So Spar so good as re­tailer opens doors

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Town Centre – The Good And The Bad - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

saw­illiams@thek­m­group.co.uk A new con­ve­nience store opened yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day), fill­ing one of the empty gaps in Ash­ford’s town cen­tre.

The Spar can be found in the for­mer Reeds Rains of­fices at 31 High Street, which has been empty since the es­tate agent closed in July 2012.

Work to con­vert the for­mer of­fice into a con­ve­nience store started in June this year.

Cus­tomers who vis­ited the shop, which will sell gro­ceries, al­co­hol and con­fec­tionary, yes­ter­day were treated to free food tasters and sam­ples.

The store has been set up by busi­ness part­ners Paresh Amin and Tanuj Pa­tel, who also own The Choco­late Box, in the High Street, and man­age Leaver’s, which is due to close.

Mr Amin said: “I are very ex­cited about the open­ing of the new store. The lower end of the High Street is quite empty and re­ally needs ren­o­vat­ing. We have put a lot of hard work in to make the store a great ad­di­tion to the High Street.”

Mr Amin also ex­plained that The Choco­late Box is due to have a mini make-over to ac­com­mo­date for the ex­tra stock that will be com­ing over from Leaver’s to­bac­conists when it closes.

He said: “We are in­cor­po­rat­ing ev­ery­thing from Leaver’s into the SPAR and The Choco­late Box, so cus­tomers will still have ac­cess to all the stock.”

The spe­cial­ist cig­a­rettes, pipes and dif­fer­ent flavours of rolling and pipe to­bacco that are avail­able at Leaver’s will be moved to The Choco­late Box.

Mr Amin has also of­fered to let Ash­ford char­ity, Join­ing Hands, a not-for­profit so­cial en­ter­prise, lease the of­fice above the SPAR for free for six months.

The SPAR will be open Mon­day to Satur­day 7am-8pm.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM2701066

Paresh Amin and Tanuj Pa­tel with staff at the open­ing of the Spar in Ash­ford High Street

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