Beloved newsagent and sweet shop calls time after 33 years

Retailer John Caggiano with a box of Twinkies

Another day, another retailer announces that it is shutting up shop in Canterbury.

After Nasons announced its departure, the newsagent and sweet shop at the foot of Dover Street is to close after 33 years’ business.

It has been called Dover Street News and Auntie Ammie’s Candy Shop, or simply referred to as Caggiano’s after the family which ran it.

Owner John Caggiano said: “After 33 years of trading in our family we will be closing our shop in Dover Street next week. Auntie Ammie’s Candy will continue to trade online which is now our main focus.

“In the meantime we will be selling most of our stock at discounted prices in preparation for our big move.

“Thank you to all who have used us over the years. Your support for independent businesses is truly appreciated.”


  1. Sad to read this news. I was only an occasional customer but this shop has been an important part of the Dover Street community for decades. I suppose it comes as no surprise to see that it’s not being sold to a new owner as a going concern. Long hours, wafer-thin margins and declining customer support hardly contribute to making an attractive proposition. There are easier, less stressful and more secure ways of earning one’s daily bread.

    Spare a thought too for the tellers, clerks and support staff at the Royal Bank of Scotland. The branch on Rose Lane will close on Tuesday, followed by all the remaining RBS branches in Kent over the next few weeks. RBS, which was effectively nationalised 10 years ago, has neatly side-stepped the EU ruling, requiring it sell its English branches/business to another bank and having survived a High Court challenge to this ducking out, has toasted its legal success by cynically implementing a wholesale branch closure programme.
    Some staff have been transferred to RBS’s other English bank, NatWest but the vast majority will be joining former PoundWorld, Nason’s and Homebase employees down at the Job Centre.
    Meanwhile, RBS customers (which includes me!) have the stark and unenviable choice of endless queues at Canterbury’s only remaining NatWest branch (there used to be 4) or starting afresh at another bank. So much for more than 30 years’ loyal custom then.

    Perhaps we should all simply drown our sorrows? Well, be quick about it, as around 20 British pubs are closing every week. Victims, according to CAMRA, of excessive beer duty, sky high Business Rates and OTT rents inflicted upon licensees by rapacious pub operating companies. The Tally Ho closed recently and judging by the emptiness of some of the city centre pubs last night (a summer Saturday for heaven’s sake!) there will soon be other fallers.

    As if all of this isn’t bad enough, even the successful and deservedly popular Foundry BrewPub is soon destined to be a casualty. As tenants of Nason’s (now in liquidation) the Foundry has been served notice to quit by the Official Receivers. The word on the street is that the Foundry may move to the old Chromos building on Stour Street but any such move is bound to be very expensive, perhaps prohibitively so. Watch this space and if you enjoy a pint or two of Foundry beer, you best get in there and order it PDQ.


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