A much-loved family-owned supermarket in Brixton is facing closure after being served with a section 25 notice last month. 

Nour Cash and Carry, a “pillar” of Market Row, has served the area’s diverse community for nearly 20 years with a wide variety of affordable ingredients.  

But Hondo Enterprises, which owns Brixton Village and Market Row, said it needs the space for an electricity substation to provide reliable power to the area.  

Nour will be forced out in July while talks with the owners have gone nowhere – Hondo said none of its suggested options were accepted.  

Family member Saja Shaheen said if their shop goes it will be “the beginning of the end” for the market and will have a “huge” impact on the community.  

She said: “If they can get us out with no consequences it could be like a domino effect. We are protected by a lease, by the 1954 [Landlord and Tenant] Act but not everyone there is.  

“A lot of people haven’t got the representation that we do. 

“We can speak up, we can make as much noise as we can – others don’t have that luxury. 

 “It’s a massive shame when you have to go outside your neighbourhood to buy the food of your culture and heritage.  

“It’s home to so many people – if you take that away what are you left with? A derelict market.  

“Things are tense as it is at the moment with Brexit – people already feel displaced in their own homes.” 

Customers who have been going to the market for years are furious. 

Local Fenan Dawit said: “It’s a disgrace. Why are they taking away something affordable and healthy from the community? 

“My concern would be that it is one of the very affordable shops in Brixton where you can get healthy food.  

“You take that away and there are not many places left. 

“They opened a chicken shop on the other side, we don’t want that, we want our market.  

“Nour also employs quite a lot of Eritreans which I like to see.” 

Nearly 3,000 people have signed a petition fighting the closure.  

One supporter said: “Nour is an important institution in Brixton and represents part of the heart of a community that is being systematically dismantled. Essentially social cleansing.” 

Another said: “This is such a brilliant shop serving the community with fresh herbs, fruits vegetables, spices, grains, oils, cans, falafels, pitta breads, cheese, olives as well as everything else to cook delicious food.  

“This is a real community business and it always feels such a joy to come in and be inspired by foods that you can’t find in most supermarkets. 

“The demographic that this shop attracts couldn’t be more multicultural and closing this shop would feel like pulling the heart out of the community as well as Brixton market.” 

A spokesperson for Hondo said it had “unfortunately had to serve notice to Nour Cash and Carry due to vital infrastructure works”. 

He said: “However, we are actively pursuing options to retain them within the Market. 

“As landlords one of our biggest challenges since taking ownership has been to improve the infrastructure of the Market in order for it to continue to serve the 150 traders and the local community. 

“We have invested extensively with regards to heating, drainage and the infrastructure within the Market, but the lack of power within Market Row still remains a major challenge. 

“In order to continue to provide the electricity to serve Market Row, UK Power Networks informed us that a new substation is required.  

“This is evidenced by power cuts being a regular occurrence within the Market which is disrupting business for all traders.  

“Due to existing constraints this unfortunately had to be accommodated within Nour’s units, next to the existing substation.  

“Until this issue is resolved it is also limiting interested traders who would like to open in the empty units in Market Row, harming footfall and trade for all units in the building. 

 “However, as a valued part of the community for the last twenty years we did not want this to prevent their business from operating.  

“We therefore first began discussions with the owners in Spring last year to try to keep Nour within the Market.  

“This includes an offer to build and move them into a new unit into the Market, at no extra cost, with a larger retail floorspace, as well as being open to discount market rents.  

 “Unfortunately these offers have not been accepted at this point.  

“We would like to continue to still pursue these options so they can retain a presence in the Market, though after 15 meetings we have to consider the requirements of all traders within Market Row and make vital infrastructure improvements.”