Instead of a traditional corner shop, Chesterfield Parade in Bells Hill, now hosts a specialist shop selling what the proprietor believes is the widest range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free produce and products available in High Barnet.
Metin Sus opened his business Natural Wholefoods in mid-December. He specialises in organic food and other items suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.
“Because of the covid pandemic more and more people are taking a much greater interest in what they eat, and they are looking out for the highest quality food,” said Mr Sus.
“We have daily deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh pastries and bread from an organic bakery, and we will be looking at ways to expand our range to meet local needs.”
Mr Sus said that with more people working at home there was now greater demand for local convenience shopping and Chesterfield Parade was an ideal location with free parking in roads around the shop.
“Rents for a specialist retail business like this in Barnet High Street are prohibitive so there are openings for neighbourhood shops which can tap into niche markets like vegetarian and vegan food and products.”
The appeal of the Natural Wholefoods shop was confirmed by Megan Brown, from nearby Quinta Drive, who says the area needs a shop selling fresh fruit and vegetables.
“I’ve just had a baby and I am always keen to buy the freshest produce.”
After almost 20 years working in shops – including an organic shop in Kentish Town -- Mr Sus decided to start his own business and hopes to take advantage of the revival in neighbourhood shops.
“There are more and more gluten free and vegan foods and products coming onto the market and the demand for organic produce, especially fruit and vegetables, is increasing all the time.
“This is a growing market and there are openings for specialist shops like this out in suburban streets and judging by the custom of my first three weeks, residents in the locality seem to agree.”