Staff are reunited at Clitheroe success story's 20th anniversary

Staff and friends at The Emporium's 20th birthday party. (s)
Staff and friends at The Emporium's 20th birthday party. (s)

Staff from the past two decades let their hair down at a party to celebrate the 20th birthday of Clitheroe coffee shop, wine bar, brasserie and interior design store, The Emporium.

Alongside them at the former Methodist chapel were long supporting suppliers and members of the general public who were invited along to join in the fun.

Among those who started with the business in its early days, was Alison Ashworth, who initially joined as a part-time waitress before going on to join the management team. Now a buyer for the new Bowland Food Hall at its Holmes Mill venue, Alison said: “The Emporium has played a large part in my life and always will. I got engaged here, met many of my best friends here and I even brought my daughter, Charlie, at just 10 hours old!”

Alison Sayle, previously a waitress, now office manager and PA to the founder and managing director of James’ Places, James Warburton, said: “I was taken on by James’ Places back in 2002 and was greeted by a great team of people. I’m now back working with Alison Ashworth, who was managing The Emporium when I first started – we often giggle about the good old days!”

Alison’s daughter has also worked for James’ Places at The Emporium since the age of 16 and her sister was previously duty manager.

Other long serving members of staff are Mel Oxley, the general manager, and Ruth Law, the assistant general manager. Between them they have 23 years of experience at The Emporium.

Speaking about the inspiration for his first restoration project, Mr Warburton said: “The Emporium was the starting point for James’ Places. It was a beautiful building that needed some love in order to become the gem that it is today.

“Throughout the years, the emphasis of the venue has changed but the style and experience have not. It has evolved to meet with the change in customer trends and tastes – although it has always been home to a selection of hidden treats across its three floors.”