 14

leia69 says...

Well never mind about the cafe that turned down business! Give credit to Cafe Latte who obliged in hosting the meeting. Always friendly, no matter what! Not one to turn away paying customers and lovely home cooked food too!
Well never mind about the cafe that turned down business! Give credit to Cafe Latte who obliged in hosting the meeting. Always friendly, no matter what! Not one to turn away paying customers and lovely home cooked food too! leia69
  • Score: -8

10:57pm Thu 8 May 14

merryhell1@hotmail.co.uk says...

I'm sure the lady's decision to turn down this politicians visit was not politically motivated......the Bolton News have reported in such a way as to make people think that it was!!!!!.....a poor attempt at media manipulation!
I'm sure the lady's decision to turn down this politicians visit was not politically motivated......the Bolton News have reported in such a way as to make people think that it was!!!!!.....a poor attempt at media manipulation! merryhell1@hotmail.co.uk
  • Score: 14

11:00pm Thu 8 May 14

Bazzerd says...

leia69 wrote:
Well never mind about the cafe that turned down business! Give credit to Cafe Latte who obliged in hosting the meeting. Always friendly, no matter what! Not one to turn away paying customers and lovely home cooked food too!
lets see if it helps them in any way.....i doubt it personally..after the fameclaimers stop posting about how they saw a suit through a window...and did a selfie with whoever..like anyone with a brain gives a flying one at a rolling doughnut.
[quote][p][bold]leia69[/bold] wrote: Well never mind about the cafe that turned down business! Give credit to Cafe Latte who obliged in hosting the meeting. Always friendly, no matter what! Not one to turn away paying customers and lovely home cooked food too![/p][/quote]lets see if it helps them in any way.....i doubt it personally..after the fameclaimers stop posting about how they saw a suit through a window...and did a selfie with whoever..like anyone with a brain gives a flying one at a rolling doughnut. Bazzerd
  • Score: 5

11:42pm Thu 8 May 14

I KILL GOBBY KIDS says...

I would of said yes to them and then closed the shop when they were due to arrive. When he asked what was happening... Say Welcome to our world. You plan your days only to find that when you get to the small buisness you were going to use thry have gone bust and shut up shop. Another thing how come he went to Howrich and not Bolton pound centre?
I would of said yes to them and then closed the shop when they were due to arrive. When he asked what was happening... Say Welcome to our world. You plan your days only to find that when you get to the small buisness you were going to use thry have gone bust and shut up shop. Another thing how come he went to Howrich and not Bolton pound centre? I KILL GOBBY KIDS
  • Score: 15

12:10am Fri 9 May 14

questionairre says...

Sheeple
People unable to think for themselves. Followers. Lemmings. Those with no cognitive ablilities of their own.
and publicists

Some publicists specialize in representing ordinary members of the public to procure the maximum possible fee for stories they wish to sell to newspapers, television stations and magazines. A number have now sprung up on the internet and work as media agents gaining members of the public multiple deals with publications.
Sheeple People unable to think for themselves. Followers. Lemmings. Those with no cognitive ablilities of their own. and publicists Some publicists specialize in representing ordinary members of the public to procure the maximum possible fee for stories they wish to sell to newspapers, television stations and magazines. A number have now sprung up on the internet and work as media agents gaining members of the public multiple deals with publications. questionairre
  • Score: -4

6:33am Fri 9 May 14

breightmet kid says...

Ask Mr Osbourne to call after the elections, his answewr will probably be 'sorry Im too busy'. What goes around comes around. Well done luv.
Ask Mr Osbourne to call after the elections, his answewr will probably be 'sorry Im too busy'. What goes around comes around. Well done luv. breightmet kid
  • Score: 7

8:13am Fri 9 May 14

The Running Man says...

Keaw Yed wrote:
What about the potential free publicity from such a high profile visitor?
There's no such thing as bad publicity. Shunning George Osborne - priceless!
[quote][p][bold]Keaw Yed[/bold] wrote: What about the potential free publicity from such a high profile visitor?[/p][/quote]There's no such thing as bad publicity. Shunning George Osborne - priceless! The Running Man
  • Score: 11

8:58am Fri 9 May 14

127001 says...

This newspaper really is scraping the barrel for stories; yet another BN story making a mountain out of a mole hill scenario?

Woman who owns cafe gets a telephone call from an assistant of Mr. Osborne to reserve 10 seats.

Woman politely declines stating that the cafe would be too busy around the time of their potential visit and affect other customers.
BREAKING NEWS! HOLD THE PRESS! MAJOR NEWS STORY DEVELOPING IN HORWICH!
This newspaper really is scraping the barrel for stories; yet another BN story making a mountain out of a mole hill scenario? Woman who owns cafe gets a telephone call from an assistant of Mr. Osborne to reserve 10 seats. Woman politely declines stating that the cafe would be too busy around the time of their potential visit and affect other customers. BREAKING NEWS! HOLD THE PRESS! MAJOR NEWS STORY DEVELOPING IN HORWICH! 127001
  • Score: 7

12:06pm Fri 9 May 14

mark foley says...

high profile visitor? THATS A JOKE THE GUYS A COMPLETE TOSSER , PALE FACE NANCYBOY
high profile visitor? THATS A JOKE THE GUYS A COMPLETE TOSSER , PALE FACE NANCYBOY mark foley
  • Score: -1

12:07pm Fri 9 May 14

mark foley says...

IF I thought he was a high profile visitor? I would be thinking how sad I was ...................
IF I thought he was a high profile visitor? I would be thinking how sad I was ................... mark foley
  • Score: 1

12:13pm Fri 9 May 14

Beyond News Forum says...

I have a name for these blood sucking parasites in parliament - Vampires!

Well done, he would have been a bad omen. There won't be a 'next time' as he will be a nobody, as he is now.
I have a name for these blood sucking parasites in parliament - Vampires! Well done, he would have been a bad omen. There won't be a 'next time' as he will be a nobody, as he is now. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 5

1:49pm Fri 9 May 14

louis8u7y says...

Yes it was Cafe Latte Who Hosted it and yet they got a little '' Cafe latte And Home bakery hosted'' and Tyme got Front page news ..... Mybe Cafe Latte should have Refused it and then they would have made front page news.
Crazy stuff.....
Yes it was Cafe Latte Who Hosted it and yet they got a little '' Cafe latte And Home bakery hosted'' and Tyme got Front page news ..... Mybe Cafe Latte should have Refused it and then they would have made front page news. Crazy stuff..... louis8u7y
  • Score: 3

7:16pm Fri 9 May 14

Puffin-Billy says...

So...George is "...on the side of all hardworking people who are running their own business."

He's not on the side of those who can't get a job, and who can't be "hard working".

He's not on the side of those who have jobs and who are so poorly paid, or on zero hours that they are forced to resort to food banks.

He's not on the side of all the nurses who his government sacked in order to cut part of the £20 billion from the NHS.

He's not on the side of people who are genuinely ill and who have had their benefits stopped,

He's not on the side of those who want to move into a smaller house, but who are penalised because they can't move, because there simply aren't enough what we used to call "council houses", and they don't want to get in debt by getting on what is laughingly called "the housing ladder" - "economic slavery" more like.

If he really wants to see how the economy is doing, he should take a look around the streets of Bolton town centre at the Digger's Kitchen, and the food banks.

He should have a chat with Bolton's homeless men and women who are picking through the refuse bins between the shops off Deansgate and Bradshawgate.

Call yourself the leaders of a Christian country, Mr Cameron and Osborne...?
So...George is "...on the side of all hardworking people who are running their own business." He's not on the side of those who can't get a job, and who can't be "hard working". He's not on the side of those who have jobs and who are so poorly paid, or on zero hours that they are forced to resort to food banks. He's not on the side of all the nurses who his government sacked in order to cut part of the £20 billion from the NHS. He's not on the side of people who are genuinely ill and who have had their benefits stopped, He's not on the side of those who want to move into a smaller house, but who are penalised because they can't move, because there simply aren't enough what we used to call "council houses", and they don't want to get in debt by getting on what is laughingly called "the housing ladder" - "economic slavery" more like. If he really wants to see how the economy is doing, he should take a look around the streets of Bolton town centre at the Digger's Kitchen, and the food banks. He should have a chat with Bolton's homeless men and women who are picking through the refuse bins between the shops off Deansgate and Bradshawgate. Call yourself the leaders of a Christian country, Mr Cameron and Osborne...? Puffin-Billy
  • Score: 5

2:04am Sat 10 May 14

wsw69 says...

Well done for not having him.

Amanda my well get MORE publicity for saying no to Osborne, rather than brown snouting. And as for you idiots thinking some national publicity would do her business any favours, you obviously have absolutely no idea about business.

Put another way, do you reckon some Daily Mail punter on the Isle of Wight would read about Osbornes visit to Horwich and think 'Ooooh, I must nip up north to checkout that café in Horwich, wherever that is?' Not a chance!

Once again, well done Amanda. I will call in next week when I'm back in Horwich, usually a Friday.
Well done for not having him. Amanda my well get MORE publicity for saying no to Osborne, rather than brown snouting. And as for you idiots thinking some national publicity would do her business any favours, you obviously have absolutely no idea about business. Put another way, do you reckon some Daily Mail punter on the Isle of Wight would read about Osbornes visit to Horwich and think 'Ooooh, I must nip up north to checkout that café in Horwich, wherever that is?' Not a chance! Once again, well done Amanda. I will call in next week when I'm back in Horwich, usually a Friday. wsw69
  • Score: -1

11:52am Sun 11 May 14

MrBenggo says...

Lesmathes17 wrote:
Silly girl!!! Very short sighted. This isn't just publicity in the Bolton news but national publicity for small businesses.
Silly man,how short sighted are you,no wonder you have 74 minus votes.
Amanda looked after her regular customers and in doing so,her business
[quote][p][bold]Lesmathes17[/bold] wrote: Silly girl!!! Very short sighted. This isn't just publicity in the Bolton news but national publicity for small businesses.[/p][/quote]Silly man,how short sighted are you,no wonder you have 74 minus votes. Amanda looked after her regular customers and in doing so,her business MrBenggo
  • Score: 1

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