A NEW coffee shop is set to open its doors in the heart of Romsey, creating approximately 20 jobs.

Coffee lovers will be able to enjoy Josie's when it opens on October 16 in the Market Place.

The business first opened in 2011 in Bishops Waltham and there are already branches in Winchester and Petersfield.

This comes after plans for an eatery to open at the property had been given the green light by the council in March.

Manager of Josie's, Josie Latouf, said: "It is a big deal opening in Romsey and I am looking forward to the day.

"We are looking to employ about 20 people and over the Christmas period more staff, such as students, will be employed as well.

"Romsey is a lovely town and I will be at the branch every day for the first month to see the staff and how things are going."

The 61-year-old from Bishop's Waltham added: "I know a lot of people think Josie's is a chain, but it is a family-run business which supports people in the area and charities so it is about the community.

"All of our produce is locally sourced and there is a lovely lady who sells sourdough bread in the Romsey market every Wednesday who I would like to involve.

"I will also be using ChalkStream Foods because their fish is amazing."

Nick Adams-King, who represents Blackwater on the borough council, said: "The way people use town centres is changing so people come into Romsey not only to shop, but to socialise.

"I think another coffee shop can only be a good thing to provide more competition and I am particularly pleased it is an independent retailer."

Romsey town centre manager, Mark Edgerley, said: "I think people are looking forward to Josie's opening and lots of people are enthusiastic about using it when it does arrive.

"I welcome another coffee shop in the Market Place with tables outside, which will be good for the town next summer.

"Increasingly people like to repeat what they do on holiday, such as drinking coffee outside, so coffee culture is changing."