Cut-priced store helps the needy

A new kosher store in north-west London is attempting to assist poorer families by selling meat and groceries at little more than cost price.

The store is operating from a Dollis Hill business park, a deliberately low-key location so as not to take business away from other Jewish shops. It is being backed by a committee of communal philanthropists.

“We are simply trying to help people in the Jewish community,” said manager Moshe Monitz.

“People would rather buy with their own money than receive food parcels and feel needy.

“We charge cost price plus a small amount for overheads, which are kept as low as possible. There are similar shops in America and elsewhere.”

Customers were people in genuine need whose names were on lists provided by charity organisations. They were from the main north-west London communities and as far afield as Borehamwood.

“In time, we hope to be able to produce something like a Tesco clubcard so that all a customer will have to do is swipe the card to use the store,” Mr Monitz added.

“Our aim is to sell things as cheaply as possible by buying in bulk, which brings prices down. But it takes time to get to know suppliers and get the best deals.”

He said the store was also gave those in financial difficulty an incentive to stay kosher, pointing out: “A lot of Jewish people buy at supermarkets like Tesco because it’s much cheaper. We are here to help those people buy kosher at low prices.”

Shortly after opening, stocks of fresh meat and chicken were offered. “It was in a four-and-a-half metre long cabinet and it went in a day,” Mr Monitz reported.

As an example of prices, the store is selling whole frozen chickens at £3.75 a kilo, cholent meat at £4.99 a kilo and minced beef at £1.99 for 500 grammes.

    Last updated: 10:17am, August 13 2009