Veena’s makes Barkingside even tastier

This post is for My Favourite Shop. (Yes, me again – Barkingside’s most famous shopper and consumer of high street services.)

Food shops tend to change my life more than I expect. When I moved to Barkingside with no particular enthusiasm in 2004, the kosher food I found on sale here allowed me to finally commit to a vegan diet. Strictly observant Jews isolate dairy from meat, so Jewish food manufacturers put a lot of creativity into the so-called ‘parev’ foods which are neither, and therefore can be eaten with either. The kosher shops and supermarket sections of Barkingside brought about this positive change for me.

So it has been with Veena’s. Some time ago I attracted the attention of Barkingside 21 by complaining that the entire High Street would soon be edible. Veena’s is exempt from this complaint; it is simply excellent and I’m delighted it’s here.

Veena’s opened on July 2nd 2009 in our former Woolworths. Its large glossy sign is  burgundy with a yellow ‘Veena’s’ in a stylish font. When I first saw it, I thought to myself “Barkingside is getting an enormous Sri Lankan supermarket. Now I can eat”.

But although owner Brahmma Raj is Sri Lankan, it wouldn’t be accurate to call Veena’s just a Sri Lankan supermarket, or even just a South Asian supermarket. Turkish, British, Italian, Thai, Chinese, African and other regions are represented on the shelves – there’s even a dinky Jewish section. As one of the assistants on checkout (perhaps Brahmma Raj himself – he had a certain proprietorial air) told me, they aim to have everything under one roof. This is pretty much the actuality – at least with the things I want to buy – and Veenas has taken a big share of my food money from Sainsbury’s and Somerfield. The simple fact is, I tend to shop on foot at the end of my working day, and Veena’s sells food and ingredients I want but haven’t been able to get elsewhere in Barkingside.

As soon as I saw Veena’s I decided to get out my New Internationalist ‘Vegetarian Main Dishes From Around the World‘ cookbook which had been lying dormant on the shelf because I couldn’t get the ingredients. Now Veena’s is here I can finally use it, so I’m going through taking every tenth recipe in turn. The first meal was maharagwe, an East African dish requiring rosecoco beans. I found them at Veena’s along with every other bean I have ever heard of, tinned and dried.

There was a choice of 5 or 6 coconut milks (although none were low fat – coconut fat is saturated so you have to watch out). Today I decided to skip aprapansa, the Ghanaian palm nut stew, in favour of yemesirkik, an Ethiopian lentil stew, but I feel confident I could have found palm butter. Veena’s didn’t have berbere paste for the yemesirkik, but there was a choice of 4 other chilli pastes. We ate it tonight with chapatis I made out of Veena’s own-brand chapati flour and it was good.

I have a few days before labra (spicy mixed vegetables from Bangladesh) on page 40 but I had it in mind when I last shopped there. Yes, they had panch phoron (5 mixed spices – fennel, fenugreek, onion seed, cumin and bayleaf) and all of its individual ingredients, separately.

On page 70, we have tamarind dal. Well, you can get dry tamarind, wet tamarind, sweet tamarind, salt tamarind, black tamarind. Cadju (cashew) curry, a dish from Sri Lanka, is on page 90. Veena’s sells lemon grass in jars and cashew nuts in volumes from the packet to the sack.

On special, resisted with difficulty, a platter of small sweet pastries made with vegetable ghee.

From a well-being point of view and from an excitement point of view, I feel extremely fortunate to live close to Veena’s. There’s so much there. For example, I put black sesame seeds and white poppy seeds in my bread these days. I’d prefer to see a better mix of shops here than we currently have, but what with the marvellous Ushan’s (Sri Lankan fruit and vegetable shop), Yossi’s (kosher baker), La Boucherie (kosher butchers and grocers), Rossi’s (the ice cream, coffee and chocolate institution), not one but two beautifully-kept Polish delicatessens, the eel and pie shop, the couple of unpretentious, high quality coffee, cake and brunch places, BK’s which is distinctively Turkish, Onur’s kebabs, the excellent North London Chinese take-away chain Oriental Chef, and the (“More than a”) farm shop selling local horseradish and Havering honey, we should now think of Barkingside as a cosmopolitan food-lover’s mecca.

Yes, there is meat, fish, dairy and other animal products here, and these things should never be eaten. Whenever I give money to vendors who trade in these things, I compromise something. And certainly, Sainsbury’s is far superior to anywhere else here for good booze, vegan dairy alternatives (although still poor), fair trade produce, organic produce, and environmentally-conscious produce – this is why they’ll continue to get my custom. But Barkingside has become a modern cosmopolitan food-lover’s mecca and Veena’s is central to this happy development.

(And not for the first time I ask myself, who wouldn’t live here?)

82 thoughts on “Veena’s makes Barkingside even tastier

  1. Send me your new address and I will send you a housewarming / late birthday hamper (well, you provide the basket).

    Your La-La land and San Diego food looks good to me too.

  2. What do you mean by “supermarkets like this”, Alan?

    There are no other “supermarkets like this” in Barkingside. It sells things that no other supermarket sells. It’s a gastronomic adventure.

  3. Nonsense, we’ve got several asian shops in Barkingside, selling groceries, and they are all much of a muchness. The asian supermarket are more expensive than Somerfield, and don’t offer anything new. I thought Barkingside, needed re-generating, not de-generating. The only plus is that their is a lovely new old fashioned sweet shop, opened up recently, which is what we need. The confectionery is far superior, than that of the asian shops. Everyone I speak to in Barkingside agrees that the area is going down steadly, and we need to attract more “names”. Several people have also mentioned that we really don’t need anymore Pound Shops either, which make the High Street, look cheap and tacky. Barkingside wasn’t like this 10 years ago, but then again look what’s happened in the last year.

  4. “several asian shops in Barkingside, selling groceries, and they are all much of a muchness”

    Er, no they aren’t.

    Veena’s is one-of-a-kind, particularly good for spices, different flours, dried and tinned pulses and indian snacks. Then there’s B.K’s which has a niche in Turkish stuff, and Turkish/German cross-over food. You can also get well-stored parsley there, and watermelon in summer. They have a very good variety of olives.

    They are not more expensive than Somerfields (now partnered with the Coop, where I am consequently very pleased to shop).

    “Everyone I speak to in Barkingside agrees that the area is going down steadly”

    Well, I don’t feel the same, nor have I had any conversations to this effect. Can you explain, Alan, exactly what you mean? Veena’s and BKs are distinctive and well-kept shops selling great food at a good price. I think of them as delis. What’s not to like?

  5. Do you actually live or work or have even been to Barkingside. If you visit all the asian shops they are more or less the same. I didn’t mention BK, as I knew this wasn’t asian as in Indian, and I knew the owners were turkish. I live in the heart of Barkingside, and I have spoken to many people and you can not be serious when you say that Barkingside is not going down hill. The area is full of tacky pound shops which basically sell the same thing. Barkingside is turning into Seven Kings, and that area has already reached rock bottom as far as retail is concerned. I totally disagree as in calling these shops delis, as they are just average supermarkets, selling more or less the same thing as each other, and as I can see not offering any kind of price match to the larger supermarket. The Polish supermarkets are making a slight improvements, but even their days are numbered, considering that the polish community are leaving in their droves, due to the economic downturn. We don’t need anymore pound shops, or asian supermarkets, what we need is more “names”, better security in the area, and a more enjoyable place to shop.

  6. Yes, I live in the heart of Barkingside. Have you ever lived anywhere else? Barkingside is the nicest place I have ever lived.

    I may be getting confused about what you mean by Asian supermarkets.

    We don’t have any others – Veena’s and BKs are the only ones which could at a stretch be called that.

    So Alan, could you please explain what you mean by ‘Asian supermarket’. Could you name some, and say why you think of them as Asian. How do you feel about the Asian sweet shop and the Asian greengrocers? Do you feel differently about the Sri Lankan and continental greengrocer and the un-self-categorised greengrocer?

    What do you think of charity shops? They outnumber the 3 pound shops on the High Street.

    What ‘names’ are you referring to?

  7. 1) Veena’s groceries, fruit and veg.
    2) Not sure what the name is, used to be the large Bike Shop place in Cranbrook Road – Groceries, fruit and Veg. No different to Veena’s and only five/ten minutes walk from each other.
    3)Place by Fullwell Cross – groceries, now selling fruit and veg
    4)New Fruit and veg shop (was Army and Navy)

    I am sure more are planned?

    I don’t feel anything about Asian Sweet Shops, or Greengrocers, all I am saying is that shops 1-4 above seem very samey to us, and don’t bring any variety to the area. My bugbear is more with the pound shops, which look takey and don’t really sell anything worth purchasing.

    Don’t have any problems with Charity Shops, I worked for many happy years for one of them. Best company I ever worked for.

    Again, I don’t have a problem with beauty or tanning places, as long as they take equal responsibility in ensuring the customers know the dangers of sunbeds. Atleast we have only two in the high street and we don’t have the repetitivness of asian stores.

    Look I really couldn’t care if they all go bust (grocery stores), Redbridge just need to start looking long term, and not letting the High Road, become crammed with more stores like this.

    Have you been to Ilford Lane? You know what I mean.

  8. You put your finger on it when you say “now” selling fruit and veg. Some of these places are not new but are trying to stay in business because we have new options on the High St. They are following the rules of competition. I was very please Ushan’s (the former Army and Navy place) opened. For a long while there was nowhere selling the stuff they sell on the high street. If you wanted fruit or veg you had to go to the supermarket.

    And now you have told me what you mean, I strongly recommend you stop referring to these places as ‘Asian’. It is simply an irrelevant adjective and therefore comes across as rather pointed. It ethnicises or racialises this discussion for no good reason. Frankly, I am finding it unpleasant. This is compounded by the fact that you seem to have no problem greengrocer’s by the Chequers, which is very similar to Ushan’s has a lot more of a fly-by-night feel than Ushan’s, and therefore makes your use of ‘Asian’ seem even more pointed.

    Look, I accept the part of your argument which complains that there’s too much of the same on our High Streets. I think you would be more convincing if you could make your case with respect to the balance of vendors you’d like to see, and how they would meet the needs of different demographics in Barkingside, and how they would make a business case in this age of online shopping (this is one reason why there’s such a high proportion of food vendors in Barkingside and other suburban High Streets).

  9. This is totally ridiculous, what do you mean, stop using the word asian, you obvously don’t live in the real world, and some kind of bubble, This “blog”, as far as I am concerned is farce, and I’m tired arguing against you. The High Street looks poor and shabby,everyone knows in Barkingside, people are to afraid to say, as it might be deemed racist. I do have my doubts though you do know the area at all. I suggest a good London A to Z should be on your Christmas wish list. I’ll not write again, as you’ll me please to note, this is my final word, and you know I am correct. I always am, especially on the subject of local people, who I know are not happy on how things are progressing in the local area.


  10. OK, let’s just go through the conversation again.

    In response to a post on Veenas, Alan jumps in with “We don’t need supermarkets like this in Barkingside. There are too many of them.”

    When I again point out the uniqueness of Veena’s in Barkingside, Alan says “nonsense”. He believes “they” are “more or less the same”. He goes on to talk in derisory terms about shops he has not defined, but in his contributions, ‘tacky’ and ‘pound shop’ and “poor and shabby” become associated with what he calls “the repetitivness of asian stores”.

    He doesn’t complain about the repetitive charity shops, or hair salon and beauty places. He doesn’t complain about the temporary looking fruit and veg place near The Chequers, which is not ‘Asian’. He keeps using the word “Asian”.

    And when I query him, he insinuates I don’t really live in Barkingside. As if the fact that I have said that I do, and that I shop in these stores is of no consequence.

    And I’m supposed to ignore this? No way.

    Barkingside is both our homes, Alan. You come up with a positive agenda for brightening up the High Street and I’ll get behind you and support you. But I will resist any of your attempts to frame this as a matter of cleaning – because that is the implication of all you have written – asian-owned shops from our High Street. Because yes, that would be a racist stain.

  11. I’m pretty ignorant about how local authorities can intervene in a free market to shape a high street but I did hear Lee Scott talking about a year ago about a Swedish(?) approach to creating a balance of shops and services in local areas, based on demand and what they sell, not who owns them which was overseen by the council and which might be set up in Redbridge. This seems like a good idea.

  12. Tut! Who is this Alan? Do we know him/her?

    Has he/she been to any of our meetings or got involved in any of the Regeneration consultations? If not why not?

    Flesh has, along with others who wish to make a positive difference rather than just carp from the sidelines with unsubstantiated conjecture that they “know” how local residents feel.

    Look forward to seeing you “Alan”, but I think not.

  13. I’ve not been to Veena’s, but I have visited the “former bike shop” on Cranbrook Road, now called Kashmir Food Store. And you know what? I actually liked it; it has lots of products that would be extremely difficult to find elsewhere, and is not just limited to so-called “Asian” products. Having previously lived in East Ham, I know that too many pound stores and grocers do not make for a pleasant high street, but Barkingside high street is nowhere near that stage, and doesn’t look to be going that way either. To be honest, all of Alan’s whingeing about these stores sounds like snobbery, and, quite possibly, racism. Kind of a “we don’t want them/those kind of shops here”.

  14. I totally agree with Alan. Barkingside is slowly going down hill and the sudden influx of stores like Vena’s don’t help.

    Rengeneration Scheme. You mean a lot of talk and no action.

    We need big brand names to attract proper shoppers to the area like
    Romford, which has improved over the last 10 years.

    • What is your definition of improvement, and by what do you measure it? And in answering please make like a councillor rather than a taxi driver (no offence, massed cabbies of Redbridge).

  15. OK – you have convinced me!

    I shall not go to Ilford Lane today but visit Veena’s instead (I seem to live a mile from it!) to stock up on exotic stuff like chillis, garlic, ginger, aubergine, pigeon peas, chick peas, cluster beans, etc. !

  16. Going back to Alans very good points. Having visited every shop in Barkingside that is Asian, none of the staff in each shop employ white people?. Alan isn’t racist at all. If shops say for example Sommerfield only employed white people, there would be outrage. Who is being the racists now. I can tell you who is the racists. Having lived in Barkingside all my life, in the recent two years the High Street has recently slowly taken over with cheap pound shops and more grocery shops we really don’t need. Thankfully one of the pound shops has gone bust, so we are now “one down”. If Barkingside is to become or even considering to become a better class of shopping centre, then these are the shops we don’t need. Alan has all the right ideas.

    • Aimee, do you recognise a distinction between a family business and a chain store?

      Or are you going to turn around and tell us that Asian families are racist for not having more white people in them?

    • So, in terms of ethnic diversity, I can’t see any grounds for comparing small family businesses to supermarket chains. And in terms of Barkingside High Street, I think what we really need is a consumer with a bit of money in their pocket, an understanding of the benefits of buying things which last, and a taste for good quality stuff. Then the pound shops you detest will begin to change for the better. Any ideas for bringing this about?

  17. What we need, is less shops like this, and more bigger names. That is what we need. Pound shops don’t add any benefit to the area, and only sell cheap crap. Prime example is that very sad looking pound shop up by the Pet Shop. Not sure if anyone has been actually been inside. I’ve not seen such a sorry looking stash of stock in my life. All rubbish, all pretty low quality. What is the point, what actual value is this shop adding. Looks cheap, gives off the wrong impression to people visiting the area, and we’ve already got two much better pound shops that stock better items. I would like to see a “pound shop” free high road.

  18. A family business can employ other people from ethnic communities, asians only employ asian, why argue, we know it’s true. Evidence is in the High Road, right now. Go look.

  19. Well Barkingside DIY has finally closed down and another family business lost, but I have found out that Gates DIY Stores are opening a branch in the same store! They sell Dulux and everything DIY related, great stock and I use there store in Poplar near where I work regular and saw a sign advertising the opening of the Barkingside Store today on the of chance when I was in there. We really need a good DIY store as there is nothing local and although Barkingside DIY was nice Gates have a much larger range and are purly DIY. I beg Redbridge council to get more usefull shops & no more pound stores on our great highstreet!

  20. Another muliti cultural pound shop closes (by pet shop) – what a shame. They employed all white people… like hell they did. They brought jobs to the area.. like hell they did. They made he high street into a better quality looking area ….like hell they did. Cr*p shops deserve to go. Hopefully the “big prize” Veena is next. We can then have a better quality high street. Here is hoping Holland and Barrett come quickly and kick few retailers into touch.

    • “Multi-cultural pound shop”.

      I don’t understand your priorities, Aimee. You spout all this bile, you bring skin colour into everything, and yet you can’t even bring yourself to type the word ‘crap’.

      You know full well that this crisis hits good and crap shops alike. Barkingside Home and Hardware has just shut. Have a fucking heart.

  21. I have been reading some post on this forum and although I can agree on some points I can disagree on quite a few also, there seems to be some form of racial hatred among Asian’s opening business in Barkingside. Asian have opened many businesses in the UK and are successfully and hard working business people so how one can differ business by the owner is hard to understand. Do you know that Tapal Tea, Typoo Tea, Newlook clothing, Wickes, 99p stores, Poundland are amongst a very few large companies owned by Asians.

    I think you must agree that the community of Barkingside and the surrounding area’s has changed drastically in past 10 years I know for a fact as I been a resident sine 1991. I feel Barkingside High Street is changing.The style of shops of yester years can not survive when today no one wears Taylor made suits or buy’s from Army & Navy stores hence them closing, on the other hand the locals are to blame also in the decline on the High Street because business need local support and loacal foot fall of customers. So if the local’s did not go to Romford or Lakeside etc for shopping and protested again the large Tesco and Giants like B&Q we would have not lost Barkingside Home Hardware and those old shop would not be out of business and would still be thriving and we would not be at this stage discussing this very subject!

    The High street is changing with the times and today people look at price not quality! There are a few out there that want quality and are willing to pay for it, but that is not enough to pay the bills for the businesses that sell quality products on low margins. So until the customers thinking changes and there way of buying quality rather then cheap products we shall see more decline on our high streets.

    You know for a fact that if B&Q sells compost for £1.99 and your local high street shop who pays much higher rents and rates to be on your door step sells it at £2.50 you will go to B&Q and buy, even though the local shop sells quality and B&Q will sell there own cheap brand!

    So it boils down to money at the end! People you have to start spending and buying from your local high street’s to support them, if you do support them there will be no empty shops on the high street for pound stores to move into, I hope I have made my point!

    The choice at the end is yours are you willing to pay for quality and pay the price for it or just come on the forum and complain and take your business to the big multiple’s!

    • Good points well made Zubair. However, as Matthew Taylor pointed out in his recent RSA Keynote, we have a little difficulty understanding the difference between product face cost and the actual cost to us when we get in our cars, for which we are taxed, drive to B&Q, for which we pay fuel and do our bit to exacerbate global warming.

      Actually, Barkingside is a place where many of us have sufficient means not to always go for the cheapest thing, if only we had the will.

      I only drive when there is no alternative. Happens that I do get my compost from B&Q because they offer a sustainably-sourced, non-peat-based type. I made a judgement that not contributing to the demise of peat habitat was more important than giving money to my local store or not using a fossil fuel. These are the kinds of choices we have to make every day.

  22. Forgot to mention, do I get the vibe from the forum from what Aimee that white people can not or do not wish to go into Asian shops and vice versa? Why does it matter who own’s it!
    The quality of the products and the service you get is what counts!
    We as Asian don’t have any issue’s buying from non Asian shop’s and why should anyone else have a problem buying from Asian business!
    They area is changing Aimee and I think that you need to accept change, If no one supports the business that are left, the remainder shall close down also! Lets see how the new DIY shop opening is supported by the local or will they to perish like Barkingside Home Hardware! I must say I always shopped at that DIY store and never visited B&Q so I was very sad to see them go, I hope the new Gates DIY Store is as good in Barkingside!

    Or will it depend who owns it? I guess they won’t have issue as they are white hey Aimee!

    • Good quality, good value, ethically-sourced goods to meet the needs of the local community, sold out of well-kept shops – that’s all we need.

  23. Well like you say we all have to make our own choice and I guess the shop keeper to has to look at profits and overheads and makes to choice to close shop, but there are still many wonderfull shop on the high street and they still need our support people!

    So lets not turn Barkingside in to a raciest area and lets all work and live together in peace and harmony!

    love TO ALL!!

  24. Listen to yourselves all of you. You don’t get it. These shops have done nothing to the local community of Barkingside. They don’t employ anyone but asian people? Why. The quality of the products (not including food) is very inferior to that of say Somerfield or Sainsbury. What we need is big names. No more room for Asian Supermarkets, or “low class” pound shops. Asian or not asian, I couldn’t really care who owns them, this nis not the point. The point I made was about quality V crap. Suddenly Barkingside is full of crap shops and there is a pattern forming as it’s mostly asian shops that are bringing this low grade retail unit. We already have a overload of pound shops and we don’t need more. Rumours are that Holland and Barrett are on the way. This is exactly what we need. NAMES. But you lot don’t get it at all. I am not racist, just concerned about the look of the area, and what it looks like to visitor who want to shop here or not as the last week has proven.

  25. Aimee, you are making two separate points. one of them is racist, the other isn’t. Both are wrong, in my view. You have no grounds for saying that the food the small businesses sell is inferior. What I really have a problem with is that you are using your racist point to explain why you think that the small businesses on Barkingside High Street are inferior. Clearly you do find certain skin colours inferior. Then at the end you hint that decent shoppers have been put off by these shops, and this has caused shops like Home & Hardware to close – an absolutely baseless claim. I don’t want you using my blog for this utter crap.

  26. Is it true is Holland and Barrett opening on the HIgh Street and if so which shop are they taking?

  27. mate all ‘veena’s has done is ruined barkingside, its the first of what looks to be many bun stores that are just adding to the destruction of our beloved highstreet.

    • what the hell is a “bun store”?

      Veena’s is a really lovely store. It’s a delicatessen as far as I’m concerned.

      We destroy our own high street by shopping in Romford and the superstores.






  29. How did this blog start? does it have any connection with Barkingside B21? is this a official blog? What is the view of the majority! If Barkingsid is becoming raciest and all the Asian business were to leave we would have empty shop approx 60% of them!!

    You should actuall start a blog on the high street its self!

    • Hi Zubair, this is not a Barkingside 21 blog – it’s just mine, unofficial, and as you can see it’s quite eclectic. I think the idea of a High Street blog is excellent. If you start one, let me know where it is, and feel free to ask me about copying and re-posting any of my posts here.

      I don’t think very many people want the Asian shops to leave – just a badly mistaken minority making a lot of noise. What everybody wants is good quality, good value, good availability, on well-kept premises. Just like anywhere else, and nothing whatsoever to do with where the shopkeepers are from.

  30. Zubair, I think they are taking over Chadz that was. I can’t wait for a decent name to arrive. At last a name we can all trust.

    Was that OK “Flesh is grass” not too racist for you.

    What happend to “Free Speech”, or don’t you allow it on a public blog.

    What is a bun shop. I am curious. If it’s nasty I don’t want to know. Stop accusing me of being racist. I am just caring that’s all. Please stop telling me I speak crap. We are all entitled to opinion, especially if it effects are local community, which is changing daily.

    Barkingside- is getting more “low grade” FACT
    I speak to loads of people in the area – they agree FACT
    We don’t need anymore pound shops FACT
    We don’t need anymore grocerie shops – FACT

    Asian or not. We need variety, quality, and something specialised would be nice but we cant hope for too much in this current climate. I think Holland and Barret ticks all those boxes

    Enough with racist. Very, boring and very predictable.

    • “I think they are taking over Chadz that was”


      I think I broadly agree with your FACTs, Aimee. Holland and Barrett would certainly be an asset – I am vegan.

    • Or you could just link here, and then when you start a discussion of your own on your blog, the readers you attract can talk there. Once you have something going, I could add you to my blogroll.

  31. nah trust me, everyone wants the [censored due to racism] to leave why are you chatting about people liking it, stick to setting up shops in ilford

  32. bun shop = ugly shop

    [censored next sentence due to being both facile and racist]

    add me on facebook btw: Chris Kellas (Chris Niko Kranjaer Kellas)

    • “so this is how Barkingside really is!”

      I don’t think so – I’m no less part of Barkingside as they are, Zubair. And I am as anti-racist as I know how to be. I’m part of a quiet majority, I reckon.

  33. At the risk of upsetting a few readers here, there is also a rumour that the greengocers next to the Chequers is, apparently, due to become a Turkish Off License. Full of Eastern Promise no doubt?

    B21 would like to support Flesh’s comment above.

  34. We should get everyone together; have a big open forum, and then everyone can accuse each other, but with a good facilitator; be able to do it consciously– as in, not oppress each other; and hey, I’ll film it 😛

    Or, you could all just chill out – go take a road trip, to like, Gants Hill or something.

  35. Due to my ethnicity i shop at veena’s all the time
    I feel the shop is a rejuvenation in society

  36. what is the point of setting up veenas and all these dirty shops, a turkish off liscence ? 😐

    This is Barkingside, England, not the multi cultural show, veenas etc needs to fuck of the names seriosuly make our highstreet beyond ugly.

    • Sometimes I wish I was more heavily into censorship. I have serious reservations about people with racist views using my blog to broadcast them. I respond below.

  37. fuck veenas some dirtyy trampyy shop id rather get my munch from pound shop, alow the name ‘veenas’ how discustign can a word sound look at the sign how ugly it is please shut down fckin p*** ‘s

    add me on facebook [censored -FiG].

    • Barkingside Clayhall asks, “what is the point of setting up…?”

      Who do you think is doing the “setting up”? Barkingside shoppers didn’t sustain our Woolworths, or a shop like our Woolworths, and so it closed. Another entrepreneur took the vacant shop, and now we have Veena’s, a great shop (though it doesn’t sell pick-and-mix).

      “dirty shops” “trampy” “ugly”

      What on earth are you talking about? Veena’s is clean. The sign is very chic. The shop is cared-for.

      “not the multi-cultural show”

      You’re wrong! Don’t you realise that your own reasoning commands us to give attention to our origins – and our origins are African. Humanity is African – see for example the links at

      When are you going back there? Or perhaps you feel that, like me, you have a right and reason to remain here in Barkingside, which is after all one of the best places in the world to live. And one of the best things about Barkingside is our diversity.

      Did you hear about the scientist James Watson who drew distinctions between the intelligence of different social groups on the basis of their race? He said that black intelligence was different from white intelligence. An academic lab did a DNA test on him and discovered that – despite all appearances – his origins were significantly African and significantly Asian. It was as if he had an African great grandparent.

      And yet, here he is, a pioneer of DNA research. A Nobel Prize Winner. His own origins make a nonsense of his research.

      Your talk about the undesirability of multiculture (and I think I have good reason to interpret you as meaning dark-skinned people with unfamiliar names, who use unfamiliar words) is also nonsense. Pure nonsense.

      Come on. Veena’s is a good shop. We are lucky. I don’t know about any Turkish off-licence, but whether it is good or not will have *nothing* do with being Turkish, or not Turkish. And there is no such thing as pure culture, let alone pure blood. There is much more difference and variation within any given community than there is between communities. This is because difference is not really about where you are from – it’s about what you have, what you have a stake in, what you are trying to protect. Haves, and have-nots.

      Other cultures are not the source of your problems, are they. What’s really on your mind? What are you worried about? Try to separate it from where people are from.

  38. As this is an upgrade to my local shop in my hometown Bosnia, i am privalidged to have the oppurtinity to experience a carrier bag instead of carrying it on my head x

  39. Holland and Barrett has arrived. Thank god for a decent shop, rather than another low grade skanky grocery shop which we don’t need. Two asian shops have failed thankfully in the High Road. Pound Shop – Edmunds (never knew why it opened, it was appalling) Key Cutting Place/Pound Shop near Chadz. Skanky, expensive, and low grade. When will they learn. Barkingside needs good shops and not low grade like this. More names, more money invested, proper quality shops like H&B

    • Well commiserations to the *people* – people with families, dreams, bills – who have gone out of business. I tend to agree that our High Street could be a lot better-kept. I also agree that it’s a very good sign that this chain shop thinks they can make a go of it here.

      But as long as you bring ‘asian’ into this conversation, I will always think of you as racist. I’m much more worried about what you would do to Barkingside if you could than I’m worried about the owners of scruffy shops who are just trying to make a living based on the signals they have taken from *us* – the people who live here.

  40. I read Veena’s was in trouble. Lets all hope it closes soon. Who really wants it.

    • Lots of places are in trouble. I hope Veenas manages to stay open. I’ll attempt to spend a little more there. It’s unrivalled for pickles, basmati rice, and spices. Also the only place in Barkingside I can find vegan jelly. I really recommend a visit.

  41. Just becasue someone mentions the word asian, doesnt make them racist – and im not white. There are alot of asian shops and there just cheap, tacky and make the highstreet look sh!t – why cant people go to ilford etc for that crap.

    Im glag H+B is opening in Barkingside, finally a decent shop and not some crusty old poundshop, fast food place or some other rubbish.

    I hope ‘veenas’ and the rest of the crap go out of business too – and we get some proper shops like argos etc etc

    • If this comments thread was a shop on Barkingside High Street, the very people who have fouled it up would be campaigning to get it closed.

      I’ve been patient but nothing new is coming out of the ‘discussion’, the comments are rancid, and for those reasons comments are now closed.

      Viva Veenas!!! Viva Barkingside High Street!!!

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