‘The devil’s spawn’: Residents react as Greggs prepares to open branch in Cornwall’s only city

Greggs is set to open its first store in Cornwall’s only city, and many residents are not impressed.

The bakery chain will finally open its doors on Truro’s High Street on 6 December, following rumours that it was struggling to attract staff.

Now, some residents are worried that the food outlet, which has over 2,000 branches around the UK, will put local bakers out of business.

This is of particular concern as the new branch is located just steps away from traditional Cornish pasty makers Rowe’s and Warrens.

Comments on social media posts about the announcement have been mixed, with one user writing that Gregg’s is the “Devil’s spawn”.

“This is an invasion on our capital,” wrote one, while another added: “We all knew this day would come. It is now time for all and any Cornishmen/women to do their duty and see this invader off.

“Anyone caught purchasing a steak bake will be taken to the Tamar and shown which way to walk!”

“It’s not even Cornish for a start, if it’s not Cornish it ain’t proper,” wrote another.

Others have argued that the chain provides job opportunities, however.

The Independent has contacted Gregg’s for comment.

The pasty food item is synonymous with the southwest county of Cornwall, and was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in Europe in 2011, meaning Cornish pasties can only be called a traditional Cornish pasty if they are made in Cornwall.

While pasties come in many variations, a traditional Cornish pasty is filled with beef, sliced or diced potato, swede and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper and baked.

Gregg’s already has two outlets in Cornwall: one on the Pennygillam Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Launceston, and one at the Cornwall Services by the A30.

The expansion of the bakery chain, which was established in 1951, continues to grow, and boasts a bigger UK reach than McDonald’s and Starbucks.

The company has a target of opening 3,000 stores across the UK by 2028, with 150 new openings planned each year from 2022.