In a Pickle about the gentrification of Hackney

Pickles: Nicholson Boyd in just-opened Pickles pizza-grocery 43 Kingsland Hi St Dalston Hackney London E8 2JS 140416 © DavidAltheer [at]
Family-run: manager Nicholson Boyd in the store, which runs under the Spar brand

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018: To the distress of foodies and luncheonistas loving a good pizza with wine at <£7 a bottle this store closed


UNTIL A FEW weeks ago 43 Kingsland High Street was a pound shop selling cheap goods to the poor.

Now it is in effect a concept put into practice, a newish way of selling coffee, pizza and groceries to aspirational millennials.

Run by Nicholson Boyd, picturedPickles is a family-run independent with its origin in his home country of Northern Ireland and operating under the supportive mantle of the convenience-store group Spar.

And like James Brundle, whose Eat17s in Walthamstow and Homerton, are also Spars, he loves finding out about culinary traditions.

Kingsland15: High St Dalston London E8 2PB 230115 ©
Always changing: once Kingsland High Street even had department stores

When he set out to offer the public pizza, he went to live in Italy, learning both about the pie and the ovens needed to make it. When it came to coffee, he also consulted the experts.

Anti-gentrifiers in Hackney might profess dismay at the replacement of a pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap outlet by another upscale food venue.

Other Dalstoners might see hope that the mishmash of pound shops, loan sharks, phone-unlockers, takeaway chicken counters, nail bars and bookies lining the road between Dalston junction and Crossway is bit by bit being pushed back.

David Altheer 140416

* Backstory: Victim of its own gentrification

* Pickles, 43 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8 2JS (020 3305 5050)

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