Deli shuts in Ilford

By Lee Lixenberg, June 5, 2008

Redbridge community leaders are bemoaning the closure of Brownstein’s kosher deli, a fixture of local Jewish life for almost 60 years.

The Gants Hill deli shut without warning last week, only a few weeks after the closure of nearby butcher Ilford Kosher Meats.

Most recent owner Geri Levine said she had taken the decision “with a heavy heart as business became less viable due in part to competition from the big supermarkets. I would like to say a big thank you to all those who enabled Brownstein’s to continue for as long as it did. The customers have become like family over time.”

Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin of the Gants Hill Chabad centre said it was increasingly difficult for small independent stores to compete with larger kosher outlets. “There’s now such a huge variety available in North-West London and Stamford Hill that many families prefer to source their supplies in those areas.

“The two successful licensed local butchers and bakeries also carry growing stocks of general groceries,” added the rabbi, whose centre bought all its supplies from Brownstein’s.

Another longstanding customer, Gerry Nadler, 75, observed: “For years there was a nucleus of kosher shops around the local [Beehive Lane] shul. The closure of Ilford Kosher Meats and Brownstein’s is symptomatic of the way the area has changed.”

Last updated: 9:28am, July 8 2009