SHOPPERS got an early Christmas present when a much-loved store returned to the area. Benny Dee opened in Birchington Road, off Kilburn High Road, last week after the owner changed his mind on a half-hearted retirement. Ben Baker, who opened his first s
SHOPPERS got an early Christmas present when a much-loved store returned to the area.
Benny Dee opened in Birchington Road, off Kilburn High Road, last week after the owner changed his mind on a 'half-hearted' retirement.
Ben Baker, who opened his first shop in Petticoat Lane, in 1954, brought the shop back after initially closing his High Road store earlier this year.
Mr Baker said: "I own the freehold of the shop in the High Road and Poundland made me a good offer and I thought at my age I thought it time to retire and I did.
"I had sold the premises in Birchington Road too but the person who bought it failed to complete so I had it back.
"I put it back on the market but at that time, six months ago, the price I was offered was unacceptable so I thought I would open again.
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"In truth it was a half-hearted retirement. I did not want to but the offer was so good."
Shoppers fearing a short-lived resurrection need not worry as Mr Baker said they were not just opening for the Christmas period and were ensuring the quality was as high as ever.
He said: "We are back again for the long-haul. We have spent a lot of money on the shop. As a retail unit we have refurbished it and made it smart.
"They have almost finished, we got some railings and handrails to go on the ramp and the stairs but we are pretty much ready.
"We came to Kilburn about 16 or 17 years ago and I am glad to be back in Kilburn. The feedback has been exceptional.
"We did not realise we would become such a big part of the community. We feel we beat and give better value than people with higher profiles."
Maurine Brooks from Kilburn, said: "When they closed the place I could not believe it. It was like a family member dying, that's how much it meant to me.
"It's a bit small but I am still so glad that it is back."