Portland drops Homeview Crown Court appeal

Blackfriars Crown Court has informed campaigners against plans to convert Homeview Video in to a bookie, that Portland, the company behind the scheme, has dropped its Crown Court appeal. The appeal against the magistrate's initial verdict was due to be heard on January 21st.

The fate of the Brockley Road store is still uncertain though. Due to a change in the legislation, Portland was able to make a second application, directly to the Council. The Council also rejected their application, but it remains likely that Portland will appeal that decision - no date has yet been set for a hearing.

We have contacted Portland to ask them for a statement about their plans and will report any answer that we receive.

Thanks to one of the leading campaigners, Marisa, for the information.


Marisa said...

Thanks Nick for adding the update. Just to confirm that Portland did appeal the council's decision ie under the new legislation but we have yet to receive a date for this hearing.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks Marisa, I will edit the article to make that clear.

betamatt said...

You'd really think Portland would have got the message that
a(nother) betting shop isn't wanted by now. Apparently not...

Amanda Wickham said...

Turn it into a bookshop. We need a good one around here. I think Goldsmith's students, Lewisham College students and regular people like me who love books, will use it. Oh and er name it "Bookies"!

Headhunter said...

I suppose the problem is that whatever goes there it has to be economically viable... Could a bookshop really make enough money to stay open? With sites like Amazon a small independent bookshop would have stiff competition. I wonder if there has been much interest from anyone other than Portland in the site...

Amanda Wickham said...

Yes economic viability is somewhat of a hurdle to get over. But it is sad to think that a betting shop is one of the few things that could work there :(

You'd think online gambling would/could kill off the need for betting shops all over the place darn it!

betamatt said...

A bookshop would be great but probably not viable. Unless Borders are interested...
Personally I'd like to see it turned into a second hand vinyl/cd shop - like the Music & Video Exchange places in Notting Hill. They do a roaring trade - mainly from me!

Pete said...

A second hand bookshop which also does internet trade might do alright there.

Anonymous said...

I would rather an M&S simply food personally. Its a big enough unit compared to some of their forecourt stores at BP.
However given M&S's recent profits warning though i guess their expansion strategy will be on hold for the foreseeable future.

What about somewhere to go drinking? There are enough cafe type places and boozers in SE4 but nowhere you'd head out to on a Saturday night, like the pubs down in Greenwich or in Blackheath. There has to be something for us Young Professional's to do in this town...come on entrepreneurs we have money to spend on booze but nowhere to do it!

Dave said...

Book shop / CD shop - Amazon/iTunes and the like has the market on that. Unless you're in a busy area like a shopping centre I can't really see people stopping off at Brockley to buy books/CD's.

I would hate for it to become a bookies though.

I'd personally like to see a musical instrument store.

Brockley Jon said...

An M&S - in a town that prides itself on having no big chains? Not sure how that would go down, especially with the new delis all fighting for custom.

Monkeyboy said...

Mentioned this before. A decent Butcher and/or fishmonger, but not TOO posh. Want it to be one that I would shop in regularly rather than a 'boutique' type affair (think that Dandelion Blue is a bit too 'Notting Hill' needs to be a bit more competative price wise)

Wouldn't nick trade of the two delis either.

Tom said...

I agree that some kind of well-priced good quality food store would be great.

Man cannot live on deliciously-marinated olives alone!

If it was locally owned/run that would be wonderful also.

James said...

Can't say I'd agree with the "nowhere to go on a saturday night"
We have pubs like Jam Circus, Moonbows, Mr Laurences, Brockley Barge, Brockley Jack. If it's dancing then there is the Venue just a hop skip and jump away.
Having another drinking hole will probably not improve things around here.
Another food shop... please, Cost cutters, Spa (or whatever its called this week), the dheli... although a butchers returning to Brockley would be welcome I think the ex homeview store is too big for that.

I like the idea of a music shop or artist supplies, even a gallery. Something a bit different and classy.

Headhunter said...

Dandelion Blue's organic extra virgin olive oil is fairly competitive with Sainsbury's. I think it's £3.99 for 500ml in the big S and £4.25 at DB. You buy a bottle and they refill it every time you need more - also reducing use of packaging!

Jeannie said...

It's funny how some people seem to not like the prices of the food in food shops that are cropping up in Brockley...the very nature of these food establishments is that they cost more. Isn't this what a lot of people in Brockley wanted...hence why there are now at least 3 food shops, the last time I counted.

You say you want a reasonably priced, decent food shop...that lovely shop probably doesn't exist...how can you have decent food, at a reasonable price (unless you're Tesco or Sainsburys - even then that's questionable!)? Well firstly, there goes the ancillary items such as olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Whilst we're at it, a selection of boutiquey cheeses is probably not that necessary and the selection of hams and the like can go to. The fresh bread can be dismissed to, it's probably cheaper to replace it with mass produced par-baked stuff. In addition to the above items, there's all the other items that make these shops far too posh, they can be omitted too.

Now that we've gotten rid of all the stuff that's too expensive and posh, what are you left with, well Costcutter and Doorstep Bakery and...well, that's it.

There are three possible options for the evolution of Brockley: firstly, it just remains the same, Costcutter, Doorstep Bakery, Fried Chicken shops all co-existing in harmony. It becomes a high street, full of all the big chains, like Tesco, Boots, Dollond and Aitchison , Greg's Bakery etc. Thirdly, it could become a Wimbledon/East Dulwich/Herne Hill/Notting Hilly style high street, with boutique style shops.

Granted, overlaps will exist between these 3 options, but the essence of the area, will still remain quite distinct. Brockley will get what Brockley wants, if there's enough demand for these food shops, they will continue to strive and more similar businesses will begin to crop up, if not they will cease to exist and a new concept of what Brockley could potentially be will be introduced...it's the circle of life (and economics) :-)

Sorry about my rant, I've now got it out of my system and I'm much happier for it. Happy blogging!

Tom said...

Jeannie, I'm not sure if I agree with your version of economics …

You say that the three delis opened because it's what people in Brockley wanted … well, no, not really. Businesses aren't set up in this way. I don't remember ever having been asked if I wanted three delis to choose from, but no butchers or greengrocers.

Instead, what happened is that three enterprising people/persons thought they could run a business in Brockley selling high-quality food. They believed that demand is there; only time will tell if they are right.

And even if they are right this doesn’t prove pre-existing demand, because demand – particularly for non-essentials – is elastic, ie it changes depending on circumstance and context.

The reason why I am replying is that your argument seems to suggest that the existence of three delis somehow proves that there is no demand for other types of food shops, whereas it does nothing of the sort.

It only shows that there are people who believe Brockleyites are willing to spend lots of money on particular types of food, and are willing to put their money and time where their mouth is, and ours possibly will be.

You say that "Brockley gets what Brockley wants", which could be read as there is some magical process by which demand is transmitted to businesses, and so we get the exact right form of shops in the town without doing or saying anything at all.

However, there is no so such process. Instead, we either get what is foisted upon us by others, who may or may not understand the 'Brockley vibe', or we pressure – through forums (fora?) like these – for things that we actually do want.

I like the ranty sentiment though, and hope you read this as a constructive response!

Headhunter said...

I agree entirely with Jeannie's comments. Small independents are always likely to sell more expensive "luxury" items, as these are the things that people prefer to buy from specialist "boutiques", if they want a pint of milk and a loaf of sliced white Sunblest they go to Costcutter. Some kind of halfway house doesn't exist, does it?

Not sure that I agree that what Brockley wants, Brockley will get though as we can see with the whole Homeview/Portland saga. I think a small high street like Brockley's in a suburban area will attract people from outside Brockley itself based on what is available. Portland had obviously noticed that the collection of betting shops in Brockley, rather than diluting the existing customer base would most likely have drawn betting shop customers in from a wider area, perhaps leading to an almost specialist betting shop part of SE London.

This is obviously what Brockley-ites oppose - we don't want "those sorts" on our doorsteps!

Jeannie said...

To Tom...I wasn't suggesting that there is no room for other types of food shops in Brockley, I was suggesting that the type of food shops that some people are perhaps inclined to, don't exist, hence why I highlighted the 3 different categories that a high street may fall into.

To Tom...I do agree with you about my points on "economy" and that they were somewhat pedantic.

To justify - I suppose, I meant in the long term, that this is how it may pan out. In the next few months I don't expect a lot will have changed with regard to the food shops in Brockley...however, economics is more important when we review the bigger picture and to a degree the long term. Certain business premises maybe forced onto consumers or try to be forced onto them, but in the long term, their longevity or lack of it is based on the demand for their product/service...supply and demand, wants vs. needs and all that jazz.

Economics is not just about physically expressed wants or businesses forcing their hopes and dreams onto unwilling consumers, it's also about innate demands/wants/needs and the businesses who realise these, before the consumers are even aware of it and therefore maximising on this...I suppose this is marketing too. With all this in mind, when I said that Brockley will get what it wants, I didn't necesarilly mean literally, I just meant that whether or not the consumers are aware of it and whether or not they like it, they will get what they want. Of course moods, trends and the overall country's economy change, but those factors eventually get addressed accordingly as well.

Jeannie said...

One more last thing and I promise I'll stop (this is quite addictive!)...even if Brockley got a good green grocer and a good butcher and a good bakery, I'm sure we would all still need to pay premium prices for their goods.

In this fiscally hungry world, you pay for what you get, we've all watched those Jamie Oliver/Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shows. Why do those fruit and veg cost next to nothing? How can I have possibly paid so little for the clothes I'm wearing? etc... The cost that you pay for these things doesn't have to be just monetary it can be moral, ethical and everything else inbetween. But where do you draw the line? I know that when I see a bag of spinach for £3.00, it puts me off, because I can get a bag of spinach at Sainsburys for 80 pence, but at what actual cost have I got that spinach for? On the same note though, I like the convenience of having all my shopping done under one roof, and are all those shops that claim to be moral/of a high quality, not just wolves in sheep's clothing? For some people, these issues matter more to them than for others...it's the circle of life :-)

Good night.

James said...

Calm down Jeannie.
I agree with your rambled points but I think there is a lot of support for Brockleys delis. Only time will tell if there is enough. I'm sure people are clever enough to work out that if they like it and don't use it, they will lose it.

Those who want it cheaper know that they can go to Costcutter or the big chain supermarkets.

Munkeychap said...

Excellent. A bit of controversy....

I like both dellis, hope they prosper and I use them from time to time but are they really the sort of place where you shop for quality staples on regular basis? Call me a cynic, they're not running them as a charity, they'll price it according to what the market can withstand. Personally I'd prefer less rustic wooden barrels and more straight forward choice, quality and better prices.

It can be done you know, I've posted before about a really good delli in Greenwich run by an old italian couple, buggered if I can remember the name. Better food, better prices. While I'm here I'd like to pin my colours to the mast, Degustation is better than the Blue Dandelion. Not sure why but I just prefer spending my money there...weird.

Sorry, had a few pints on the way home from work so spelling is a bit off.

jon s said...

Actually, economics is the social science that sudies the allocation of resources.

Essentially what we want are small businesses that do not compete with demand for existing resource (either through competition or subsitution) but one when stimulates existing demand for unavailable resources. Unless of course they comepte with existing resources we want to get rid of e.g gambling.

If I get all anoracky about this, the most recent research links getrification to a few key shops, usually smallholdings and / or chains. Brockley Rd is large enough for both me thinks, bring on Pizza Express and a few small businesses that are bars and cafes.

Monkeyboy said...

Careful Jon, someone on here might beat you to death with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall new book (only £8.99 on Amazon)

jon s said...

Hugh FW fans are more than welcome to open up an organic supermarket, gastropub, restaurant, or bar. I'll even shop at them if they are competitive.........

Actually one of the best restaurant concepts is (or was) Govendas in Sydney. It was a Krishna restaurant with a small cinema upstairs.

Monkeyboy said...

...or the Fish Market in Darling Harbour? I had oyster, half a lobster and chips (so wrong it was right!) for about $12. The lobster was straight off the boat and cooked in front of me. Great, for me at least. Not sure the lobster was a fan.

Can we have that in Brockers please?

Amanda Wickham said...

A musical instrument shop, I know that Len Stiles previously of Lewisham High Road was looking for premises.

bobblekin said...

Lets get back to the point guys!

Which is: the unit is now a vacant eyesore that isn't providing jobs or adding value to the local economy.

I was sad to see Homeview go, but clearly the business was not viable.

What we know is that Portland clearly felt that a bookies WAS viable, but they have been denied. I'm certainly not shedding any tears over that, but what worries me is that an alternative isn't in the pipeline...

No matter what we think - Portland was prepared to invest in Brockley because they were convinced that enough of "us" want to gamble regularly!

Unless another business can see enough of "us" buying stuff from them the unit could be vacant for sometime.

This is an important site and whatever takes its place will tell us a lot about the underlying proposition of the area for businesses that are prepared to make an investment in Brockley.

jon s said...

Seafood works for me too, but we are little further from the sea and prices would be a tad higher. How about razor clams and chips for £12 instead?

Nick / John, how about a discussion area for what we all would like to see on Brockley Rd.

Brockley Nick said...

There's no alternative in the pipeline because portland own the site. No one else can move in until the matter is settled.

Monkeyboy said...

If we're talking local sustainable resources how about a 'Pidgeon & Fox' outlet....Mmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

It's fascinating to watch how quickly the milk has turned sour.

This is how I see it:

Everyone in Brockley likes living here but can see it's obvious shortcomings, ie. lots of car lots, not too many nice places to go out, etc, etc. We put up with this because we think it's an up and coming area and crucially we all fall in to a social/financial bracket that puts us comfortably in the social strata of Brockley's residents. In other words if we were all rolling in money we wouldn't be living in an area which is up and coming, we would be living in an area which had already 'come'....or more fool us. (which is why I personally find Hugh's pretensions to greatness slightly ridiculous)

However - we see the rising house prices, the imminent East London Line and slow process of gentrification and we start getting a bit excited that Brockley could become the next Wimbledon. We want it now!! So a few enterprising people open the kind of shops that we all aspire to be able to afford to shop in - posh deli's where yummy mummy's hang out buying whole food organics, and we shun the corporate faceless monoliths of tesco or sainsburys (how would we feel if Homeview became a Waitrose though??)

The trouble is - our salaries aren't going up in line with this new change to our communities. The truth is, we can't really afford to buy from the deli as much as we first thought, we lament the price of a bag of spinach, because it's a lot cheaper in Costcutter. We want to live with a Notting Hill lifestyle but guess what? we can't afford to.

Then after the initial excitement we stop going to the deli's, banking on other people's enthusiasm to keep this little enclave of SE4's version of the Wimbledon dream going, with other peoples money. But the other people don't go either and sure enough the deli's eventually close down.

Tom we may not have asked for these deli's to open but we sure as hell wanted them to. Now they're here Brockley is changing and will one day perhaps even become a little Wimbledon, but that requires investment. So next time you go to buy a bag of spinach, or cheese, or olive oil, be prepared to invest a little in the community or be resigned to live in an area always on the fringes of improvement but never quite making it.


glenda said...

Jeannie, the only thing about what could be in Brockley is that it would be expensive for an independent food shop to make a crust and pay rent to the freeholder (Portland Bookies) as Nick said, because Portland Bookies have had A2 use granted. To run a food shop you only need A1 which is a much cheaper retail Unit to lease, I'm afraid the damage is done now. My point is that whether we like it or not the only viable way of a fresh food shop operating at that site would probably be a chain. In my opinion the least bad option would be a Waitrose.
It seems a shame Portland did not one bit of market research on the viability of a bookies in Brockley which was the case when I asked them in court....and considered their whole case depended on them proving demand.
They had done their homework on the projected profits from each individual slot machine in the shop though. Each one would make them £200,000 per annum. Mmm now that's what I call a bad idea for Brockley.

Bobblekin, this is a lot of things but it's not an investment in Brockley. (see above)

Bit 'a fresh fish locally would be just the thing but in the meantime if you are a macro-biotic vegan with a gluten allergy there's plenty of outlets to suit your taste in Brockley.

Richard said...

I actually think the site is a little large to be a food outlet. As somebody mentioned the rent would be very prohibitive unless taken on by a large chain such as M&S.

In fact I'm not sure even M&S etc would be interested - the site could be too small to convince anybody to make a special trip, unless they could extend at the back for a little extra storage space.

If Portland fail in their appeal I would think the most likely tenant would be a non-food outlet, but given the prominence of the site it could still be a significant addition to Brockley Road. Book shops, music shops, etc would probably be too specialist.

It's a painful thought, but an estate agents could snap it up (Foxtons, anyone?).

Actually, if I were one with plenty of cash swilling around (which I certainly am not!), I would give serious thought to a bar-restaurant. Ecosium aside Brockley is yet to see a venue that combines table-served restaurant quality food with a casual bar feel. I am very proud of what we do at Jam Circus but we are essentially a pub serving good food. The same can be said for the Honor Oak. Ecosium is to me a café-bar and Moonbows and Toads Mouth out and out cafés. A bar-restaurant on the Homeview site, serving 2 or 3 course sit down meals, with the provision for casual drinks and small food in the bar area would have every chance of success. It would not need to compete for Moonbow's daytime trade, instead opening only in the evenings.

Just an idea!

Richard said...

Sorry, I should have said "too large to be an independent food outlet"

Tom said...

Haha, I love a good stir.

I've been doing some research into food demand and local produce recently, which is why I'm arguing here I guess ….

There's a lot of nostalgic thinking in our society about how great it was to have greengrocers and butchers and old-fashioned high streets, whereas 'we' often end up now just taking the convenient option and going to the local supermarket.

This leaves us in the weird position of feeling guilty, spending too much money in the supermarkets (often they aren't that cheap), as well as occasionally spending excess amounts on local or farmers' produce because we yearn for more authenticity in our shopping experience.

You could call this 'market failure', and maybe this is the future of Brockley – most of us (particularly car owners) buying our general food and household goods from chains and occasionally splashing out on something special from the delis.

This would mean that something like nine out of every 10 of our food pounds going out of the area, as our locally-owned stores are either high margin (but limited range) or high volume (but limited quality).

This is, I admit, the most likely option. But this sub-optimal result (in my view) is not something we automatically have to accept.

All this said, there's a lot of speculation in some of my conclusions. As a result, I'm going to continue doing my research, and go off on some buying missions, comparing prices and quality of our local places with that of Sainsbury's and Tesco. If/when I get some results, I'll see if Nick or Jon are interested in publishing anything.

Pete said...

Most people have conflicting views as to what they want from a food shop (and shops in general). Some people will say that they want to shop locally and they would love to have a local deli or whatever. However they then get put off by the higher prices charged by these establishments and still go the local supermarket most of the time.

However if the market is big enough delis can still survive because if there are enough people visiting occassionally they will still survive.

As for the Homeview site becoming an estate agents, in my opinion that would be just as bad as it becoming a bookies or another takeaway. I used to live in Surrey Quays and the only things we had on the highstreet were takeaways, estate agents and hairdressers. For most people, most of the time these places are completely useless and sap the life out of a street. So if Foxtons announce they want to move in there I think you should campaign against it.

Brockley Nick said...

Tom, I'll add you to the list of people who've threatened to write something for the site... ;)

Brockley Nick said...

Re: Dandelion Blue. All I know is that on this blog I wrote that I loved Rye bread with caraway and they now stock it, together with Strawberry 'Marine Ices' ice cream. Things I struggle to get anywhere else, I can now pick up on my way back from work. That's good enough for me!

It seems as though all three of our new food shops are doing OK at the moment. I've never been the only customer in any of them.

jon s said...

Nick - re the rye bread with carraway seeds, I'm sure the local business (and most new local businesses) trawl this site, it helps them work out what we want and make more money.

That's why I suggested a seperate forum where people suggest what they want from local business (existing or future).

spincat said...

I love rye bread with caraway seed and Marine Ices: have been away so am glad to know it is there to welcome me back.

Anonymous said...

am quite happy to pay a bit extra for the service/quality at the delis but 5 quid for some risotto rice was a bit ridiculous - so I had to revert to Sainsbury's at NCG. This was in dandelion blue by the way, and that does need to be reviewed as even if you are as rich as Hugh - it's daylight robbery!! Also (an aside) why has Broca out its coffee prices up to £1.30 for a few gulpfuls? It was easy to fish out a pound for a coffee and excellent value - and now, well it's not really is it?!

Anonymous said...

I for one, like all the new coffee shops and delis that are in Brockley, if there's a price I don't like in the shops I'll opt for an alternative. If the coffee in the Broca goes up by another 30p (even then at £1.30, I think it's still well priced) I'll still buy it from there, I'd much rather have them there than some fried chicken shops or betting shops.

Anonymous said...

I like what's happening to Brockley and I'm happy being a part of it (cafe neu) I just don't agree with the notion that most of the businesses cropping up are aiming at the ridiculously wealthy and charging too much.
There's a reason why places like Blackheath retain their character and community spirit, it's by supporting independent shops because they rely on goodwill from the locals, are often locals themselves and are concerned about what goes on in their neighbourhood. If you want a Waitrose, starbucks or Tesco express that's fine but with that comes absent landlords motivated by money and tenants who don't know or care what goes on in the community they belong to.
It drives up rent, kills off independent shops and leaves you with a characterless high street.
Business in Brockley cannot rely on the locals alone but needs to attract patronage from outside the area that's why we go to Dulwich, Islington, Clapham and Blackheath.
There's a reason why you're paying more for that rice from Degustation than Sainsbury's, small businesses cannot tell their suppliers how much they will pay for a product but Sainsburys can.
Small businesses also care about what they sell because they know you won't be back if they get it wrong. I haven't been in the deli's but I've been round all the coffee shops before I opened this place - part research, part I like the stuff). Honor Oak may not be part of Brockley but they have a great deli up there.
My suggestion for Homeview? Why not Homeview again? Updated video and dvd club, bookshop and games store with online ordering and delivery. Doesn't matter what you put in there it will only work as long as you use it.
I've had many customers come in and saying it would be lovely to have a deli in Brockley, well we now have 2 but are we using them?

Anonymous said...

Too many bookies? You bet! See today's Guardian for an article on Haringey - which sounds pretty familiar.

spincat said...

Just before the delis opened, when people was saying how wonderful it would be if there was better Brockley food shopping, I warned that there had been delis in SE4 before and they had closed because they weren't being used. It is possible (I am living proof) to be on a tight budget and still do local shopping if you are selective.
It takes more time, especially in first month when you are sussing out what you can and can't do - but not a vast amount more time. It is more interesting and enjoyable for sure. Some things are priced over-the-top/some good-value/some more-expensive-but-worth-it.

PSL If i remember rightly the Broca advertised the cheaper coffee as a special promotion - £1.30 definitely is still good value. I know a few cheaper places, but not many.

Andy Pandy Pudding & pie said...

i think its also important to bare in mind that we, as consumers, have little idea of the cost in running shops in brockley. I can't imagine that the owners of both the Broca or Degustation are in fact very wealthy people looking for a quick buck and as such prices are pretty much reflective of the inputs to the businesses. The exception to this, would maybe be Dandelion Blue as I have no idea who the owners are/never met them and certainly do not seem to spend alot of time in front of customers.

I also know, that certainly in terms of the bread at Dandelion Blue you can get exactly the same types at Borough Market, although there it is slightly more expensive.

I also found out that both delis share the same bread supplier so its still worth shopping around for the cheaper loafs (currently Degusttion wins in this regard).

Anonymous said...

I've met the owners of Dandelion, in fact they have always been there when I've been and they've been very nice. I think if a business was trying to make a quick buck, they wouldn't utilise their efforts in Brockley...certainly not by opening a deli either, I think all the businesses that have set-up around here, have done so for the long-term good of Brockley. Also, to believe that there is no financial gain to be made by these businesses is naive, they are there to earn their living as well.

Kate said...

Am I the only person to have absolutely no whinges whatsoever about the new delis? I really like both of them, I don't consider them to be overpriced (they stock some expensive brands, eg. honey, alongside less expensive options - perfect). It's so cool to be able to buy nice stuff on the way home from work, and be greeted with a smile and some friendly chit-chat while I'm doing it.
I totally echo what Daniel said - we wanted these delis, now they're here, so let's support them. I imagine that as time goes on and they see what sells and what doesn't they'll amend their purchasing accordingly.

TimH said...

@ Anon Rice Buyer. I also went to Dandelion Blue to buy some risotto rice. I found their Arborio Rice to be only £3.35 (enough to feed about 8-10 people). They also had Carnaroli risotto rice for £5 which I was quite surprised to see as that specialised rice can be hard to find. Both prices seemed fare to me for good quality food.

@ Andy Pandy. I also found out that both delis share the same bread supplier. But I think that Dandelion Blue seems to be slightly better value and choice. Maybe we should compare notes. I usually buy one of their bloomers for £1.95

@ People that think the Delis are expensive. Yes they are expensive compared to Costcutter. but if you go to other delis or even Borough Market I think you'll realise that they are quite reasonably priced.

And While I'm at it. £1.30 for good coffee is a bargain. That wouldn't get you much in Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Tim. What I cannot believe is that there are so many whinging pissers and moaners in Brockley. There is no downside to having a deli or two or three or four or five in Brockley. If you don't like the prices don't effing shop there, stick to your costcutters food. Be thankful you have a choice. You've still got your costcutters and if the deli's close down then you're not the one whose going bankrupt? What's the problem? Some people have gone out on an effing limb by opening these shops. They're not get rich quick schemes either - they have to make a living but I doubt the owners will be bumping into Hugh on holiday in the Maldives. I suggest the whingers stop stealing oxygen from the rest of us and eff off to another part of London where they have value shops coming out of their arses.

Ooh coffee has gone up thirty pence, one pound thirty for a coffee, it's so expensive. If you can't afford a coffee every now and again for one pound thirty then you need another job pal, cos complaining about that is a joke frankly.

Signed: Slightly annoyed by my stinge arse neighbours.

Chap said...

I'll make sure I snear at the trash shopping at costcutters tommorow while I pick up my Observer.

Anonymous said...

It's not a question of sneering at the trash. how cheap realistically can a coffee go before the owner realises he's not meeting his overheads? £1.30 isn't expensive for a coffee. It's well below anywhere I can get a coffee from near work (central London) , and the dearth of decent coffee shops in Brockley means that the owner would be justified to raise the prices as far I'm concerned.

Andy Pandy Pudding & Pie said...

The point I was trying to make earlier is that with independent-type shops (i.e. not a chain) there is a higher chance the owners have underwent a lifestyle change alongside it. I dont think anyone in their right mind would commit to such a project just for the sake of money as it effectively means alot of their time is taken up which would otherwise as an employee be 'out of contract'.

If people were really that money-orientated and 'rational' thinkers then no-one would work for charities, and we would all be city highflyers without consideration of our quality of life. Considerating how much we all moan about the hours expected in our working week i think it is equally nieve to think that it is not the case.

Tim - i really like the honey loaf at Dandelion Blue, £2.35 i think which I think is reasonable.

I also think upto 1.50 for a standard coffee in brockley could also be deamed reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for the "Slightly annoyed by my stinge arse neighbours" comment.

Couldn't agree more.

Monkeyboy said...

Really don't see what everyone is getting all steamed up - on either side. Both delis are comercial operations and we all make our own decisions about where we shop. If they have what we want at a price we are willing to pay we'll buy it, it they don't we'll do without.

Debate over.

Tom said...

Debate not over!

Interesting how this subject gets under some people’s collars so much.

I don’t know if I am one of the “whingers” who should “eff off” to another part of London, but my point was not that we have an excess of delis, but that we have a lack of other food shops, which the opening of the delis only seems to underline.

I moved to Brockley from Nunhead a few years back, and from Harringay before that, and when I did I was disappointed that I could no longer go to the local high street to buy my day-to-day shopping.

Nunhead is smaller than Brockley but it has a number of good quality inexpensive food shops. Brockley does not have one. As a result, 99% of my food shopping is now done by car, out of town.

Of course I wish the delis the best of luck, and I’ve already been on some buying missions to see what they’ve got (reviews to come), but their courage and entrepreneurialism doesn’t undermine my point: the delis add choice only at the top end of Brockley’s food market; there remains a yawning gap in the middle where most people’s spending occurs.

Tom said...

A picture tells a thousand words:


Monkeyboy said...

Tom, I actually kind of agree with you. I thought the 'whinging' comment was a bit strong! I use the delis for treats and bread from time to time. I'm sure there is a market for their stuff but some quality basics would be good, which is why I'd like an old fashioned butcher (like welbeloved in Deptford) and/or fishmonger. The Homeview site is too big for that perhaps.

I've got the disposable income to buy premium goods but don't low income locals, and we do live in one of Londons poorest boroughs, deserve access to decent quality food?

Anonymous said...

re: local greengrocers
I've been into the shop on the hill and thought that the service was very friendly and what I bought was good value (approx £1 for a bag of organic lentils seems ok to me). The owner said she was planning on getting fresh veg and fruit in but I haven't been back to see if it's there yet... I buy most of my veg from either one of the farmers markets or from the chinese supermarket. There isn't as much of a variety as deptford high st but I don't think it's that bad.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying that there shouldn't be cheaper food options than just deli's but the deli's seem to be taking the flak for something that's not in their remit. I'd like a cheap decent greengrocer or butcher in Brockley but we haven't got one. That doesn't mean i want the deli's to close down or expect them to sell their produce at a cut price rate.

Some people on this site HAVE been whinging (the person who complained about about £1.30 for a coffee is being unreasonable or incredibly tight fisted -it's pathetic.) Some people just can't be pleased. I welcome the delis because I believe they are good for the area, they'll attract money to Brockley and that will attract more business. I can't afford to shop there all the time but thank god we have the choice. More choice would be great but then we'll have to wait for someone to open up a good cheap greengrocers. Lets hope they're not put off by reading some of these negative comments.

chap said...

Who's blaming the delis? they're a niche (is that how you spell it?) business and hope they do very well. I use them and will continue to do so.

The only people who know if the range and cost is appropriate for the area are those who own the shops. There is no such thing as a fair price. Is £1.30 OK? I think so. I wouldn't be prepared to pay £3.00 - some others might. It's a choice, we're all grown ups.

You need to take a chill pill....organic, fair trade obviously.

spincat said...

It is a good point about other shops (greengrocer etc) - Nunhead does have a great row of local shops: fishmonger, baker etc.

There is a god butcher, Peter James, in Brockley, Ewhurst road, Crofton Park end (he was giving out free wine on saturday for his 20th anniverary in the area).

Perhaps it is just a sign of living too long in SE4, but i see Nunhead as a local place to shop as I do Lewisham market and the Turkish shops there for fruit and veg/bread. I do agree though - the more good shops in SE4 the better.

There used to be a strange shop in Camberwell that had a pet shop down one end and a picture framers up the other (both permeated with the sounds and smells of the other). Maybe we need a greengrocer cum bookshop.

brockley mutha said...

no whinges concerning the delis from this side either. I love them, have patronised them, will continue to do so and firmly believe that the influx of new shops into Brockley is a great thing. So saying I would love a good fishmonger and greengrocer, within walking distance, such as there is on Evelina. The fishmonger in particular is superb. I do have to check out the Brockley butcher that everyone seems to rate so highly.

At some point the yawning gap in the middle will be filled. We've got top end and bottom end, a canny entrepreneur will surely soon notice that there is space in the middle.

brockley mutha said...

@ Daniel some way above:

1. I adore Hugh.
2. I think Brockley has a much more mixed demographic than you seem to be suggesting, with a fair few very high rollers as well as those on very tight budgets. There have been a handful of million pound houses in Brockley for as long as i've been living in the area.

DannyBrockley said...

Another food shop on Brockley road... let me give it a very sycastic yeah!

Do we really another place to buy backed beans or whatever? The amount of tesco vans I see driving around brockley coupled with all the food shops we have already I'd have to say "WHY?"

I'm not articstic or musical but the idea of some sort of communtiy arts centre or musical instrument shop would look quite nice there.

I always see people walking about in that area with a guitar on their back so see it as a viable business for the area - plus it looks a bit more classy to be supporting the arts.

What do people think about that??

Anonymous said...

Portland have created a tidy looking shop, so no problems there, but I spied the first couple of shifty looking little 60 year old blokes hanging around outside the place yesterday. Smoking and waiting for the place to open. Bit depressing really.

Tressillian James said...

Agree with the Portland shop - I think it looks better than the Homeview that was there before - despite the fact that I disagree with the type of business.

It looks like they have kept to planning guidelines for that side of the street - and have created a bookies that looks far better than any of the others that grace our highstreet.

If we have to get rid of a bookies (and I still think we have to many), I'd prefer it if one of the others goes.

Anonymous said...

Just been down and had a look. Looks very nice doesn't it!

Lipsticky said...

You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.

Anonymous said...

What's this thread got to do with people who buy from the artisan loaf shops?

13:24 said...


Anonymous said...

Well some of them look slightly lipstick-on-pig-ish

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