New fresh food shop planned for West Brockley

For some time, we've been hoping to bring you full details of the new fresh food store, opening in West Brockley. It's a been a bit of an open secret that the owners of the Broca are planning a new shop on Mantle Road and we've been hoping to get a short interview with Erin about her plans.

They're not ready to talk yet, but since the shop is already being widely discussed here we've decided to create a thread.

The Broca was the business that kick started the rejuvenation of Brockley central. While there were already a number of good, well-established businesses in Brockley, the Broca led a wave of new entrepreneurs who raised the bar for what we could expect from our local neighbourhood. Good food and drink, great atmosphere, attention to detail and a passion for the local community - the Broca has hosted everything from writing clubs to art exhibitions and they got the Hilly Fields Fun Run off the ground earlier this year.

That's why it's so exciting that they are expanding. Never mind the macroeconomic meltdown, the Broca team know the area and their customers and are confident enough to take the plunge. They know the market and it's our understanding that they will be offering a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, which are in tragically short supply locally - the cynics who ask "why do we need another food shop" obviously don't know the difference between a baguette and a banana.

It's also great news for West Brockley, which missed out on the last wave of activity and which still has too many empty retail units.

We hope that the Broca team will soon tell us about their plans in full, but for the meantime, Erin has sent us some details of something else she's involved with - the Christmas market. We'll be writing about that shortly.

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really great news. Well done to Erin for having a set of b*lls in these uncertain times. I have no doubt that she'll be the one laughing when the ELL brings in a new influx of people who suddenly realise that south london has something to offer. Nice that it's on the other side of the tracks too. Some easterners may pop over a see that the houses are actually quite nice.

fabhat said...

a proper greengrocers is exactly what is needed. It takes the shopping in brockley from just extras to essentials as well. Hurrah for Erin.

The Cat Man said...

This is really very good news. I already have planned in my mind to stop my diarycrest weekly fruit and veg delivery and opt for Erin and her Oranges (*ahem*)

I am really hoping they will make use of the A1 planning allowance for an area designated as a internet cafe, so they can at least sell some nice hot black liquid to keep my blood pumping! (Erin if you are reading this, please take note!)

Anonymous said...

It's close enough to the train station to pop over for some supplies after work - (should they choose to open at that time).

Nick do you have an idea when they may be ready to trade?

Anonymous said...

Will they be selling meat?

Anonymous said...

Good news even if on the wrong side of the tracks.I hope their fruit and veg are better their coffee...

drakefell debaser said...

Good news for Westside residents and Brockley as a whole. Thanks to slugs I have had to buy most of my veg this year so it will be very convenient.

There are still two retail units in the new grey block of flats just outside the station exit on the West; does anyone know what is to become of them? Or, what the current incumbent on the end, next to the old eternal jerk shack, actually does? All I can see when walking past is a safe and a few computers but no firm name or sign to say who they are.

Anonymous said...

No idea. I've thought the same many times. Like the location of the new shop though. Takes up a Significant part of the corner of Mantle and St Asaph rds.

yaxu said...

I'm a westside resident and agree this is excellent news, fresh local food -- ace!

Anonymous said...

Of course this is great news. I don't what the problem people like 'Fred Vest' have with it?

JPM said...

The only problem I would have with it is if it sold the same items as can be found in The Shop on the Hill, Degustation, or Dandelion Blue. (However, having said that, I bought some extra virgin oil in the latter yesterday and was shocked at the price - eight pounds fifty! A need for some competition there to be sure.)

Hopefully, Le Broca might move that wreck of a car it has permanently parked outside (with boxes in it) to its new shop on the west. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Posts like that highlight the utter pointlessness of blogs like this and the notion of people living in a cohesive society. There is nothing wrong with that (classic) car. In fact I would say it improves the look of the street. You're obviously fundamentally different to me and we'll never agree over it, so lets just give up any hope of making Brockley a better place because my 'better' obviously doesn't look like 'your' better.

Brockley Nick said...

Erm, how does the fact that two people have different opinions about something "highlight the pointlessness of blogs"?

If two people meet in real life and disagree on something, does that make life itself pointless?

I agree that the car is lovely, by the way.

Anonymous said...

This blog isn't pointless, though some of the comments can be, such as when people prejudge an enterprise. If it's not fair to do so to Portland bookmakers, why is ok to do so to the future grocer.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to think this blog is here to help affect change. If so then it's maybe not pointless - more like futile.

If it's just idle chit chat, then I'm not really interested. Its easy to assume that everyone is sound of mind and thinks the same, but when someone comes out with a comment like that it highlights how we're not all on the same side. He says move the car. i say keep the car where it is. Whose right? I think I've lost faith in people.

Brockley Nick said...

It's odd, when the topic for discussion is about the opening of a brand new shop by one of our leading entrepreneurs, to say that aspiring to encourage change is "futile".

Change is happening. Most of it is good.

westsider said...

Anon, just say "I hate people" then.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure whether your argument may be a straw man. Portlands has been ripped into by months, largely by the organic seed group.

fred vest said...

"I don't what the problem people like 'Fred Vest' have with it?"

leaving aside your (in)ability to form a coherent sentence, where have i voiced a problem with this?

i challenged the view that delis were some essential lifeblood of a community (where else would one get the opportunity to purchase some olive oil for £8.50 etc..) which was proferred in another thread

are you able to see the difference between these two things?

Anonymous said...

'the organic seed group' ? What are you talking about, the opposition to Portland was much universal. Hence the bit on tv about it. There was unprecented, local opposition but because of a change in the law the could appeal against the no verdict.

Anonymous said...

Organic Seed Group are they affiliated to Al-Queda?

Anonymous said...

My argument probably is a straw man. I'm going to stick it on Hilly Fields, climb inside it and set it on fire.

nobbly brick said...

resistance is futile...

...blimey, I'm starting to sound like Steve Bullock!

drakefell debaser said...

Surely if you think the car should stay then you just need to say so rather than see it as the breakdown of social cohesion, just because another poster has a different opinion. Not to mention dwelling on the irrelevance of the blog you are busy posting on?

The car should definitely stay as far as I am concerned but, if it went I am unlikely to loose sleep over it or become suspicious of the wider Brockley community values. It is just a car after all.

Anonymous said...

The choice of car does somewhat embrace the stereotype

Anonymous said...

Lets move on from the car. The debate is pathetic.

13:24 said...

C'mon then, what type of car is it? Anything less stereotypical than a 2CV with an "Atomkraft. Nein Danke" sticker, and I'll be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

You're not that wide of the mark!

The Cat Man said...

I'm just confused about this thread now.

The shop will be a lovely addition to the west brockley area. I'm hoping they will have planning permission to put seating outside and sell a limited range of hot drinks...

Anonymous said...

what about BLACK coffee?

tyrwhitt michael said...

It's a Morris Minor. There are or certainly were some photos of it on the Brockley Flickr group.

Deptford for a drink tonight - I'm getting adventurous since the Talbot shut.

Monkeyboy said...

Any idea whats happening to the old Florists? Some decorating going on, do they have clients?

Rumours welcome.

Monkeyboy said...

Any idea whats happening to the old Florists? Some decorating going on, do they have clients?

Rumours welcome.

Brockley Nick said...

Written about that elsewhere - but they are redoing the shop front. Not sure whether they have secured a tennant though. Brockley Cross was a hive of activity yesterday, with rennovation work on some of the housing, the florists and even some signs of builders hanging around the mysterious "bagel" shop. They also appeared to be doing some traffic monitoring on the approach to the roundabouts.

The Cat Man said...

Sounds exciting stuff! And why were you not at work Mr Nick? :o)

JPM said...

Sigh. Abandon all hope ye who come here.

So a car that's a dumping ground for boxes 'highlight the utter pointlessness of blogs like this and the notion of people living in a cohesive society.'?

I can think of better ways to improve the look of a street other than doing a landgrab by adding to the general street clutter with more metal.

What if every shopkeeper decided to get one (no tax on them classics I guess) and dump boxes in 'em? It could be Brockley street art.

Thank the Lord we're fundementally different. Or wouldn't you agree?
If not, I bet my 'better' is a lot bigger than yours.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the coffee,anon 13.37
had a cup there once,never again, it was full of grit and grains at the bottom,Costa coffee anyday rather wait till I hit London bridge for a cuppa, sorry....
Hope the veg is better..

Mezzer said...

Can I just say that the car is lovely too?

It's in great condition for its age, so how it can be considered a wreck is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

i agree the car is an eye sore,
but then everyones taste is different,

I also prefer Costa coffee, to the Brocas efforts!!


But at least they are trying,lets see what the veg shop comes up with,
can't wait........

JPM said...

The car is a dumping ground. It never moves. A lot of traders do this in other parts of London, and then the vehicles (mostly untaxed) start to form part of the general street clutter.

But there's an idea... think I'll get one and use it as my personal waiting room for trains. Better investment than property come to think of it, and I can always sell it on later as the idea becomes mre fashionable. Bit like a beach hut in Brighton.

Anonymous said...

great stuff, where is the new shop to be exactly?

also, what happened about the patisserie store that the Turksih restauranteur chap was thinking of opening?

Anonymous said...

corner of Mantle and St Asaph road. Double fronted unit.

Richard said...

JPM, I can't say I have noticed the car ass a dumping ground, although it's certainly a permanent fixture on Coulgate St. It is a lovely car though (opinion, of course) and for as long as it is the only nice-looking car permanently parked on that street, I won't be losing too much sleep.

As for Broca's coffee - tried it twice, beans seemed nice, one cappuccino was nothing special, but not bad. The thing about Costa Coffee is that they do the best high street coffee, but they still don't do things entirely correctly - buy a cappuccino and see how long it takes for your frothed milk to disintegrate. Or see how many sips it takes before you hit milky coffee. They serve insane sizes when the whole point of a cappuccino is that it is a short coffee made up of a shot of espresso, a small amount of hot (not scorching) milk & a good amount (50% of the cup) of consistently light & firm 'stretched' milk. The milk-steaming method taught in Costa encourages as much foam as possible - which does not produce good foam.

Sorry, bit of a coffee complex perhaps?!

JPM said...

Richard, I've just noticed your post. Actually I agree, the car is not actually a wreck. I should have gone into detail about why I feel it LOOKS like a wreck. It's due to the storage of goods inside it. But, as Brockley develops, watch this space. Or, rather, watch the space that will be filled by these (storeage) cars.

Richard said...

Storage of goods - not pretty perhaps, but Broca is tiny and I can forgive this small sin, which I can't say I'd noticed before now, if it means a decent independent cafe running smoothly.

I had never thought 'storeage cars' were a problem areas were a problem an area could be blighted with - seems an unlikely solution, but only time will tell I guess.

The Cat Man said...

At leasst its a nice looking car rather than some sort of old banger. I think the car itself adds to the historical context of the street (being one of the oldest in the 'c' area).

Maybe the storage issue will disappear when the new shop in west brockley opens? In cases people didn't know, the size of the place she is taking on is bigger than costcutter on brockely road.

Anonymous said...

In terms of shop frontage, yes, but I don't think so in terms of sq footage.

Anonymous said...

Very pleased about this, but does anyone know when it's opening?

Brockley Kate said...

The old florists on Brockley Cross has a sticker on the window saying: 'Western Union: opening here soon'.

One step forward two back said...

Yes, I saw the sign, at least it's not a bookmaker. Not the best news though.

The Cat Man said...

I think the new shop is quite deep - judging by the one next door (the b2 newsagents)

Anonymous said...

ecosium is under new management - seems to haev new name as well now - white fennec.

hope the service is better, nice guy but terribly slow food.

Anonymous said...

I friend of mine went there last week. Said the food, service and ambiance was much improved.
Nick - worth doing another review?

Anonymous said...

I heard it has been taken over by the guys who own the cafe on Brockley Road. Here's a link:
www.thebestof.co.uk/lewisham/
32768/1/1/the_best_of.aspx

Anonymous said...

Western Union, not actually detrimental I s'pose (in my middle class opinion)just not much use to me.

jpm said...

I'd certainly like to know if there is an improvement in the service and food at Ecosium.

I was saddened to hear that the owner of that building took his own life a few months back. Tragic.

fabhat said...

slightly worried by the pre dining suggestion for white fennec:

"Set your taste buds alight and give us a call!"

Headhunter said...

Western Union? The money transfer company? I thought they usually operated from small shops rather than in their own premises. Does this mean that it's going to be a corner shop type place?

Anonymous said...

Western Union basically props up Nigerian email scams - see the proliferation of transfer shops along the Old Kent Road...

The Cat Man said...

Its also a good way for money to leave the uk economy. Just think what £1 could buy you over there.

I wonder if this will hurt the local Brockers economy.

drakefell debaser said...

Western Unions are usually confined to that genre of shop but there is one already across the road, Costcutters down Brockley Rd & The Quick Stop on Endwell Rd all within 5 minutes walk so I don't know when they hope to saturate this market. I dont know if the current retailers have Western Unions. Could spell the end for Dukes though.

drakefell debaser said...

My brother used to work in the compliance department at Western Union focusing on Money laundering; all he ever did was attend court hearings to give evidence against people with an extensive number of vowels in their names. Suffice to say there is a problem.

Will Newcastle United be bought using Western Unions services?

Anonymous said...

Wat is the deal with Dukes anyway? is it some sort of inside-out jail? Shopping through steel bars?

The Cat Man said...

What is Dukes? Is it a type of deli?

drakefell debaser said...

Dukes is a bottle store type thing that never seems to be open. An inside out jail is a good description. Maybe the owners have locked themsleves inside.

Anonymous said...

Duke's is nuts. Stumbled in there drunk after a late one in town, to buy some paracetamol for my hangover (always thinking ahead)He serves you through a little grill - very odd.

tyrwhitt michael said...

Dukes along with the railside tyre depot were both left off the publicity "computer aided design artist's impressions" of the Tea Factory...... which of course also left off the patchy brickwork........

Bea said...

I tried out the new “Ecosium” on Sunday and had their Roast Lunch. It was really very good value for money at £6.95. The medium rare roast beef was tender, the gravy delicious and vegetables just right! I’ve always been a fan of this place (despite the previously incredibly slow service) but I’m happy to report it is definitely a notch better than before.

drakefell debaser said...

I think you need a little Dutch courage to go in there in the first place. Maybe they ran a shop on Merseyside before Brockley and kept their grills.

Anonymous said...

Dukes is a little window on the cheap side of Brockley for those of us who live in the conservation area and accidentally turn the wrong way upon leaving the station... it is indeed like a shop straight out of the Liverpool suburbs.

Anonymous said...

I just went to get a lettuce in the costcutter after work- let's say less than fresh and even Bockley's larger slugs would give them a miss so this is great news as I presume Erin will actually have some idea what fresh or indeed edible fruit and veg looks like. Has anyone noticed that it looks like the old florist on Brockley Cross, although now a fetching shade of blue, is going to be a Western Union- I know these are invalubale to many people but not something I will ever use.

The Cat Man said...

Yes, we noticed. It's great isnt it. Another excuse for people to take all their money out of the local community and far away overseas.

I wonder if they continue to care as much about where they reside if they arn't keeping their assets here.

Poorly kept public infrastructure, paths, roads and now railings - yes, sounds great doesn't it.

Anyway, Western Union transfer shops are good for students coming here to study but a complete drain on the local economy if others use them.

I wonder if this means the re-generation is finally balancing out in favour of the 'darkside'?

Anonymous said...

Don't knock Dukes - its the only place to get alcohol at 4 in the morning.
I heard that Nikki Fianders was going to be a music studio.

Tomit said...

I don't mind what a shop looks like as long as they sell fresh produce. Sadly a certain shop mentioned in this thread does not. Stale Kit kats are fail.

Paddyom said...

Whilst this is great news and brilliant for the area, I cant help but feel slightly sad that its located on the West side of Brockley (no offence!) simply for the reason that I think the regeneration of tired looking Brockley is going to be a real struggle and has a greater chance of succeeding if its more concentrated. I would have loved to read that this shop was opening in a more prominent Brockley street, maybe a unit on Brockley Road perhaps, so that this prominent horrendous plastic shopfronted street gets diluted and the transformation of it can begin. (sorry Mantel Road residents I know its an important street too, I just dont think its as prominent ;))

However, fair-play to Erin for having more guts than most to do this, she is a real asset to SE4. I will definitely take the walk west to try it out.

PS - I have to agree I am afraid that some of the prices in the existing deli's are OTT.

Anonymous said...

JPM
12 October 2008 15:57

love the idea !!
old recks all oVer the place as private waiting rooms,
perhaps we can all afford a holiday home after all !!

the car is an eye sore though, can the BCAG perhaps plant some flower beds aound it ?

burrorojo said...

Great news about the

Little note about Ecosium/White Fennec - went in there a few nights ago and was very impressed. Like Bea, I liked the place before, but I think the food has gone up in quality. Steak and couscous with chicken were both delicious! The owner seems pretty ambitious too - it's the same guy who's behind the Barrio place near Crofton Park, though I haven't been so can't comment.

One other note on nomenclature: we were told the new name was Aquarium, namechecking the centrepiece fishtank inside. Could White Fennec have been an intermediary name?

Anyway, definitely time for another review soon! I think they've been open about three weeks under new management, so hopefully the early good signs will be confirmed...

burrorojo said...

Ah, to check messages before posting - that first sentence should have read
'Great news about the fruit and veg shop.'

Nice to have an alternative for when I don't feel like trekking out to Lewisham Market.

Can't afford SE22 said...

Don't forget there's another Western Union by Moonbow's. My heart sank when that opened up, and dashed any hope that this place will ever regenerate. (Well, maybe in 10-15 years, when the next boom start..)

Anonymous said...

frontage now painted green and purple. the countdown continues....

The Cat Man said...

Just bumped into Erin, she is planning on opening 'soon' apparently!

She was busy creating stencil pictures on the path in front of the shop (I kid you not).

I assume they are going to be put up somewhere inside

Anonymous said...

Did you ask her about the coffee shop element that this shop may or may not feature?

lb said...

I can't see why she'd do that, wouldn't she be shooting herself in the foot? Unless it's an attempt to crush Matchbox, and its trade, in a caffeinated pincer deathgrip.

Anonymous said...

Depends. You could fit an awful lot more people in the West Brockley site than currently allows in the Broca.

Anonymous said...

The outside of this place is looking really good now. Images of coffee beans and cups suggest a nod towards serving coffee as well as the groceries.

Anonymous said...

Is there that much demand for bad coffee in SE4?

Anonymous said...

what do you know about good coffee?

Anonymous said...

Wow sounds really cool, about time something good happened on the dark side! Well doe to Erin - bravery award for doing so in these crunching times! Got to say The shop on the hill currently does a pretty wide range of both organic and local fruit and veg already (should people not be able to wait till the opening of new store) and not as expensive as imagined - on some items comparable to supermarkets..I go there every other day.. lets hope there are differences with all the local food empires! rumour has it a new coffee bar is opening eastside too???

Anonymous said...

I visited today for the first time. It's a great shop, loads of veg, Friendly staff and talk of a cafe with tables outside in the summer - which a great idea.

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