More than 3,500 people have signed a petition to save Nour Cash and Carry in Brixton, which was served with a section 25 notice by landlords Hondo Enterprises last month.
Saja Shaheen, part of the family that owns Nour, said: “We are hoping the landlords can see how important we are to the community and will make more of an effort to help us stay.”
In response to the show of support, Ms Shaheen said: “I wish I could thank everyone individually.”
Nour has been a staple in Brixton for over 20 years and is a vital resource for Brixton’s immigrant and low-income communities, selling a wide range of groceries at low prices.
Nour serves 90% of restaurants in the market and surrounding areas – according to the Shaheen family’s petition – and is popular with foodies looking to buy specialist ingredients.
Ms Shaheen said of the possible closure: “It will have a massive impact. What about low-income and immigrant families? What happens to a community when that gets stripped away? It brings on feelings of displacement”.
Hondo Enterprises is headed by Texan socialite and DJ Taylor McWilliams – who reportedly dated Price Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy in 2011.
The company bought Brixton Village and Market Row in 2018 for £37.3 million and is described on its website as ‘specialising in opportunistic and value-add transactions’.
A Hondo Enterprises spokesperson said they have had to serve notice to Nour so that a new substation – required to deal with regular power cuts affecting Market traders – can be accommodated next to the existing one.
This location was said to have been dictated by UK Power Networks.
Hondo Enterprises has identified a new space in Brixton Village for Nour after exploring several options, and has offered to build a new store at its own cost.
A spokesperson said: “A deal for this space remains on the table, which we’ve made clear to Nour at every opportunity. Our commitment to keeping Nour in the Market is demonstrated by the past eight months of negotiation, with these multiple proposals being put forth.”
Ms Shaheen confirmed that Hondo Enterprises has made an offer for the cash and carry to be relocated but said: “It was not a viable offer. The costs involved were incredible.”
Asked what she would like to say to Hondo, Ms Shaheen said: “I would plead with the landlords. They need shops like us for people to live and survive in this community”.
Under the section 25 notice, Nour Cash and Carry will have to leave the premises on July 22.