ON Saturday, April 6, Ben Saunders will celebrate 15 years since he took over Loafers Sandwich Bar in Taunton.

The beloved independent sandwich shop's history dates all the way back to 1978, and the business has been a cornerstone in the community ever since.

Loafers is one of the oldest operating business on Bath Place, and manager Ben believes efforts to keep his shop traditional have helped it to stand the test of time.

"When things are faddy, we don't jump on board - we stick to what we know," he said.

"A lot of it is down to longevity - people want stability, and what they want."Somerset County Gazette: When things are faddy, we don't jump on board.When things are faddy, we don't jump on board. (Image: Jamie Grover, Newsquest)

Ben, who grew up in Minehead but was a frequent visitor to Taunton, took over the business during the financial crisis of 2009.

He was working in Bristol at the time, but decided a move back to Somerset was what he needed.

Ben had often visited Loafers whilst on his lunch break from a business course at UCS, and felt the stars had aligned when the business went up for sale.

"The idea of moving back to Somerset appealed to me," he said.

"Bath Place is really lovely, the community here is great."Somerset County Gazette: Loafers has been a cornerstone of Bath Place since 1978.Loafers has been a cornerstone of Bath Place since 1978. (Image: Jamie Grover, Newsquest)

Despite shops such as Tesco Express opening on the High Street, and Boots also offering meal deals, Loafers has continued to thrive as an independent business.

"Being independent is very tricky, you can't compete with meal deal stuff," Ben explained.

As well as remaining 'bog-standard' for the past 46 years, Ben feels the quality of food offered at Loafers, and the personal experience that customers receive, are what set it apart from chain businesses.

"Personality, and good quality food," said Ben, when quizzed on Loafers' unique selling points.Somerset County Gazette: A look at some of the filling options available.A look at some of the filling options available. (Image: Jamie Grover, Newsquest)He added: "Reliability - they're going to come here and get what they had the last time.

"What we do is try and find time to have a chat, and ask people how their day is.

"People who might categorise as a bit lonely often come in here for a coffee."Somerset County Gazette: Sausages on the grill at Loafers in Taunton.Sausages on the grill at Loafers in Taunton. (Image: Jamie Grover, Newsquest)

Loafers offers an enormous array of food options, including sandwiches, rolls, toasties, chips, burgers, breakfasts, and even a vegetarian selection.

In addition to this, they offer high-quality and great tasting coffee - something I can attest to after trying it.

Get yourself down to Loafers and pick up a bacon, egg, and hash brown roll with sweet chilli sauce - you will not regret it.