City supermarket donates stock to charities ahead of closure
PUBLISHED: 19:53 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 19:53 29 January 2019
The owner of a Norwich supermarket that permanently closed today has provided local foodbanks with some of his remaining stock.
On Monday Abul Hussain appealed for charities to come forward to take on about £2,000 worth of items from Desh World Foods Supermarket on Magdalen Street.
The 44-year-old wanted to give away some of his stock before he shut the store’s doors for the last time on Tuesday afternoon (January 29).
Local organisations including the Norwich FoodHub have since visited the supermarket to fill their own shelves with items for those in need.
Mr Hussain said he was glad to have helped the community one last time.
He said: “I may have lost everything, but I have left something for those in need.
“We had so many charities come in and everyone left happy because there was a lot of food they could take.
“They were still taking items this morning.”
The Norwich FoodHub said items it collected had already been donated to homeless hostels.
A spokesman for the organisation added that Eric Hewson, who runs the Harvey Lewis Hamper Appeal, visited the shop yesterday with the food hub to help pack and transport the stock.
He has kept half of the items in order to distribute them out as food hampers for those in need.
The Norwich Soup Movement also collected stock from the store.
Mr Hussain was forced to shut his supermarket in February last year after his electricity was cut off.
He lost £50,000 worth of fresh produce overnight, and had to leave £70,000 worth of stock on the shelves.
Now, after almost a year of fighting to get his power reconnected, he has been left with no choice but to permanently close.
He claims to have lost about £800,000 in earnings and legal fees as a result of the closure.
Mr Hussain said: “It is very painful because this was my dream, it was my everything.
“I gave my all to this business and now I have nothing.”
The store, which stocks foods and kitchen goods from around the world, opened in February 2016.
It was previously based in Cowgate from 2010.
Mr Hussain moved to the current location as the business became more popular. The supermarket included a cafe and employed 13 people.
• For more information about the Norwich FoodHub visit: https://10to8.com/book/norwichfoodhub/.