Tell us a bit about your shop and how you’ve managed over the last couple of years dealing with Covid.
Huseyin, Natura Fresh, Pratt Street [pictured above]: “This is a family-owned business – we’ve been around for 18 years. We have gradually grown with the area and the demand for healthier eating, and established a better layout. At the start of Covid, business was really good because people were rushing out and just buying and buying, and pretty much everywhere else was closed. Then it started to die down and ultimately it went down quite a bit, so we closed for three months as that seemed the best time to renovate. Now business is growing again.”
Mahmed, Leverton Stores, Kentish Town: “I’ve been open for about 35 years. I used to come around Camden a lot, and then a friend introduced me to this area and I settled on Kentish Town. It’s been a rocky two years and hopefully it’s going to get better now, but with new variants we still don’t know what’s going to happen. Lots of local businesses are shutting down and landlords are getting very greedy trying to recover their own losses. The rent is always high: I’ve got to work all the God-given hours in the shop to pay my rent.”
Prashant, Fabs Food, Belsize Park [pictured below]: “The shop has been here for over 10 years, but the last year was a different story because of the pandemic. It got very busy because we are next to Primrose Hill park so we had queues going outside and around the block. I had to stand at the door and stop the people all trying to come in at once. We also had so many stock items that were just not getting delivered, with customers wanting to buy more. That was tough, as the products often just weren’t arriving.”
Amit, Princess News, Primrose Hill [main image]: “The business is very old. It’s been here for nearly 35 years. We were a small shop once, just behind the store room but then the boss changed, and the place was renovated and made a lot bigger. I’ve been working here for the last three years. Over Covid business was ok, it went up really. We’re in the middle of a residential area so people need everything at all hours of the day.”