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London Buddhist health shop closes after 30 years

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:07 05 October 2010

THE recession has hit The London Buddhist Centre which has had to close one of the East End s most popular health shops after 30 years. Friends Organic on Roman Road in Bethnal Green, own

By Else Kvist

THE recession has hit The London Buddhist Centre which has had to close one of the East End's most popular health shops after 30 years.

Friends Organic on Roman Road in Bethnal Green, owned by the Buddhist charity, sold everything from vegetarian food and herbal remedies to cosmetics.

The centre's finance manger Adam Berrisord said: "Business has been slowing for the past four years across health shops with increased competition from supermarkets and other stores doing more organic and specialist products.

"The whole sector peaked around 2005, and for us the recession proved the final nail in the coffin.

"We were also finding it more difficult to employ people with specialist knowledge of the products." Two staff at the shop have lost their jobs.

Mr Berrisord said: "A lot of the people in the shop were volunteers and I also helped out there. But two staff had to go. Fortunately they have both found other jobs."

He said the shop premises still belong to the centre and that they are hoping to open a new business there in the near future.

He also stressed that the Buddhist Centre itself, which runs meditation classes and celebrate Buddhist festivals, had recently been refurbished and expanded.

The Wild Cherry Café and the Jambala charity bookshop on Globe are also owned by the charity and part of the so-called Buddhist Village.

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