Dandelion Blue for sale [updated]

As has already been discussed in mournful tones elsewhere on the site, Dandelion Blue's lease is for sale.

The Coulgate Street shop placed an ad for its lease in the window a few days ago and we confirmed with the staff that the managers are trying to sell the place as a going concern. While we fret about the potential loss of a place that sells yummy stuff and lifts our spirits every time we come out of the station, the guys working there are concerned about their jobs.

We've not yet heard from the owners what has prompted this move, but obviously it's a very difficult climate for any small business to operate in. It appears to get regular footfall and we know we've put lots of our own money where our mouth is when it comes to supporting local businesses. Since it opened, we've always used it as a case study; as evidence that people in Brockley will shop local if they're offered the opportunity.

We hope that - as with Moonbow Jakes - if a sale does take place, it's to someone who wants to retain the good things about the place, while injecting new energy.

UPDATED

Owner Sandra has written to us to explain more:

We are closing Dandelion Blue at the end of January or it may possibly be sold before then.

This is because Pete is looking to move back to Scotland for personal reasons. I don't have the extra capital to buy him out, so unfortunately the shop will have to be closed / sold on.

The recession really has not had an input into the decision, in fact in this uncertain economic climate we are finding that we are getting busier as people look to treating themselves with drinks, food etc....rather than going out to bars, restaurants and the like. And as Christmas approaches, we have naturally seen increased footfall in the store.

180 comments:

jon s said...

Practical consequence of the recession we are heading into. It needs to increase its cashflow during the rush hour footfalls.

How about selling hot cups of semolina or poridge (flavours can include banana, date and coconut)in the morning for £1 and stews for £1.50 in the evening?

Get customer feedback on what flavours are wanted and provide it.

Tressillian James said...

Excellent idea - and if Dandelion Blue don't do it - perhaps Broca will.

It's a shame to see this happen - but 2 delis in one small area was always going to be difficult

Headhunter said...

Perhaps this was always in their business plan though? Set up the business and then sell it as a going concern. However they're probably predicting much slower business for the next few years so perhaps are getting out while the going's good. Such a shame, hopefully they'll find a buyer

Comment said...

Jon S always comes up with good ideas. Why this man is not running a local business I don't know!

Headhunter said...

Funny though, I always assumed that Degustation would be the 1st to fall of the 2. DB has a lot more exposure to people coming and going from the station.

The shame of it, does this mean that everyone in the conservation area will have to cross the tracks to the dark side for their deli needs when the new shop opens there?

Anonymous said...

Or they could just not buy them

Headhunter said...

You have to buy things from delis to be allowed to live in the conservation area. It's part of the interview process...

Anonymous said...

perhaps a shop selling "normal" every day products would weather the storm a bit better,there's only so much comte one can eat however we lack almost every other type of shop

drakefell debaser said...

This is sad news for Coulgate St. I enjoyed going there but only for a couple of things such as the cheese and hams, both top draw by the way. The rest of the shop was not of much interest to me so I used it for treats rather than essentials. Maybe less of the fair trade ethical organic pesto, coffee and teas and a wider range of locally sourced vegetables etc, may have helped increase traffic.

Let’s hope it can be sold on and that Degustation does not suffer a similar problem.

drakefell debaser said...

Those that live in the constipation area should turn left once over the darkside bridge to get to the other Brocca (it really needs a name now). I am sure fresh vegetables must be available in the east so you might not need to cross over at all thereby saving you the embarrassment of getting lost.

Westside should set up a tourist board with a map of its attractions that can be posted on the communal board at the start of the darkness. Eternal Jerk Ruins for example. It’s a shame the anti G Brown graffiti has been covered over – that even made the papers so it’s almost on par with Banksy. Catman whats your door number so it can be added to the map? Any other suggestions from darkside residents welcome.

Headhunter said...

Anon 12:33 - As shop selling normal stuff? Like Costcutter or any other small supermarket/corner shop?

Problem with those is that most people do their weekly shop at a supermarket these days and are unlikely to go to a local shop selling "normal stuff" unless they run out of bread or milk or some other such emergency last minute supply situation. Supermarkets have more or less pushed local shops either into being DB/deli affairs or the Costcutter/corner shop "last minute supply" places, any more than that and people will just drive/bus etc to Tesco or Asda.

We already have Costcutter near the station so I doubt another, smaller shop selling "normal stuff" would survive any better than a deli/specialist shop.

The Cat Man said...

Oh, Sad for Dandelion Blue but to be honest this does not mean - in the slightest - that it is loss making.

We really need to check out the books.

They could be making losses and still selling it as a going concern.

Weird how things happen - new 'large' shop westside, but one potentially closing east side.

Anotherr reason to visit westside: cat-walking.

lb said...

"Weird how things happen - new 'large' shop westside, but one potentially closing east side"

I suspect the two things are not entirely unconnected. Nothing weird about it - my guess is that takings aren't that high, and the prospect of a new high-end grocery-type shop opening has encouraged the owners to get out while they can.

Brockley Kate said...

Degustation is a bit more recession-proof as I think I heard that Augustine also uses the premises to store his wines which he sells through other outlets. If true, the premises' cost would therefore partly covered by his pre-existing business ...

Anonymous said...

Headhunter,which planet are you on?Costcutter selling normal products?from my experience they sell mainly crap ohh yes and crisps, sweets and fizzzzy drinks just what the doctor ordered

Anonymous said...

i love how the update has showed up all the economic 'pundits' like LB.

Brockley Nick said...

I'm glad that it's not due to a lack of trade. It means our guiding thesis - that it is justifiable to hope for more from Brockley - holds true.

Tressilliana said...

Costcutter sells bread, milk, cheese, apples, bananas, cereals, pasta, rice, tins of tomatoes, baked beans, frozen veg, tea, coffee, sugar, flour etc etc. All much the same stuff you'd find in Tesco Metro, and very different from what you'd find in Degustation and Dandelion Blue because the majority of the population of Brockley can afford to shop in Costcutter at least occasionally whereas most of simply can't afford to buy much from the delis on a regular basis. If we were living in Dulwich, Blackheath or Greenwich these shops would thrive. We're not.

Headhunter said...

Exactly Tressilliana, Costcutter DOES sell essential basics already. You need to check your own planet anon!

I still think there's increasingly a market for "high end" shops in Brockers, perhaps not 4 though (SOTH, DB, Degustation and unnamed dark side shop).

Nick - how do you know they are not selling up due to low sales? That was just a Cat Man hypothesis wasn't it?

Headhunter said...

...OK just seen the update re increased footfall...

lb said...

One of the owners had apparently stated that the other owner is moving, and they have insufficient capital to buy out the whole business, though the latter (and the timing) still makes me wonder about profits.

I think there's probably a market for some high-end grocery shops, I'm just not sure the existing ones differentiate themselves enough. There aren't huge amounts of money to be made from bread or olives, after all. Even the Broca effectively duplicates what's available 20 feet away at Matchbox (or in a short while about 150 feet away in another branch of itself, by the looks of things).

Jon S had a great idea, as usual - look for things people aren't providing already.

lb said...

Speaking of the recessio...sorry, "credit crunch", wasn't work on the Talbot supposed to have begun by now?

That's one place I wouldn't have minded seeing 'gentrified', if only so it had enough working lightbulbs that I could actually see what I was drinking.

fred vest said...

"The recession really has not had an input into the decision, in fact in this uncertain economic climate we are finding that we are getting busier as people look to treating themselves with drinks, food etc....rather than going out to bars, restaurants and the like. And as Christmas approaches, we have naturally seen increased footfall in the store."

I'm never usually one to be cynical, but given the owner has said they are hoping to sell it, would one expect anything other than the upbeat statement quoted above

if the owners comments are correct then why don't youse really put your money where your mouths are and club together and buy a half share in the thing rather than the odd loaf of bread

max said...

Expect a press release from Lewisham Council saying that the Talbot has been secured.

lb said...

I trust that the inflatable paddling pool in the beer garden that they promised us was secured as well?

max said...

Safe as houses.

Brockley Nick said...

@lb / max - The Talbot's owners have already said it's on hold because they can't raise the financing and the Honor Oak's takings are down. There's an article on here if you click on the talbot link at the bottom.

@fred - the owner has given us her explanation, which seems perfectly reasonable. I don't think any of us should indulge in unfair and idle speculatoin.

Jt said...

No serious potential buyer is going to going to put a bid in for the place based on the sellers word alone, the books have to be looked at.

fred vest said...

nick: yep everything is always as it appears isn't it

jt: of course no one is going to buy it on the owners word alone, however no one is even going to get close to bothering to look at the books unless they think the thing has a chance of being a goer in the first place

max said...

Nick, true, it should have been that if Lewisham Council was the owner a press release that it was secure was on its way.

Brockley Nick said...

Fred, I didn't say that, did I? You can concoct whatever theories you like, but it's not fair to speculate on a public forum.

lb said...

I thought that pretty much all people did on blogs was engage in "idle speculation".

fred vest said...

you all but said it nick, in that everyone has to accept what they are being told and not discuss any possible alternatives here, i.e. a public show of accepting things as they appear

as to folk not speculating about stuff on here is this a recent dictat as there's a fair amount of it goes on here almost every day

Monkeyboy said...

Actually re Fred's idea. I read something about a comunity shop, may have been in the states? it was run on a co-op type basis where the staff gave up some free time to run it for no money. Not sure what the reason was exactly? May have been in an out of the way place where no commercial enterprise was willing to open a shop.

I've always prefered Degustation personally although do use both for a posh bread fix.

(Fred, loving the retort you posted to our race embassador on the 'Pastiche' thread)

lb said...

Well, whatever - I guess if the place closes it's not (unlike the tiny but real possibilities of getting totalled by an asteroid, cooked by methane, fried by a gamma ray burst or possibly some other far worse fate) it's not the end of the world. I went in there once to try and get some lunch but as I only had a tenner on me I came away empty-handed.

There are quite a few co-op type shops around. Though the idea of the 'community' clubbing together to sell itself stuff can seem a bit idiotic it actually works quite well, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Let's do it. How much do they want for the place anyone know?

fred vest said...

it won't be cheap with business booming and that,by the time you discount all those future cash flows to present value you'll be looking at a tidy sum

but it'd be worth it, like finding gold in a way, a business that is unaffected by, and insulated from, the recession

Headhunter said...

Ooh you really are such a bitch

lb said...

Well, the fried chicken shop seems to be doing pretty well. Let's face it, at £1.99 for chicken and chips pretty much everyone's going to be eating there in a few months.

fred vest said...

lb, let's call them by their proper name if you please

lb said...

Erm, 'sauteed poulet de Bresse' and 'artisan-cut potato matchsticks' perhaps?

Tressilliana said...

Cheap chicken and fries - won't anybody think of the children? Beans on toast is a fraction of the cost and a lot better in every respect.

drakefell debaser said...

Yes flatulence in winter can be useful I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with a bit of KFC - its the cheaper ones you have to watch out for.

Headhunter said...

Sainsbury's was doing 2 cartons of 6 or so organic chicken drumsticks for a fiver last week. That's 12 bits of chicken and it's organic/conservation area friendly. £1.99's a rip off...

Headhunter said...

Sorry, actually it was Tezzies...

Paddyom said...

What an absolute shame. I only went into it for the first time last week for a ‘look’ and left £22 lighter! I think that unit would be perfect for a small restaurant with seats out front, a Pizza Express type of place like Blackheath. I guess the zoning would have to be changed for that though. Has anyone been in the Chez Ecosium place since it changed ownership? Brockley needs some middle of the road to smart restaurants around the station to build on the rejuvenation. I am really disappointed that DB is probably closing, it improved the image of Brockey when arriving at the station no end…

nobbly brick said...

I've never been in Dandelion Blue, and don't hold strong views about shopping, so I cannot be provocative

sorry


well, that's not true, I do hold strong views about shopping - I don't like it

tyrwhitt ali said...

I've been in Ecosium twice since it changed hands and became Aquarium, once for lunch and once for dinner. Had a lovely steak the first time and a huge chicken baguettte the second. Will definitely be back again!

Anonymous said...

How would/could a co-op work. Is it like shares? You put a sum of money in and get dividends paid in olive oil and pancetta?

Anonymous said...

Pretention levels rising...

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Whilst we are on retail therapy I see the second mini-mart on Lewisham Way near the Tesco express, formerly Gogis I think in the next block going west from the chinese supermarket and restaurant has reinvented itself as an ehtnically specialised shop if that is the correct term.

I don't think its open yet but its nice new plastic sign declares polish, russian, arabic and other cuisines catered for....

Tressilliana said...

Flatulence especially useful in winter - struggling to make sense of this. Is it something to do with being able to use it as fuel by lighting it or with the effect of methane on the ozone layer?

state the obvious said...

It warms the seat of your pants..........

Headhunter said...

Tressilliana - I think the former rather than the latter. I think you're over estimating the intelligence of the poster...

Tressilliana said...

Right-o. Gosh, there's a high-toned bunch in this afternoon...

Xenophobe said...

"polish, russian, arabic and other cuisines"

Not sure if I'm offended by this, can I get back to you?

Transpontine said...

Re food co-op idea, wasn't that what Brockley Bean was? (late 80s/early 90s Coulgate St)m - maybe with recession such ideas will come around again, especially if there's lots of unemployed people with time on their hands.

Anonymous said...

If you're unemployed the last thing you'll want to do is work for a not-for-profit bean shop... you'll be looking for a proper job.

Sandra said...

It is very easy to speculate and make a bigger scene of the reasons behind why dandelion blue is being closed. Of course, there is specific detail as to why this is happening, but I do not feel the need to have to explain these to all and sundry.

The obvious speculations, of course put a lot of pressure on us as business owners as to where we would have been in a few years time, but at this moment in time - touchwood - the economy gremlins have been on our side. More than the financial constraints of owning a business, there are far greater challenges to deal with, which unfortunately we do not feel up to the job of dealing with - am I going to go into specific detail about them with you - no, why should I, if you were a serious prospect investor, then I would happily share the detail with you. We wanted to close the deli in June, but thought it better to wait until Christmas when it is most busiest to maximise our profit - and actually review our challenges and see if were willing to overcome them and not close so hastily, but we were not, so here we are. Pete is moving to Scotland (I may go to!), I don't really want to have to do this on my own or with a stranger, so dandelion blue is closing for business. More than selling the business - because that's just a bonus, and makes it easier to process the legal aspect - the deli will be closing in January sold or unsold.

I will miss all my customers, who were fantastic and gave us regular moral support and ears to have mindless chit-chat about all sorts. Very rarely, did we get negative customers, or people who liked to criticise but not explain how we could make it better for them...I won't miss them so much! I opened my own business, I was 22 and had a blast doing it. So to all the olive oil brigaders, posh bread noshers, marinated olive poppers and meedja luvvies or indeed all other job luvvers thank you very, very much for your wonderful custom.

Sandra at Dandelion Blue.

fabhat said...

Your comments are appreciated Sandra - and Dandelion Blue will certainly be missed, as I hope you can tell by all the concern on the website about when or why this was happening...

I hope you find a buyer who wants to continue the shop in the same vein.

Sandra said...

Hello Fabhat...thank you for your kind message and support.

Sorry about my last message, which I appreciate was more of a rant. I think when you are trying to do something like this, if anyone says anything negative, you feel like someone is picking on your baby.

I really did not want to have to justify anything, because Nick pretty much said why we were closing, but heigh ho, you do get caught up in all of it. There is nothing I can say to tell people that we were not closing because of the economy... You can never win, even if you feel you achieved something huge.

Thank you again for your kind words :-)

Sandra at Dandelion Blue.

drakefell debaser said...

Easy, no need to insult my intelligence by suggesting I light my own farts there headhunter. I didn't think the comment would need explanation but 'state the obvious' has done just that. Thanks.

I went to Ecosium, or White Fennec as I believe it is now called, a few weeks ago and the food was great. Starter, main course and a bottle of wine came in just over £20 a head so not a bad price either. We also got a free glass of wine because there was no card machine as yet and we had to withdraw from a cash-point. Unnecessary, but a nice touch. They also have possibly the tallest chef for miles around. Definitely recommend it for those who haven't gone.

Tressillian James said...

Hear hear Fabhat - Sandra thanks for giving Coulgate Street a go - we only hope the successors (whoever they are and whatever they sell) do it as well.

drakefell debaser said...

Its nice to know this was not an economic decision. I will be filling my boots with your nice hams and cheeses until you do shut.

Anonymous said...

AHHH what am I going to do, it was so easy to impress friends who came over by feeding them all the lovely DB food, I can't believe they are closing,
J

The Cat Man said...

How much capital do you need? Or is this not the right place to discuss this?

Anonymous said...

I'll take a punt here and guess it might not be the right place.

Brockley, this is a call to arms. Shop local, now.

Buy your toys from Sounds Around
Buy your pizza from Dominic's
Get your shopping from Costcutter
Get your chips from Fishy Business

Together we can bolster Brockley!

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I must correct my post from yesterday.

The newly revamped mini- mart on Lewisham Way is called the Sultan Food Centre and stocks and I quote "Turkish English Polski and Arabic food"

Not sure where I got the Russian from.....

Not open yet but they were busy inside shelf stocking last evening.

Good to see local businesses rising to the challenge of Tesco by diversifing into niche areas not just shutting up shop.

Headhunter said...

Sorry DD, didn't mean it. I can talk about flatulence with the best of 'em. Not sure about it being a replacement for central heating though...

patrick1971 said...

Re the famous co-op shop in the USA, I think this is the one you're talking about:

http://tinyurl.com/5unwxp

lb said...

There used to be a co-op of this type in Brighton, called Infinity, I think. Not sure if it's still there.

It was OK on principle but there's only so much quinoa a man can eat, so I didn't use it very much.

drakefell debaser said...

No worries HH, a fart boiler would be odd but stranger things have happened. Heather Mills might pioneer it given she advocates the use of rats milk to save the planet.

fred vest said...

the idea of a co-operative is sound (just as the idea of things like timebanks etc..) however their application always seems to be in areas of this sort rather than in more practical type of areas that would be more socially useful

i guess it just comes down to the fact that people with resources/time on their hands to have a go at this kind of things are the types of people who are into this kind of stuff so we end up with vegan co-ops and timebanks stuffed full of aramotherapy and alternative medicine specialists, instead of more core things that could actually make a big difference to people's lives

lb said...

Actually, stranger things are already happening on a regular basis.

lb said...

My previous comment was to DD, by the way.

"timebanks stuffed full of aramotherapy and alternative medicine specialists"

Yes, yes, but the natural hot air reserves could power the whole of Brockley, on the principle indicated in my previous post.

drakefell debaser said...

That’s quite fascinating LB. Is this technology widely used in the UK?

lb said...

Actually, I don't think it is - I have a feeling there's been more interest in 'developing' economies like India so far. Though as that thing I linked to suggests, the Swedes are the world leaders.

Methane can be extracted from landfill too, of course. Or if global warming melts the permafrost we may even end up with more of it than we know what do with (see the 'clathrate gun' link in my 'it's not the end of world' comment above)

drakefell debaser said...

Yes I saw the bit about Sweden but they generally are a few years ahead of rest of the world in many respects. I didn’t realise you could extract biogas from places like sewage treatment plants nor landfill for that matter and having grown up on a farm I am fully aware of how much muck cattle produce -one of the biggest headaches with cattle farming is where to put it all.

If the technology is there then power companies are missing a trick because unlike fossil fuels, we are unlikely to stop defecating anytime soon.

Brockley Nick said...

One of my clients works with a carbon offsetting company called TerraPass, which puts quite a lot of money in to bagging and burning cow farts. I think in the US...

patrick1971 said...

fred vest, what about the Cooperative movement in the UK? It has a bank, a supermarket, a chain of funeral parlours, a legal service and a holiday service...all pretty useful, I'd have thought.

Tressilliana said...

Any other Archers listeners about? Ambridge has been rocked in recent months by a proposal to build an anaerobic digester in the village (now abandoned - the plan, not the village). The initial thought was to use farm waste, then to grow crops specially for the plant and finally to bring food waste in by lorry. Presumably this could be done in cities if food waste were to be the fuel. After all, we already have a combined heat and power plant up the road burning all our non-recyclable rubbish and turning it into fuel. Putting the biodegradable bits into a giant compost heap instead is presumably less polluting than incinerating it. Both are infinitely preferable to landfill.

drakefell debaser said...

Places like Texas which was mentioned on Lb’s link have huge cattle ranches so they must have a field day down there. I feel oddly nostalgic talking about cattle.

If the UK doesn't adopt something similar soon then we will end up buying said cow farts from other countries that have invested in the infrastructure to harness it.

Do the greens have a view on this?

The Cat Man said...

You maybe interested to hear that early street lighting in England was powered by using methane.

In winchester there still exists a methasne gas lamp.

Its quite amusing to hear this being debated now. Everything is about balance.

max said...

I have actually asked at Council how much composatble is incinerated and have thought a way to change that.
You can read about it at my written blog here:

http://tinyurl.com/58slc9

and here:

http://tinyurl.com/5kj8he

The Cat Man said...

"Opposite Minster House. Rare example of J. and E. Webb's patent sewage gas destructor. The flame which burns continuously, not only provides illumination but also burns off any gases rising from the sewer to which the lamp is connected. Now converted to use natural gas."

http://www.hants.gov.uk/hampshiretreasures/vol04/page099.html

jon s said...

Who says a cooperative shop has to sell food for wannabe hippies? Sell what people want to make money.

I've said it before, if people are serious about doing it I'm more than happy to buy some of the shares and sit on the board. However, I won't hold my breath.

drakefell debaser said...

Ah yes, enter stage left - Yoda of Winchester. What is all about balance? A lamp in Winchester is not quite the scale that is required to make a difference. There seems to be little, if none at all, large scale application that will power for example the whole of Winchester. This is why Sweden is ahead of the game even if Winchester did give it a shot some years ago.

Max, I agree, the fee for incinerating rubbish is too cheap and they should be more selective of what is burnt there. I have never seen a brown bin but going by the figures provided by Lewisham that makes it £36 per household (£180K divided by 5000 households) to provide one, you state £108, what have I missed?

max said...

You have missed that the trial run for 4 months, so for a year's collection you have to multiply £36 x3 = £108

fred vest said...

"fred vest, what about the Cooperative movement in the UK? It has a bank, a supermarket, a chain of funeral parlours, a legal service and a holiday service...all pretty useful, I'd have thought."

indeed, but does anyone seriously think they operate in any different way (other than ethically) from their competitors in all those sectors that you mention?

thinks like timebanks are useful,in my opinion, as they attempt to remove money as the mediating factor between people in need of something and the items that satisfy those needs, the co-op is just another organisation competing with other organisations to get a bigger share of the cash backed demand from consumers, they have a few ethical bells & whistles tagged on to this approach which i'm not knocking but at base they are no different from their non-co-op competitors and compete with them on exactly the same terms as dictated by the market to all particpiants. (ps i'm not saying things like shops, funeral care, banking services themselves etc.. are not socially useful within the society we live in, but it's the manner in which they are provided is more the thing i'm getting at

i mean does anyone seriously thing waitrose/john lewis is differentiated from it's competitors through being socially useful? and do people think that the folk who work for waitrose/john lewis have any kind of massively different experience as a worker compared to those of tescos, marks & spencer, house of fraser etc.. (other than the waitrose store unfiforms being strangely arousing)

fred vest said...

"Who says a cooperative shop has to sell food for wannabe hippies? Sell what people want to make money."

so if the sole purpose of a co-operative, in your mind, is to make money, there's no real difference between a co-operative and a company with an unusually large number of directors/shareholders

in my mind the motivating purpose of a co-operative is what defines it from other businesses, so if the motivating purpose of the co-op is just to make money then it's no different from any other company
in essence/substance, only in form

drakefell debaser said...

Understood. So the total spent by the council incinerating things that could be composted in one year in total, is equivalent to providing brown bins to around 10% of the households for one year. No wonder the incinerator is popular.

lb said...

Exactly, there's no such thing as 'ethical' money (or, for that matter, dirty money). There's just money, which can (and probably will have been) used to plant landmines, hoover a pile of charlie up someone's nose, and send a goat to an African farmer with an absolute and amoral impartiality.

lb said...

I guess the motivating purpose of a co-operative, then, would be to provide a given 'community' with greater control over what's sold to (or by) them and at what price.

Headhunter said...

There's a sewer lamp in London too. On Carting Lane off The Strand. It's been there since the 1880s and is the last one left...

fred vest said...

"There's just money"

indeed, as shakespeare once commented it's both the commmon whore and the visible divinity — the transformation of all human and natural properties into their contraries, the universal confounding and distorting of things: impossibilities are soldered together by it

Headhunter said...

I looked at houses in the shadow of that enormous incinerator in New Cross before moving to Brockers, decided against the area in the end largely due to suspicions as to what noxious fumes belch out of it....

drakefell debaser said...

No i wouldn't want to live there either. Wait until Barrat Homes get back on their feet...stunning new development, incinerator views with hint of bin and roar of the Den on match days. Stamp duty paid for, conditions apply.

max said...

DD, with these energy prices the cost of incinerating kitchen waste could be quite a sum per household. And that is what we need to know.
If for example it was £50 per household then one person collecting and composting 20 neighbours' kitchen waste in his backgarden would net him £1000 a year.
(Sorry Fred for using money in this proposal, I thought it would be a useful reference for all those liberals reading this.)

fred vest said...

max you protest too much

jon s said...

Surely the whole point of a coop is to help regenerate the area, encourage community communication and allow us to buy what we want locally for a reasonable price!

It's no use to anyone if it loses money and doesn't respond to local customer need. You can make a profit from adding, not only exploitation and misery.

drakefell debaser said...

Max, but then who pays the composter, the residents or the council?

fred vest said...

[Surely the whole point of a coop is to help regenerate the area, encourage community communication and allow us to buy what we want locally for a reasonable price!]

well make up your mind, earlier on you said the aim was to 'sell what people want to make money' - now i'm not saying the three things you mention above are mutually exclusive with this but they are uneasy bed partners and it's not rocket science to suggest that the more you try and do of one the harder time you will have of achieving the other

[It's no use to anyone if it loses money and doesn't respond to local customer need. You can make a profit from adding, not only exploitation and misery]

well it's no use to anyone (or more correctly no different from a non co-op business) if you measure it's success using money as the only barometer, if you measure it's success however through ways in which measure the three categories you mentioned above then it can be successful.

the point is if you, as you seemed to imply earlier, put making money as the main factor then it will quickly be dragged into and under the competitive forces of the market, and no matter how well meaning and good intentioned those involved in it are when they are at the mercy of the forces of the market they either play the game or they get out, there's no such thing as nice capitalists or nasty capitalists just capitalists

also you join together losing money & not responding to customer need like they are one and the same thing, you can lose money while responding to customer needs and also make money while disregarding customer needs (obviously this one is specific to certain situations, but even in wider generic terms businesses all the time make money while disregarding potential customers needs, they only respond to customers whose needs are backed by effective demand, i.e. cash in their pocket)

most of my points above however have been about things like time banks which remove money as the medium between people's wants and the things that satisfy those wants (and also by doing that removes money as a basis of measurement of their success or otherwise). of course there is no way that these things could survive beyond a very small and limited focus in tight geographical areas and clearly cannot eschew money completely in terms of them being able to operate, but as i said previously, the principles of them are sound even if the application of them end up being somewhat less than socially useful/necessary

Anonymous said...

Wow, Dandelion Blue is closing all that work they put in, the decor, the logo'ed bags printed. Did that shop even last a year?

max said...

DD, it would be the Council.
The proposal is budget neutral.
The Council makes money in two ways:
- by avoiding to include wet waste in the mix of the incinerator and therefore improving its efficiency and that means more energy sold on to households;
- by virtually increasing the intake of the incinerator that free of kitchen waste from Lewisham can accept more waste from other Boroughs and that means increased revenues for the incinerator that Lewisham Council partly own.

fabhat said...

Just a note on co=ops and john lewis. Co-ops give their members a dividend out of the profits, so if you are a member of the co-op and do your shopping there you are essentially getting a discount, or cashback compared to a non member shopper. And john lewis/waitrose staff are all partners - again they get a share of the profits, whether they work in the staff canteen or the IT dept or the shop floor - which apparently increases staff loyalty and happiness.

drakefell debaser said...

Max, so all it needs is someone with space and lots of bins to do the composting and a plan as to how to collect the waste. The composter gets paid for helping the council cut costs in terms of energy saving and reduce the emissions from unnecessary burning?

max said...

Yes, it's as simple as that.

drakefell debaser said...

maybe time to give up the day job if the volume is there.

max said...

Where there's muck...

The big boys are already there, the brown bins were delivering it to them.

fred vest said...

"Just a note on co=ops and john lewis. Co-ops give their members a dividend out of the profits, so if you are a member of the co-op and do your shopping there you are essentially getting a discount, or cashback compared to a non member shopper"

again the principle of it is sound i agree, but in reality these days this is not really any different from tesco clubcard and other loyalty cards, and is less and less focussed these days about doing things for members and more about getting useful consumption pattern information about their customers (although to be fair i just made that last comment up, not sure if it's true but it must play some part in it)

The Cat Man said...

dont be so cyncial.

the oxo apartment building underneath the restaurant is another good example of a collective.

there are a number of mutuals/building societies still in existence.

I dont really see what your problem is, are you saying collectively the employees/members shouldn't want to or desire to make a profit?

if that is the case, then I will gladly refer you to the charities register to do some homework.

Jon S - i'm also interested in being a silent partner in DB.

Anonymous said...

there's a food co-op not all that far away

http://www.fareshares.org.uk/

jon s said...

Fred,

Trying to claim that a company has any other purpose than to make money is daft, co-operative or not. Most of what differentiates a co-op is branding, general exclusion of certain suppliers and what profit is used for.

Anonymous said...

And cost, of course. It's just another handy type of Tesco express - although I appreciate they were probably around first. Normal goods at all hours in a clean environment - I like them for what they are.

13:24 said...

I'm intrigued by the fairshares outlet in Walworth, and I'd like to know how the prices compare with 'traditional' shareholder-profit focussed retailers. I think there's space for something like this in Brockley (I don't have any hippy inclinations - although I have been known to strum a guitar from time to time).

The current banking debacle has made me far more sympathetic to co-operative/mutual ways of running a business.

Comment said...

You and a lot of people. I wouldn't mind seeing a Brockley Building society. Look at how we are treated around here, in terms of cashpoint facilites.

fred vest said...

"I dont really see what your problem is, are you saying collectively the employees/members shouldn't want to or desire to make a profit?"

if that's what they want to do then fair enough, but all i'm saying is this is no different than a bunch of people being shareholder-directors of a company, calling it a collective or a co-operative is just either hard nosed marketing to try and profit on the ethical pound or as some kind of conscience saver for folk who at the end of the day are only interested in profit but don't quite like to admit it as it goes against their wooly liberal ethos , the notion that this kind of organisation plays any different social role than that of 'normal' companies is just a nonsense

" i'm also interested in being a silent partner in DB."

the chances of you shutting the fuck up are pretty slim i would have thought

Anonymous said...

frankly I'd pay a premium for grub if it meant that Andy pledged a vow of silence.

max said...

He gets points on the Nectar Card for talking rot.

Paddyom said...

Sandra well done on setting up such a lovely shop. It will be dearly missed by my belly ;)

nobbly brick said...

So we're all agreed them, we buy up dandelion blue as a collective and turn it into a £ shop?

The Cat Man said...

Dear angry fred,

the key difference between a 'co-operative' and a 'shareholder company' is that normally co-operatives require you to either use or participate in the running of the shop/outlet via being an employee or a member. Shareholders of a company do not have to do anything other than sit back and insist on higher dividends from the management, do not have to use the store and which is often the case, do nothing to promote the interests of the company directly.

To be honest, if you honestly didn't know these quite blaringly obvious differences I am amazed your brain knows how to tell your body to draw breath.

lb said...

Catman, I'm sure Fred's quite aware of that. His main point (I think - don't want to put words into his mouth) is that both systems operate within the constraints of the market economy and are therefore subordinate to the 'ethics', or lack thereof, of that economy. Whether this is a problem or not depends on what you believe a co-op represents, but in terms of the workings of a co-op within the economic system, then members are pretty similar to the shareholders of a public company.

I'd also argue that your assertion that shareholders "do nothing to promote the interests of the company directly" is highly debatable, particularly as they provide capital in the first place.

I've been in that shop in Walworth several times. It was fine, although I was a bit amused by the sign on the wall "This isn't a shop, this is a social experiment", given that it looked and functioned exactly like a shop.

lb said...

And to 13.24's question - well, I did buy some porridge oats in the sho...pardon me, Social Experiment, and I think they came out a similar price to Tesco. They did make pretty nice porridge.

Everything else seemed pretty average prices. It was helpful to be able to buy stuff loose and weigh it.

Anonymous said...

This is bad news. Can we really believe that money has nothing to do with the closure? My main concern is that if nobody buys it as DB, then that key spot will become vulnerable to other, potentially less attractive businesses.

Anonymous said...

Depends what you'd call a "potentially less attractive" business really doesn't it?

drakefell debaser said...

I think we should take Sandra’s word for it. I doubt the owners would have kept it open to maximise profits if it was loss making and we should be wary of continuous speculation as it can add to its demise. If the interested keyboard activists on here, with the ability to invest in it, progress to contacting the owners then who knows. When are you back from NY catman?

The Cat Man said...

Ib, we do not have a purely market based economy (thats a scary thought). If we had that, then we wouldn't have any taxes to pay.

We have a mixed economy. Therefore ethics most certaintly are factored in the way business is conducted in the UK.

To a lesser degree in the US - its quite scary here for an employee - e.g: No statutory minimum holiday, No contract of employment.

The Cat Man said...

And whats wrong with David Cameron?

lb said...

I was just about to post quite a long, involved rebuttal but suddenly noticed that it was quite sunny outside in the real world, and I couldn't really be bothered.

lb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lb said...

"And whats wrong with David Cameron?"

We clearly aren't going to reach consensus, are we?

The Cat Man said...

I dont think I could vote for him, so maybe.

Is it really sunny outside?

Its not too nice here in NYC.

Tressilliana said...

I'm about three miles from Brockley at the moment and it isn't sunny here. Not enough blue sky to make a Dutchman a pair of breeches, that's for sure.

fred vest said...

catman once again, showing a remarkable consistency of approach, misses the point by a country mile

lb's pretty much summed up what i was saying, but even if we put those factors aside and take it down a level so that catman may be able to jump aboard, the comparison at face value in terms of what's being talked about here (i.e in relation to running a place like dandelion blue), there's still no difference

if a bunch of you put up capital into a limited company which was used to buy the existing business/premises and took directorships in said company and all helped out in the shop (through your status as director/employee) and also purchased your overpriced daily loaf from said shop - you could call this a co-operative or you could just call it a company with a number of shareholder-directors-employees

there's no difference between the two things other than the warm liberal glow of saying you are involved in a 'co-operative'

and catman, your points about whether we have a truely pure market economy or not are completely irrelevant to the discussion in hand (putting aside the fact that no one even said we did have a pure market economy - instead only that market forces would be at work - i won't bother picking up on your implicit suggestion from this that you seem to think that market forces will only be felt if the market system it truely pure - open your eyes and look around you for second to see how idiotic that stance is)

as i can't see any state handouts on the way to keep the deli system from imploding, nor have their been considerable state investment in public goods to help setup and maintain the deli infrastructure, nor do they offer subsidies to customers/suppliers/owners etc.. to keep them going (no bail outs for greedy bakers etc..), so im afraid setting up a company/co-operative to run dandleion blue for the purposes of making money will leave those doing it subject to the forces/dynamic of the market - and while jon s seems to think that it is possible to measure the success or failure of achieving social/community objectives through the prism of the profit & loss account, i suspect the reality of it all would be quite different

lb said...

There was a gleam of sun at about twenty past one in east-ish Central London, where I work.

Tressilliana said...

We have to cherish the memory of every gleam, lb! The tiny glimmer of sun I saw a few minutes ago has gone now.

fred vest said...

i'm somewhat disappointed that it was raining yesterday, what with obama being being elected president and all that, so much for change eh

talking of that, does this

"Iran's development of a nuclear weapon I believe is unacceptable. We have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening"

sound familiar? (replace an N with a W, and nuclear with WMD, and it's word for word bush)

doesn't matter that the IAEA have consistently asserted that there is no evidence that iran has, or is working towards the development of, a n-bomb

there's none so blind......

lb said...

And, yeah, I very much doubt Gerrard Winstanley would have opened a deli.

If people are genuinely that concerned about their supplies of local honey, artisan bread and olive oil - they might want to consider forming some sort of bulk-buying cartel which obtains and distributes the goods directly without even the need for a shopfront or for a profit motive. Or learning to bake their own bread. All you'd need was a man and a van, or a winsome girl and a push-bike if that suits the image better.

lb said...

I need the sun to come out mainly because the leaves are about to finally drop off and I have several rolls of 120 slide film itching to be exposed to autumnal colours.

Headhunter said...

Tress - "Not enough blue sky to make a Dutchman a pair of breeches". I love it! Where did you get that from? Why would a Dutchman particularly want blue breeches?

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Vest - are you so desperately bored/lonely you have to stir up past arguments on an internet messageboard to keep yourself occupied?
This place is grinding to a very dull halt because of posters like you.
Haven't you got any real friends to play with?

*realises this is a stupid question*

Anonymous said...

Give us this day our artisan bread
And forgive us our greenism
As we forgive those who live in the darkside
And lead us not into Eternal Jerk
For the conservation area is the kingdom
The power and the PVC windows
For ever and ever
Amen

Anonymous said...

The war on Iraw was met with lukewarm reception.

fred vest said...

"The war on Iraw was met with lukewarm reception"

lol, it my over excitment to bond with my internet friends/only friends on brockley central i exerted pressure too early as my finger glided across the w key on it's way to destination q

lb said...

"are you so desperately bored/lonely you have to stir up past arguments on an internet messageboard to keep yourself occupied?"

Keep doing it on Guardian Unlimited and they eventually give you a column.

drakefell debaser said...

The Dutchman’s breeches saying means that there is not enough blue sky to make a small person a pair of trousers. Not that the Dutch are small or always thin but using the word Dutch often implies oddity or the opposite to what you would normally expect. Or booze for that matter, such as Dutch courage or Dutch headache. I have no idea where it came from though.

Hugh said...

Tell Hugh what's happenin.

Tressilliana said...

HH, no idea where I heard that! Probably an ancient children's book, I would think.

Headhunter said...

Hmm I see. Had never heard that saying before. I'll try to use it in conversation this weekend

Bea said...

Dutchman’s Breeches is also the name of a plant. With white flowers, however. See here for more:

http://hankinslawrenceimages.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/dutchmans-breeches-and-squirrel-corn/

Headhunter said...

Funny looking flower! BTW what's a Dutch headache DD?

drakefell debaser said...

Dutch headache is a hangover. Another interesting one is a Dutch Widow which is a working girl of the night or Dutch Wife which is the blow up version. Someone clearly didn't like the Dutch.

drakefell debaser said...

Those are odd looking flowers. I can see how they resemble breeches but no idea why they have to be Dutch.

Headhunter said...

I went to Amsterdam ealier in the year, everyone thought I was Dutch, got people stopping me asking for directions, shop assistants speaking to me in Dutch etc....

drakefell debaser said...

Well if you are tall and fair then I guess you are in for it in that respect. A keen cyclist as well, have you looked through your family history? You never know. Holland is a great place though, very laid back and picturesque.

Headhunter said...

Yeah I do sometimes get Dutch or German, actually if I had the choice, I wouldn't mind being Dutch. Good place to live, although not sure from a cycling perspective, a Dutch bloke came on one of the rides with Dulwich Paragon, he was good, but he couldn't deal with the hills in the UK! Actually I've got French ancestory somewhere along the line.

The Cat Man said...

just to counter Angry Freds comments ALL small businesses qualify for certain exemptions/state help/business support EVEN IF THEY HAPPEN TO BE A DELI.

Things to consider:

1. lower corporation tax rate if below a certain number of employees/turnover/asset base (normally 10% circa upto 30% for the likes of BT or Shell).

2. Explicit government funded programmes teaching you how to run a small business - Business Link springs to mind.

3. Exemptions from a number of reporting/accounting requirements not to mention exemption from having to offer pension entitlements etc.. to employees.

4. Then of course, the tax system is pretty fair - able to offset certain losses against future taxable profits.

5. Small companies/businesses only have to pay a small amount of NIC's compared to E'ees.

And the last thing - just of the top of my head - there are certain 'reliefs' that can be obtained to transfer assets from a company into the owners direct hand - making it easier and more worthwhile for 'soletraders' from a tax planning perspective.

I'm amazed someone could claim no government support is given, even to a deli.

monkeyboy said...

yeah but they have rubbish cheese. I mean edam? What's all that about. Cheese for people who dislike cheese.

Anonymous said...

"a Dutch bloke came on one of the rides with Dulwich Paragon, he was good, but he couldn't deal with the hills in the UK!"

I'm guessing that wasn't (Mr) Anne then.

fred vest said...

you still don't really get the point do you catman (i.e. the one lb tried to explain to you above)

seems to be a trait of yours though, either display a woeful ignorance of the crux of the topic or consciously ignore it (due to you knowing you don't have the ability to properly engage with it) and go off on a tangent boring everyone to death with tedious details on some fringe comment adding nothing to the original issue

you keep plodding on though and like a stopped clock you'll occasionally get something right , although more by luck than design

The Cat Man said...

No, I got it thank you.

You expect me to respond to confirm acceptance or something?

I think it comes down to semantics. We are not a market economy we are a mixed economy where both government and the private sector can act as a mechanism for change.

I disputed your overt use of market factors, a common mistake but an understandable at least.

fred vest said...

so are you maintaining your absurd implicit assumption that market forces don't dictate how & what businesses do (regardless of how you classify the economy and what way said business is structured) - which was the point of my initial post on the matter

if not, what actual point are you trying to make that actually engages with, or goes against, the points i made earlier?

lets face it, your arguing over a semantic point that has no bearing on the actual issue being discussed. (i pointed out the reason why you would of course do such a thing above)

drakefell debaser said...

I am not surprised the Dutch bloke struggled with hills. Holland is pretty much as flat as a pancake with the most strenuous up hill ofen being the bridge over a canal.

I don't mind edam too much but not to fond of maasdammer which has the large holes in it.

Monkeyboy said...

Personally I think the holes have more flavour then the cheese.

This thread is getting increasingly weird, time to bale out methinks.

drakefell debaser said...

you aren't far wrong with the cheese although why the holes are there is less appertising. This thread has gone all over the place but cheese is tenuously related in some way i suppose.

Anonymous said...

We went along to White Fennec/Aquarium (previously Ecosium) last night after reading some good feedback on here. I had the sirloin steak and my fiance had king prawn linguine. My steak was cooked really well and my fiance said it was the nicest pasta she'd had in a long time. The service was really friendly and attentive and the atmosphere was very relaxing. We'll definitely be going back there soon.
Paul

jpm said...

They are charging West End prices, so it had better be good.

Tamsin said...

Been busy the last 24 hours so missed out on the Dutchman's breeches - my grandmother used to say the same (although I think it was "trousis" not "breeches"). And it is absolutely true - project an image of a person in middle distance up onto the sky and the arc of what would be their trousers is about 5 to 10 degrees - if there is a patch of blue that big it is indicative that the sky is clearing.

Why dutchman? I think it is that the archetypal dutchman image is from blue delftware tiles with blue trousis (or breeches). I have also heard a variant on the saying - to make a sailor's trousers.

jpm said...

Oh my god.

Headhunter said...

Tamsin - interesting theory about the Dutchmans's breeches....

Anon (Graeme is that you?) - No, I guess it wasn't Mr Anne. I didn't know he was Dutch! It was a Dutch guy who I've only seen on the rides once....

toshy said...

Two questions (I don't think they've come up so far, but I've only skimmed the 172 comments so apologies if they have):

-This Sultan Food Centre on Lewisham Way - is it open yet? I came here from Tottenham and have been very sad about the lack of availability of Turkish food (apart from in Meze Mangal, of course). Excited about that.

-This is not strictly Brockley so I may be banished from the forum, but it's only a few minutes' walk from Lewisham Way - Deptford Properly, that awesome cafe on Tanners Hill (opposite Witcomb Cycles) for Guardian readers (I'm not mocking, I AM one) which sold brilliant cake and veggie stuff and sadly closed down earlier this year, had a sign on it recently saying it was closed but was going to be replaced by a deli. Anyone know what's happening with that?

Tressilliana said...

Toshy, welcome to SE London. It's a long time since I was in there, but there used to be a shop in Ladywell (Ladywell Road, opposite the junction with Vicar's Hill and a few paces from Ladywell Station) which was owned and run by a Turkish family and seemed to sell some Turkish specialities. There is also a very large Turkish shop on Lewisham High Street, south of the Library and north of the railway bridge. I don't go to Lewisham much so can't vouch for it, but it's been going for years and years and Turkish families in the neighbourhood seem to use it, which is a good sign.

You might also be interested in Gennaro's, the Italian shop in Lewisham. It's on Lewis Grove, opposite the Riverdale Centre. Lots of lovely stuff there.

toshy said...

Hi Tressillina, thanks for the welcome and the tips. I have been to Gennaro's (which is fab) but didn't know about either of those Turkish places - will definitely check them out.

fabhat said...

toshy - the turkish place buy the bridge in lewisham is part of the tfc group (ridley road etc)so sells lots of good things, and is not too expensive either. They also have some nice feta pastries etc to eat straight away if browsing makes you hungry...

fred vest said...

they also have an even bigger shop on the bromley road in bellingham (three hail mary's!) with a half decent restraunt next door

Tressillian James said...

Missed the thread the on Friday - sure it didn't miss me - and to keep it gloriously off-topic - I remember being dressed up as a Dutchman for a fancy dress competition as a kid (again, being fair haired).

The costume includes a pair of baggy, dark blue breeches, a white shirt with blue stripes, a red kerchief, a dark blue cap and of course clogs.

So yes - blue being the traditonal colour of a Dutchman's breeches I can see how it ties in with the phrase.

(I feel a bit Daily Mail Coffee Time Questions and Answers now - that can't be good)

Wonder how we would do it now - I think we wouldn't choose national costumes for fancy dress - but if we did - a Dutchman would be...?

Headhunter said...

Perhaps stick on a paire of clogs, hang an Edam round your neck and smoke a reefer...

Tressillian James said...

I was thinking of said reefer in one hand, Heineken in the other and a painted orange face....

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