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Highgate crowd throw bittersweet farewell party for independent community shop

PUBLISHED: 11:15 20 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:49 20 May 2016

Highgate residents hold a street party to say goodbye to the Patel family who have run Northwood news community shop for more than 30 years.

Highgate residents hold a street party to say goodbye to the Patel family who have run Northwood news community shop for more than 30 years.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Huge crowds gathered in Highgate for a “bittersweet” goodbye to a well-loved community shop after 30 years of business.

A street party was held in honour of the family before they sell the shop and move out of the area.

Northwood News, formally known as Northwood Dairy, will be closing and owners Hari, Kay Sandy and Jay Patel are moving away after serving the Highgate community for 30 years.

The shop, described as a “hub of the community” began to suffer after a Sainsbury’s Local opened on Archway Road in 2012. The Patels saw their profits drop by 50 per cent in three years after the new supermarket opened.

Hari Patel, who owns the shop with his brother Jay, said: “With these stores opening up all over Highate, I think this is really the end of the independent shop, in five or ten years they will probably not exist anymore.

“The supermarkets say they will bring people to the area and improve business but they didn’t improve business for us.

“Years ago, all the small independent shops were protected by the local authorities.

“You couldn’t open a newsagents if there was another one already close by but now councils don’t do that.

“They should prioritise small businesses.”

The Patel family were presented with a gift of £1,000 by their friends and neighbours and told to “take a real holiday” as the shop is only closed for two days a year.

Hari said to the emotional crowd: “You have all been very supportive and we are very proud to call you our friends.

“We have been there for each other in happy times and sad times. It is going

to be difficult not to see your

faces.”

“It is amazing and really surprising to see this many people out. We wanted to go quietly but we were told we couldn’t do that, we needed a proper send off.

“I am sad to go but looking forward to finally having some time off with my family..”

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