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Indie Of The Month: Sadia Grocery, International Ethnic Foodstore Now Doubled In Size

Published on: 4 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 5 Mar, 2020

By Hugh Coakley

On Woodbridge Hill for more than 15 years, the Sadia Grocery has now expanded into the shop next door, doubling its size.

The move has brought an exciting “potential for it to triple its product range,” said owner Shamshir Ali.

Sadia Grocery on Woodbridge Hill, Guildford, has expanded into the shop next door.

He runs the shop with his son, Shakir, a graduate in international business who also has a keen eye for the shop’s potential.

Shakir said: “There is a large ethnic community in Guildford and it is growing, especially the students. We have a huge variety of African, Indian, Iranian, Turkish, Arab, Oriental and Eastern European foods in stock.”

Shakir was very conscious of the work needed to complete the new shop. “We’re not finished yet,” he said. “We are very much in transition from the old to the new.”

All meat in the shop is Halal. Butcher Mahmud Ali prepares a joint to a customer’s order.

The shop is well known for the fresh fruit and vegetables stacked outside and the Halal butchers inside.  They sell well, said Shakir, and will be expanded.

Another range that Shakir is very proud of is the frozen fish, which is very popular “especially with the Bangladeshi and African communities.” added Shakir, pointing me to the huge fishes filling whole freezer cabinets.

The frozen fish fills several freezer cabinets and is popular with the Bangladeshi and African communities in Guildford.

Many of the products on sale looked to my untutored eye to be cheaper than supermarkets, especially herbs and spices. “But we generally don’t compare ourselves with the supermarkets,” said Shamshir, “because our products are quite different.”

The shop’s trade has grown over the years. Shakir said: “When my dad first opened here, we weren’t that busy.

“It has been difficult over the years but there has been a steady growth. Even a small shop like ours needs a lot of capital just to stock it, but we have been able to get this far with the support of the community in Guildford.”

Shakir is 22 years old and keen as they come. His dad doesn’t look like he is quite ready to retire yet but, when he does, his son will be well prepared to take over.

The Sadia Grocery owner, Shamshir Ali (right) and his son, Shakir.

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