A DESSERT parlour chain has opened its 80th branch - in Oxford’s City Centre.

Kaspa’s Desserts, which already has a store located in Didcot, has now opened in Gloucester Green for takeaway and delivery.

Owner of the Oxford franchise, Jhahanger Zaman, who lives in Reading, bought the store in September 2020 with hopes to open the store in mid-December of last year.

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Due to Covid restrictions, which caused a delay in sourcing some building materials and a delay in transportation, the dessert parlour had to open two months later than initially planned.

Mr Zaman said: “It is not an ideal time to be opening a dessert parlours like this - we started trading about six weeks ago for takeaway and delivery on Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat. With the whole city centre being quiet there is no one around and so we were really relying on the delivery apps.

“We had the choice to delay the opening until lockdown finished, but we really didn’t know when it would end, so we decided to go ahead with functioning as a take-out and delivery service for the time being.”

Kaspa’s Desserts were first set up in March 2013.

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The dessert parlour serves ‘the world’s favourite hot and cold desserts’ including Italian Gelato and American goodies such as waffles, milkshakes, and sundaes.

Mr Zaman hopes by opening a store in the centre of the city he will be able to attract the student market.

He said: “The reason we chose to open in Gloucester Green was for students.

“We chose Oxford because it is a student city.

“There is nothing in the city centre in terms of dessert restaurants.

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“There is one in Headington, one in Cowley, but none in the city centre where students can come and hang out, have American desserts and Gelato.”

The store, located at 100-101 Gloucester Green, will open for customers to dine-in as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted and the hospitality industry is allowed to fully reopen.

Mr Zaman added: “Kaspa’s in student cities do really well, so this is the reason why we chose this location.

“Right now there is only 20 to 25 percent of students in the city, so our main market is not around at the moment.

“Not many people know that we are open; we have an organically grown Facebook page, which we grew without marketing to see what response we got initially, but now we have got to the stage where the staff know how to run the store, so we are pushing for more people to find out about Kaspa’s in Gloucester Green.”

The dessert parlour is currently open between 4.30pm and 10pm for delivery on weekdays, 3pm to 11pm on Saturday’s, and 3pm to 10pm on Sundays.

Kaspa’s will be one of several new businesses that have opened in the city centre throughout the pandemic period.

Over the November lockdown last year the health and wellbeing shop, FIT Cookie, opened in the Golden Cross, as well as its neighbours the new artisan cafe Coffeesmith.

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