A south-London family-run store has celebrated 38 years of serving its community by holding a party to celebrate its state-of-the-art refit.
Jay Patel and wife Nalini, of Jay’s Budgen’s in Brockley, cut the ribbon to the new shop, following a two-month refit costing around £200,000. “This is not a small story. It’s been a long journey lasting generations. We are a family and also part of the community and together we are one big family,” said Mr Patel.
Among the changes made to the store are wider aisles to accommodate pushchairs and wheelchairs, a nut and health-food dispenser and greater concentration on health products, craft beers and an expanded fruit and vegetable section. The shop has also been extended at the back to accommodate a new area catering for the meal-for-tonight customer, including a freestanding fridge of premium meals from the Cooks range.
The shop frontage was also replaced with windows and the fascia spotlighted to stand out at night. During the celebration party, which was attended by around 50 customers, local dignitaries and three generations of Mr Patel’s family, free homemade samosas were handed out, as well as tea and coffee. The shop, now largely run by his sons Tilak and Pratik, has been at the heart of the community in the London suburb since it opened in 1979.
As part of the reopening, Father Bates, priest from the nearby St Hilda’s church, was handed a cheque for £2,000 to add to an ongoing fundraising effort to repair the church roof. He said: “Thanks to Jay for giving us a wonderful new shop. There’s so many friends around and it’s really lifted me. We are showing how the community is becoming a group of friends and people who support one another.”
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