Pop in! Shop!

As a corollary to Friday's piece asking for nominations for new businesses we'd like to see in the area, we'd like to know which existing businesses deserve more recognition.

It follows a number of people suggesting that Brockley-ites didn't deserve new shops if they didn't support the ones they have. This is of course true, so long as the ones we have are worth supporting. Some simply aren't.

The good businesses we do have, it seems to us, are very well supported and have regular praise heaped upon them from BC readers. From Babur in the south, to Meze Mangal in the north and Smiles Thai Cafe and Degustation in-between, support for local businesses seems very strong.

There are arguably a couple of good places that have failed to attract the number of casual visitors that their interiors deserve. But, like the Wickham Arms, which reneged on its plans to replace the front windows, so that people could actually see in (and out), they only have themselves to blame if their uninviting facades fail to convert the uninitiated.

So, we don't really accept that it's the residents of Brockley who are at fault. But we are happy to be told we're wrong... what are the businesses that are unjustly neglected?

27 comments:

Hugh said...

What we really need is one or two cafes within the conservation area.

Hugh

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I think the idea of a cafe on hillyfields is definately a go-er. I would certainly visit it more often if it had somewhere where i could sit down, drink a coffee and enjoy the views.

In fact i really hope someone somewhere is putting on pressure to set this up. I see it as the next most important thing for the area after brockley cross regeneration. And i actually think it would make a fair bit of money.

Guhn said...

See Please Here

sue said...

Pointing the finger of fault at the residents of Brockley was not my intention ...sorry if thats how it appeared..oops.
All the good businesses (new and established) need more support because there are so many costs involved in setting up and maintaining a cashflow and just one or two quiet weeks can really have an impact....
Maybe if we all make a concerted effort to spend more of our money in the places we feel are good and worth having, our good business base will expand and then we'll spend more and so on, so lets get the ball rolling....
I didn't know about the butcher in Crofton Park (Ive been doing our meat shopping in East Dulwich), so I'm going to give them a try this coming week, and I used to buy all my healthy stuff at Fresh and Wild now I use the Shop on the Hill as much as possible , the owner is really lovely and well done on her for taking the big step, she really deserves to flourish..
I'm aiming at spending 50% of our food and going out drinking/eating money in SE4, but am quite far off that mark ( about 20% )
so here's to a shop selling a good selection of fruit
and veg, a more contempory gift, homeware,garden and cookshop, and a nice gastropub...I'm holding out for the Talbot....

Luke said...

@Sue

Hope you found Peter James (Crofton Park butcher) well. We’ve been using him since we moved to Brockley two years ago and found him to be nothing but the classic local shopkeeper - friendly, informative, knows your name, goes out of his way to help. Granted, he could make more of his free range and organic offerings but I think this will change as more ethically conscious minded shoppers seek him out.

Plus he takes cards and gives cashback. Eat that William Rose.

Monkeyboy said...

I actually like the greasy spoon at brockley cross! yes the sausages do have a dubious history but the staff are friendly and it does what is says on the tin!

Tamsin said...

@app&p
Cafes in parks are really tricky. We debated it endlessly in the context of Telegraph Hill. You can see that they would do a roaring trade on a fine weekend, but will that be enough to cover the overheads for the wet weekdays in between?

We managed to get what we thought was the perfect compromise - a Pistachios in the Park mobile van taht came on weekends and promised to come more regularly in the school holidays. Lovely, selling tea, coffee, ice-cream and crepes. But even that did not make enough money to persist. A real shame.

Bobblekin said...

Mr Lawrence - never going to be as cheap as supermarkets or internet but the quality and teh experience and the vast selection of bottled beers is superior.

Everest Curry King - very authentic fresh sri lanken food. A takeaway that doesn't leave that ghee stain on the pallette teh next day. Its on Lewisham Way so not qute Brockley.

Nu Spice - Mighty tasty food every time. No need to look at the menu just ask what they have/recommend and add a portion of ackee.

The Talbot - forget the decor, the patrons and everything else everyone winges about - its our local boozer and in summer you can sit out in the garden anyway.

Peter James - not exactly a local butcher for me but nearer than william rose. Agree with Luke if more of us go and talk to him about where the meat is coming from and what we want he should listen - and make a mint as well. Vegtables and fish make it a bit of a one stop shop for smaller families.

The Knife Factory - its down one of teh Mews (don't know the name) at teh back of brockley high street - might be breakspere mews. Go there mid week and get your kinves sharpened - about a £1 each. Believe me its worth it.

Luke said...

Knife Factory - seriously? Been looking for a decent one for AGES!

Nice one - will do some research. If anyone knows exactly where it is, post it up please. Only found the one on Wood Vale so far...

ta

Headhunter said...

I took a stroll down Tanners Hill to look in at the Wellbeloved butchers. Granted it was a Sunday so I didn't necessarily expect it to be open but it looks like it's completely closed down, or is that a cunning disguise the owner uses to stop people wanting to break in when the shop's closed?!

Ian said...

Life's not all cafes. I'm a big admirer of Sounds Around.

Not only is it pretty much the only DVD rental shop left in Brockley, but it sells just about all those wonderful electrical bits and pieces and toys for the kids.

Wonderful old family business, I think it over 30 years in Brockley!

Headhunter said...

The knife place - isn't that along Wickham Mews (between Manor Ave and Wickham Rd)? I think you can see it if you look along the Mews from Ashby Rd, look inthe direction of Geoffrey Rd... I think that's where it is, or at least there's a place with a big sign with the name "Ital" I think and the shape of a sword underneath

Monkeyboy said...

HH...nope it's open. only a small place and not all poshed up, could do wtih a little TLC but it's a good place.

Headhunter said...

OK Monkeboy, I'll try it on a Sat sometime. Seriously though - good diguise! It looks competely defunct! Someone has even spray painted "RIP" on one of the boards over the windows

Hugh said...

Trouble with going for a coffee in Brockley is that there's a Gaggia in the kitchen and the kitchen is a lot nicer than the local caffs.

Anyone else have this?

JPM said...

If you're thinking of popping over to the cashpoint alongside Tesco, think again. Someone tried to nick its contents early this morning, and there is now but a gaping hole.

Brockley Nick said...

sigh...

Maybe if Tesco managers had seen the big yellow lamppost signs, they might have been more "aware" of the risks and this never would have happened. Clearly more signs needed!

Anonymous said...

Thought I'd let a you all know that I used the cash machine in Costcutters on the Brockley road last month and a few days later received a call from the fraud squad - I'd been screwed for a grand by a guy in Tunisia. The cost cutters cash machine had a 'device on' it which cloned my card - anyway Barclays have given me the money back so it's fine but thought I'd make people aware.
PP

Lady said...

Yesterday we took a walk to Greenwich in the afternoon. We took the opportunity to try the new Deptford Properly cafe, the coffee was great and the cooking smells so good I've vowed to make a lunch date there soon. We also called in at APT, the gallery on creekside where there's some lovely photography to see at the moment. I think it is these places, that are already doing what we want in Brockley, that we need to support more. We were there pretty late in the day, just before closing, and only the third visitor. It was sad that the creekside was so deserted. There could be a real buzz about this place, there are so many studios and gallery type places along here, and of course Laban, but not nearly enough people out appreciating them.

fabhat said...

Lady,
it's worth going again when the cockpit arts open days are on (think the next one is June) it's got a lovely buzz then when all the studios are open and everything is very lively.

Tamsin said...

On the subject of Creekside - there is a low tide walk up the creek on 27th April - I've posted the details in the events section of the telegraph hill site - link from the home page.

A knife grinder - brilliant. Do they also do garden tools? About ten years ago an old guy came round door to door (absolutely fascinating, he produced a "licence" issued by some JP in the 1950s - a much folded sheet of typescript (obviously genuine)) but either he has gone the way of all such anachonisms or I haven't been in when he's called round again.

I expect Wellbeloved is just normal shut on Sundays - they showed no signs of imminent closure when I was there a few weeks back (I should go more often)and when shut they do look really shut!

bobblekin said...

Yep Headhunter thats the one "Ital" knives. Its a commercial enterprise servicing restaurants etc, but they seem happy to serve a punter off the street with some domestic knives. I've been twice over the years.

Hugh said...

Another shout for curries from Babur. The place never fails to bring joy to those of us staying in on a Saturday night with a DVD then MotD.

silburnl said...

Mr Wellbeloved is most definitely still in the game. I grab a pie from him to snack on whenever I go down to Deptford market. I'll check out Peter James however - I'm always interested in a good butcher and I need an excuse to get on my bike and do a bit of exercise.

Cinnamon is a good alternative to Babur for those of us on the north side.

Regards
Luke

Amanda said...

A second hand bookshop. I love browsing for books in a shop as opposed to online. I really think that homeview site would be great for a cafe/bookshop. It could indeed have space of kids/parents to hang out.

The shops that do exist could really do with a spruce up. I think uniformity in the shop fronts would help. Think Ladbroke Grove, lots of different shops selling allsorts but the street looks lush.
AND as I've mentioned before on this blog, the streets themselves, gum, dog's mess, cracked pavements, I think Shop on the Hill and the others are being done a disservice by being situated on a road so filthy. I don't want to spend time there, it's too grotty. You find yourself to walking on the road, to avoid all the clutter.

Also I notice that there is a " Welcome to Honor Oak Park" sign on the road leading to the H.O.P. station. We could do the same
"Welcome to Brockley Cross", an information stand, with the local shops indexed could be helpful. The local shops could club together to get that sorted.

Lady said...

would just like to add (I think it was mentioned in the other section - what we'd like to see locally) that the little garden centre, Shannon's I think it is called, just off the south circular, is great. Turn right at the first junction past the Honor Oak pub. perhaps too far to go if you don't have a car, but then you need a car anyway for any garden centre trip. and there's an interesting looking junk shop just over the main road too.

oli said...

Wellbeloved front window facing fridge has broken down- due to the falling numbers of small butchers, the manufacturers of such devices are also in short supply. Hence the 'desolate' look. Nonetheless, its one of the best butchers I've ever been to. Always happy to order something in and the pies are second to none.

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