Mohammed and his family run a stall in Walthamstow Market, along with a shop on the High Street.
Why would you encourage people to shop local?
I would encourage people to shop locally to support their High street and businesses. This is also important for locals to support the businesses and help the community more than anything.
Why are local customers so important to you and your business?
Without support of the locals, there won't be any business. While more people from Essex and inner London visit the borough more and more, locals are the lifeblood of our businesses
Where is your favourite part of the borough to hang out?
Maybe I’m biased, but I really like the town centre park and going to the cinema after enjoying one of the many lovely restaurants on Hoe Street.
Where do you shop locally and where would you recommend?
I always shop locally High street, supporting my colleagues on the market stalls as well as the Mall shopping centre.
How long has your business been running?
Since 2000. I was in working in a supermarket. I came here for university and wasn’t able to find a job, but decided I would like an outdoor job. I used to work in events for Coca Cola in Karachi. The energy and dynamism of the work was what I loved. There was always something to do and I had big ambitions.
I was working in the supermarket and running the market two to three days a week. I worked my way up the National Market Traders Federation for over 16 years, working for traders.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced over the past 6 months?
We closed 22 March after lockdown and we were back 4 June (the shop itself could open as it’s a hardware shop). We reduced number of stalls and size of the stalls. We wear face coverings and take other safety precautions on the market stall and in the shop.