10 December 2019
Guild member Sally Butcher, who runs Persepolis, the Persian deli, in Peckham, south-east London, writes: ‘A shopkeeper/restaurateur sees a lot of people. If it’s a good restaurant, some of those people come back, and become regulars. Over a period of time, a restaurateur in this manner gets to witness snapshots of their customers’ lives. Children are born, exams are passed, couples get engaged or separate, jobs and circumstances change. And sometimes people get sick.
‘In the 18 years since we opened our little corner shop, we have seen many of our customers ail, and fight, and recover. And one or two of them who didn’t recover. A shopkeeper observes these things: the shaking hand, the unnaturally bright smile, the over-protective relatives, the thinning hair. We may not say anything, but we think them a hug, and pray for them. When customers are hard up, or looking for something, or are lost, or need to borrow a pen, or want a hand across the road, we can help. But when they are ill, we are as helpless as the next human being and it is frustrating.
‘Well, this is our stab at doing something positive. Raising £2,500 for Cancer Research. This is Team Persepolis' fourth outing, because we love a challenge, us. But we need your help. You are welcome to join our team (which currently comprises Mrs. Shopkeeper, a couple of members of staff and two lovely lady customers). Or you could donate something. Our Just Giving page is here: justgiving.com/fundraising/persepolis.