Shop Local: If its groceries, booze, bread, hardware or flowers — the East End has it listed

Essential trade... LLeila McAlister bagging up orders phoned in for fresh veg to collect. Picture: Mike Brooke

Essential trade... LLeila McAlister bagging up orders phoned in for fresh veg to collect. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

Stores featured in the East London Advertiser’s “shop local” campaign in the run-up to Christmas are among a stream of essential East End small businesses which have posted a joint online appeal for shoppers’ loyalty to help trade recover.

Essential... Leila's stop has been a greengrocers in Calvert Avenue on-and-off for 120 years. Picture: Mike Brooke

Essential... Leila's stop has been a greengrocers in Calvert Avenue on-and-off for 120 years. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

One of the East End’s oldest grocery shops, Leila’s which has been trading on-and-off for 120 years in Calvert Avenue, behind Shoreditch Church, has found its way on the essentials list on Spitalfields Life online appeal after being featured in the paper last month.

So, too, has Thompson’s DIY store in the Roman Road in Bow, featured the week before.

“These are the essential shops that are open during the lockdown,” the Website’s shadowy Gentle Author tells you.

Essential trade... Thompson’'s hardware has been in Annette Wakerley’s family since 1952. Picture: Mike Brooke

Essential trade... Thompson’'s hardware has been in Annette Wakerley’s family since 1952. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

“We especially encourage people to support small independent businesses who offer an invaluable service to the community. This list confirms that it is possible to source all essential supplies locally without recourse to supermarkets.”


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The Gentle Author names Leila’s shop as one of 21 East End grocery and food shops, among others, keeping open during the lockdown. Another nearby is the Albion shop in Boundary Street, off Calvert Avenue.

There are half-a-dozen in Brick Lane on the shopping list: AM2PM, Taj Stores, Zaman Brothers fish and meat bazaar, JB Foodstore, Costprice Minimarket and Brick Lane Minimarket.

Essenrtial breadmaking... Artisans' baker's in the Roman Road. Picture: Mike Brooke

Essenrtial breadmaking... Artisans' baker's in the Roman Road. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

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Another half-dozen in Spitalfields are Planet Organic in Commercial Street, Sylhet sweet shop and Banglatown cash and carry both in Hanbury Street, The Butchery in Lamb Street, City Supermarket in Quaker Street and Haajang’s Corner in Wentworth Street.

Yet another half-dozen are in Whitechapel and Stepney: Faizah Minimarket in Old Montague Street, Nisa Local in Whitechapel High Street, Ali’s in Greatorex Street, Breid bakery in Dunbridge Street, Pavilion bakery in Columbia Road and Rinkoff’s bakery in Vallance Road and Jubilee Street.

But it’s not just groceries and bread shops. You need the chemist, the post office, the hardware store, book shop and even flowers for that romantic evening or a place to buy a bike to go on that essential date.

Shopping for essentials... at one East End street market. Picture: Mike Brooke

Shopping for essentials... at one East End street market. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

That means Brick Lane Bookshop, Brick Lane Bikes, Day Lewis pharmacy in Old Montague Street, E1 Cycles in Commercial Street, Eden florists in Wentworth Street, Region Choice chemist in Cambridge Heath Road, Flashback Records in Bethnal Green Road, Harry Brand giftshop in Columbia Road, the Post Office in Brick Lane and to keep spic and span the dry cleaners or laundry like E1 in Cannon Street Road, Gold Star in Burdett Road or Quality in White Church Lane.

Then there are the hardware shops besides Thompson’s in Roman Road on the list, like Leyland in Gt Eastern Street, Rose in Bethnal Green Road or Sid’s in Commercial Street.

The East End has a bustling Night Economy on the City Fridge in normal times. So take-aways have joined the “shop local” appeal, including 20 in Brick Lane alone: Beef & Birds, Beigel Bake, Beigel Shop, Bengal Village, Eastern Eye Balti House, Enso Thai & Japanese, Crosstown Doughnuts, Laboratorio Pizza, La Cucina, Mooshies Vegan Burgers, Pepe’s Peri Peri, Shawarma Lebanese, Rajmahal Sweets, Al Badam Fried Chicken, Allpress Coffee, Band of Burgers, Picky Wops Vegan Pizza, Madhubon Sweets, Vegan Yes Italian & Thai and Yuriko Sushi & Bento.

Essential trade... Sulaiman Miah at his Hoque & Sons DIY in Watney Market. Picture: Mike Brooke

Essential trade... Sulaiman Miah at his Hoque & Sons DIY in Watney Market. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

Turn the corner and there are more along Hanbury Street, like Poppies traditional fish’n’chips, Sichuan Folk, Nude Expresso roastery, Rosa’s Thai cafe and Dark Sugars ice cream.

Nearby are The Watch House, Absurd Bird fried chicken, China Feng and Hotbox smoked meats all along Commercial Street, Leon’s in Spitalfields Market, Bellboi Coffee in Sclater Street, Donburi Korean and Japanese in Artillery Passage and Quaker Street cafe (guess where).

Whitechapel High Street has three takeaways listed, Big Moe’s diner, Exmouth coffee and Jack The Chipper fish’n’chips. Further along in Whitechapel Road is Circle & Slice Pizza.

Essential trade? Well, the kids think so at Sweet Treats corner shop. Picture: Mike Brooke

Essential trade? Well, the kids think so at Sweet Treats corner shop. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

Five eateries listed along the Bethnal Green Road are Holy Shot Coffee, White Horse Kebab, Jonestown Coffee, Pellicci’s cafe and Sushi Show, with another two in Redchurch Street close by, Burro E Salvia Pastificio and Shoreditch Fish & Chips, plus String Ray Globe cafe in Columbia Road.

Not forgetting Peter’s cafe in Aldgate High Street and Polo Bar along Bishopsgate.

Pubs and bars in areas placed into the tougher Tier 3 alert level can offer takeaways and delivery only, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Commons on Monday.

Boozers open for takeaway beers, just to wet your whistle after all that food, include two in Spitalfields, the Duke of Wellington in Toynbee Street and the Ten Bells in Commercial Street, as well as Bethnal Green’s Carpenters Arms in Cheshire Street.

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