'It feels great': West Hampstead couple open Belsize Hardware in Haverstock Hill
- Credit: Linda Grove
A new hardware shop has opened in Belsize Park, despite setbacks due to the fuel crisis.
Owners Ali Ali and Sara Jaf, both 27, officially opened the store at 195 Haverstock Hill on Monday (October 4).
The West Hampstead couple had worked at Hampstead Hardware in Heath Street for several years, and said they always hoped to own their own shop.
Ali told the Ham&High: "People always need hardware, and we thought this was the best way to serve the community.
"We had many people coming up to the shop in Hampstead from Belsize Park, and we wanted to make it easier for them and help customers who aren't able to travel up the steep incline.
"It's becoming harder and harder to find what you need in shops, with more people having to rely on the online market, which many people can't or don't want to do.
"We are here to help people with all the information and knowledge they need in any way we can."
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The store neighbours health food shop Revital, and is across the road from Belsize Park tube station.
Sara and Ali grew up in Marylebone and Maida Vale respectively, before moving to Hampstead, and said they know the area well.
Sara said: "We've gained a lot of skills and knowledge over the years, so it feels great to provide that to customers.
"It's been tricky opening amid Brexit and the fuel situation, because there have been delays in orders coming in.
"That was challenging as we still don't have 100% of our stock in the shop yet.
"We're about 95% stocked up, but hopefully in the next few weeks we'll be able to get the final 5% of products."
The past few weeks have seen petrol shortages across the country, with north London drivers struggling to refuel and queues blocking roads in Crouch End, Hampstead and Highgate.
Panic buying at petrol stations, sparked by concerns the HGV driver shortage would prevent supplies reaching the pumps, saw pockets of aggression as frustrated drivers waited to refuel.
At the BP station in Belsize Park, a man was arrested on suspicion of assault on September 26.