Shopkeepers on one of Nottingham’s most diverse streets talked about some of the exclusive items shoppers can get. From exotic and obscure fruit to one-of-a-kind traditional jewellery, hundreds of people descend on Hyson Green’s popular high street every day for a ‘one of a kind’ shopping experience.
Indrani Saha, owner of halal supermarket Green Oranges, in Radford Road, proudly took Nottinghamshire Live to the store showcasing the most unique fruit and vegetables on offer. The 33-year-old said her business normally has “around 250 transactions made at the store every day” – but on the weekends she is even busier.
“I would say the most unique items are the exotic fruits and vegetables we have,” she added, standing next to the crowded shelves. These display vegetables and fruits that simply cannot be found in a chain supermarket, including matoki, ridge gourd and pointed gourd.
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Mango, papaya and guava are also on display, both raw and ripe. The difference between them is that when ripe, the item is eaten like a fruit, but when raw, it is prepared in savory dishes, Ms. Saha explained. “We have a lot of ethnic people who come here to get the products that remind them of home, but we also have English and European people willing to try something different,” she added. “They come to me asking for recipes and how to make them, and I tell them to search YouTube for the best recipes.”
The huge store also features an entire aisle dedicated solely to spices. Another corner of the shop is where shoppers can get their fresh meat from a butcher.
But that’s not all, says Ms. Saha. “We are pioneers in delivering frozen fish, vegetables and fruits to customers across the country. We send up to 30 packages every day to people who order products online. It really is a market here like no other.
She continued and said, “It’s a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. You can’t find it anywhere else in Nottingham.”
As successful as the Green Oranges store was, maintaining such a business through Brexit and the pandemic was a challenge, Ms Saha added. She said: “It depends on the product, but most of our produce has doubled. Before Brexit we were selling three bunches of spinach for £1, now we’re selling it for £1.99.”
The same is true of another firm in Radford Road, where prices have “increased dramatically” in the post-Brexit and lockdown market. Ali Akbar, who has run his clothing store for six years, said: “We had to raise our prices to match the increase. We import from Pakistan and India, and transportation costs and product prices have increased significantly.
The dynamic Chandni Bazaar specializes in Asian clothing and jewelry. When asked what the most unique item was, the 31-year-old pointed to the three pieces at the front of the store and replied, “Probably the ones that have very unique embroidery. The casual outfits don’t are not as expensive as these.”
The most expensive garments, which range between £85 and £100, feature hand embroidery and stones. But the sparkling jewelery available in the store also includes some exclusive items, like complete sets for £85.
Mr Akbar added: “It’s important that people have shops like these in Nottingham. It’s part of the culture of the people. But we also bring in English people to look at the jewelery available. every taste. “
When walking along Radford Road, a busy and always busy street, perhaps one of the most fascinating things is the variety of items available. From cover to cover, it spans all cultures and nationalities – and shoppers would feel like they’ve traveled the world in one shopping session.
Between the halal supermarket and the Asian clothing store, there is yet another store – The Tani Shop – where a whole range of foods and products originating from Eastern European countries are displayed. Janeta Zapert, who has worked at the store for three years, said: “People from Eastern European countries come here to get the food that reminds them of home. It sends them back to their home country, and sometimes to their childhood.”
The most eye-catching aisle was certainly the one filled with jars and cans of stews and pickles – which are very popular in Eastern Europe. “But it’s not just Eastern Europeans who come here. We also have English customers who come to try our products.”
The 30-year-old added: “Food is what brings people together. And keeping these stores on the high street is important for people living away from home.”