Margate Green Grocer Relaunches
Thanet Star became aware of the re-opening of Margate's green grocer and our People's Interest contributor, Illisia Adams, visited for a look at the shop, and an Interview with the proprietor.
Number 107 on Margate High Street has opened its doors to customers again! It re-opened one month ago today, on June 04th.
Khamis Ali, an Egyptian-born gentleman who moved to the UK back in 2001 is the shop proprietor. When I was intrigued about his foreign routes, given the rising concern in how many immigrants that there are in our area, he proudly told me that he moved to our country to find work here and that he has never lived off of Benefits. He has
“always wanted to be [his] own boss”.
Khamis speaks several languages; his home-tongue Egyptian, English (very well!) and Polish, which his wife taught him. He is a very hard worker who actually owns another green grocer in Chatham and travels fourty miles to get here every day from his home and he has as little as seven hours sleep in a week.
Why the expansion to Margate, then? Why not! Khamis has had his eye on the store here since before it closed down two years ago. He has huge confidence in its potential, signing a lease to rent the shop for five years.
Khamis was more than happy to give me a full tour of his shop and proud of the shear range of products available. There was a surprising amount of fruit and vegetables that I actually could not name; I had never seen nor heard of them before! There is plenty of standard foods, though, of course. Everything from the basic fruits and vegetables that you would normally get at your supermarket to the more exotic foods that are used for Indian meals, Jamaican taste buds, Mexican pallets, etc.
This is the only dedicated green grocer in Margate and foods are locally sourced, wherever possible, including a full range of fresh English herbs.
The best deal by far is the eggs, which are free range and priced at £3 for an entire tray of thirty fresh, well sized eggs! One customer stated
I was going to go to the supermarket, glad I didn't! regarding the cheap prices.
The jacket potatoes are a best seller, with many Thanet residents choosing the grocer over supermarkets. When I saw the sheer size of them, I could see why! Yet Khamis jokingly told me that the ones on display were actually rather "small" in comparison to his usual stock. I made a point of photographing (see above) one of his ["smaller"] large jacket potatoes (left) and a standard sized jacket potato which I would compare to supermarket standard sizes (right). You can truly see the difference!
The watermelons are another highlight. I have never seen such large specimens before. One was so large that it could not even be weighed on the machine in the Margate store and it had to be sent to the Chatham store where there is a larger weighing machine available. A passer-by proclaimed
blimey! when he saw the content of the watermelon shelf.
When I asked him about the local competition, Khamis jested
please don't compare me to the supermarket, insisting that his establishment is a completely different thing. He also politely insisted that he wants the locals to
try us and told me how dedicated he is to providing good quality foods at low prices to the people of Thanet.
So, in conclusion, "judge not lest ye be judged", because Margate's newest business is actually run by a "foreigner" who has never claimed a penny of British Benefits in his life and works hard travelling forty miles every day to bring the people of Margate fresh, tasty fruit and vegetables! Visit the shop to see the full range and meet Khamis.