None more black

Dandelion Blue has been repainted jet black this weekend. The news follows regular sightings of people working inside the Coulgate Street shop, which has been closed for several months, since the former managers moved away from the area.

The work suggests the store is due to reopen shortly, though we've not heard anything definitive and the delays in the building work directly outside won't be much of an incentive to speed up the reopening.

We look forward to finding out more soon.

29 comments:

The Cat Man said...

I spoke to the people working in the shop on Saturday.

Yes - it will still be a Deli.

The name is going to be 'Browns of Brockley' apparently.

It suggests a more traditional affair compared to Dandelion Blue.

Anonymous said...

I like it.

Ed said...

Good news but not sure about the black though...

Anonymous said...

Sounds nice and traditional...look forward to trying it

Anonymous said...

Man with very sweet dog working there this afternoon- am glad it is to be a deli and not as I suspected a tatoo parlour

Ross said...

a tattoo parlour?

painted man said...

There is an excellent tattoo parlour in Ladywell, piercing also done.

Anonymous said...

tatoo parlours inevitably that colour aren't they- unless someone can cite an example which is not!

twisted logic said...

Peering in, I notice that there's still quite an array of produce on the shelves, and a bacon (sorry, prosciutto) slicer lying around. Does this suggest that the old lessees are not setting up a similar business elsewhere (as
was reported IIRC), and have cut their losses? Not auspicious to anybody wanting to run this place as a deli again, if you ask me.

Found myself in Gennaro's in Lewisham today btw. Great place - authentic and inexpensive.

Monkeyboy said...

Gennaro's is spot on, I admired Dandelion Blue but somehow it felt like Chelsea lifestyle magazines impression of what a deli should look like. Too little stock artfully arranged but too expensive, may be a little harsh perhaps but I remember these ridiculously expensive little bags of rice - would have been cheaper to fly to India. I wish the new place better luck, it's a prime location to catch the hungry London commuter crowd on the way home.

4x4 said...

Deli's are always going to be expensive and need to be if they are to survive-and even then they are usually an incredibly vulnerable venture. If dropping prices to get more people buying and increased stock turnover with a lower margin were the answer, then more of these little places would do it. The problem with most of these failing Deli's as far as I can see it is that they are underfunded and they cater only for the occasional buyer. They don't generate anywhere near the turnover to justify employing staff and eventually the owner gets fed up of standing in a shop from 8am-8pm for little reward and plenty of risk.
I can never understand why any of these people don't open a convenience store which incorporates a Deli and a grocers. The leases are cheap around Brockley and if you are to stand in a shop all day paying rent, you may as well sell all other goods as well as Deli type items. A beautifully merchandised mini-supermarket is a proper business model and it would be competition for the other convenience stores. You would have to pay more but it owuld be a nicer shopping experience.

Tyrwhitt michael said...

Incidentally a long long time ago (late seventies) Gennaro's started out in the row of shops along from the Wickham (none of which are shops any longer) on Upper Brockley Road.

So they are a more local business than you think.

Brockley Kate said...

Interesting about Gennaro's.

As for deli-food market idea, isn't that what the Broca's latest effort is supposed to be?

Headhunter said...

That's interesting about Gennaro's.

4x4 - What you describe as a "convenience store" comibining a "deli and a grocers" sounds a lot like Budgens or the Co Op in Crofton Park or the little shop on Brockley Rd or any number of small shops or Tesco on Lewisham Way. All these places have standard fruit and veg lines with your usual tins of beans etc as well as "special" items like blue cheeses, croissants, Tesco "Finest" stuff etc etc. I think that market has been cornered.

There is definitely a market in "up and coming" Brockley for something a bit more challenging and places like SOTH, Broca Food Market, Degustation and ex-DB fill that gap at the luxury end of the market.

I said...

And there used to be Freddie's deli on the fridge parade down by the cemetery gates. (OK, so he left a lot of his stuff on the shelves past their sell-by date, but he'd always do a deal..) Quite a good combination of exotic and general purpose sustenance.

There's nothing new under the Brockley sun.

The shop two along from this former deli is vacant and was painted painted black a couple of years ago. Maybe this is what f/holders do when their premises are in limbo and awaiting somebody new to buy the lease.

Brockley Nick said...

Twisted Logic, it wasn't reported that the original owners were off to set up another business, just that they were moving away to live in Scotland.

The fact the meat slicer remains says nothing about its future viability as a deli.

Pete said...

The tattoo parlour in Ladywell is red rather than black so that's at least one exception to your rule Anonymous.

Ross said...

while i almost agree with you 4x4 i think the problem is that if you wanted to do a 'high end' convenience store the costs would just be astronomical, even if you halved your standard deli margin. in theory it's brilliant, but in reality the only way it would work is if you believed you could get people to substitute their sainsburys/tesco shop - which they wouldn't. people want to shop in big open spaces and generally also want somewhere to park a car. nearly every planet organic store is a good example of this especially the one in clapham or the one in islington - tin shops, smack bang in the middle of a highstreet with no where to park, constantly empty.

Ross said...

tiny shops, even

tyrhwit michael said...

There's a nice high end convienience store round the corner from my office.

Fortnum and Somebody...

Not sure the model would work in Brockley its usually full of foreign tourists buying tea.

The Cat Man said...

I still struggle to find decent sliced meat or decent poultry in Brockely.

Also, there is surely a market for organic cat food...

4x4 said...

I believe it is possible to do a convenience store incorporating a deli-as I said before, leases are extremely cheap in Brockley and Ladywell.
Sainbury's local do do it to an extent and it works (oh for a Sainsbury's). The problem with most Deli's is that they have too narrow an appeal. If people pop in to pick up a newspaper/magazine/tabacco/milk/sweets groceries etc it all helps to pay overheads. They are just as likely to buy their cheese, wine and organic meat there. That is of course if they want to shop locally instead of driving to the supermarket.

John ex-moonbow said...

Always fascinated by 4x4 and HH insight on small (in fact all) businesses. 4x4, what support do you have for ‘A beautifully merchandised mini-supermarket is a proper business model…’? I take it you have robustly tested this concept in an area similar to Brockley? HH response to 4X4 is as normal, ill thought through.

What irritates me about 4x4 and HH is that you write as if what you say is fact rather than opinion, most of what they state is nonsense.

John ex-owner of Moonbow Jakes

Headhunter said...

Err, how is my response ill thought through? "What irritates me" about your comment is that it's snipey with no evidence backing it up....

John ex-moonbow said...

I assume the back up you require is in regards to my comment regarding you? I refer you to most of the pearls of wisdom you have written on this site regarding business and organisations.

Headhunter said...

Most of my views are just that, views. I don't offer them as firm truths to which everyone should run their lives. Anyway, you still haven't specified which comments you refer to and why. Basically you're just sniping....

4x4 said...

John ex-moonbows-In response re small businesses etc.
I do have plenty of experience in running small businesses (over 20 years actually) and I associate with many retailers-some in this sector.
I also have interests in commercial and residential property and I keep myself informed of the cost of leases etc.
I do business in many London boroughs other than Lewisham and I am constantly looking at other peoples business models. I learn from them and adapt accordingly.
I do have a lot of experience in certain sectors and I do sympathise with small business owners who have a go at getting something off the ground.
My point is that Deli's- just like trendy gift shops-tend to be very vulnerable as they often don't have enough regular repeat business. They are too often underfunded from day one and they can't turn their stock over quickly enough. If they were bigger operations such as mini-supermarkets with a deli incorporated then they would have a much better chance of success. Cashflow is king in almost any business and many small businesses go to the wall, not because they aren't making a profit, but because they are underfunded in the first place. My advice is always ask for more money than you think you need as it is much harder to go back to a bank for more money at a later date. It gives me no pleasure to see someone put a load of committment and hard earned money into a venture only for it to go tits up.
These are my opinions built on years of business experience. I agree they are not fact as you say but, successful business models leave clues. Then again Brockley could be the exception to the rule-I doubt it.

Monkeyboy said...

Sign in the new deli.... open on Saturday and Sunday to get rid of old stock - cash only.

Sharp elbows required and the possibility of weedy Guardian readers getting physical. I'm after some designer chutney and the stash of Brockley honey they have if you ask for 'the special stuff'.

Headhunter said...

Oh damn, I'm not around. Most of it's probably past its sell by date anyway. Not that that usually bothers me...

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