READING'S oldest internet cafe and a prolific nomination for the Reading Retail Awards is confident it can return to winning ways this year.

Quantum Web Cafe has been a fixture of the town for 18 years and was named 'My Favourite Coffee Shop' in 2014 as part of the business awards.

Located on the infamous 'smelly ally' and in the heart of the town centre, the internet hub continues to thrive with a dedicated following even in the digital age.

Jason Deane, who has been the owner of Quantum since its inception in 1999, believes his small team have the ability to succeed after making the finals of last year's contest.

He said: "We usually talk to all of our customers about the awards and ask if they will nominate us. I think the awards are a great idea and I love supporting local initiatives like this.

"We are proud to be good enough to win it and we need constant reassurance that we are still doing something right after so many years.

"I am confident in our product and our customer service. It is something I believe we do very well and I have never grown tired of getting satisfaction from customers."

While other branches of the internet coffee shop hybrid have been forced to close down, the Reading branch is stronger than ever.

As well as providing an important social alternative to people who work from home, Quantum hosts avid gamers and even stag dos.

Jason added: "We are fiercely proud of being independent and it does give us the ability to run with a good idea without needing to go to a head office.

"When I worked for Microsoft many years ago, I said with confidence that we wouldn't need internet cafes beyond the year 2000 and now I am running one.

"Back in the day people did not have much of a choice but to use us, but now everyone has access to the same technology."

Entry forms for the Reading Retail Awards are available from Broad Street Mall and The Oracle and nominations close on July 10.

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