Forest Gate emporium profile: Number 8
- Credit: Archant
Vintage fishing tackle, a Charlie Chaplin brooch and cake dishes for the Queen.
No, not the answers to a parlour memory game, but three of the many items sold at a thriving Forest Gate emporium.
Claiming to sell the things “you can’t get on the High Street”, Number 8 Forest Gate, in Seabert Road, was opened by owners Jeff Levi and Andrea Jaye in May 2013, together with nine other local traders.
Designed as a community base for other sellers, residents can rent a space in the shop on a negotiated, individual basis with a small percentage paid on every item sold, to cover the overheads.
All profits made beyond that go to the individual sellers.
Now, less than 20 months after launching, the store is used by 31 different traders, boasting virtually everything imaginable.
“If we don’t already stock it, the chances are we’ll be able to get it for you,” Jeff, a jeweller by trade, told the Recorder. “Within reason of course.
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“We’re not unique in what we do, we’ve seen places that do this sort of thing across the country, but it’s such a good way to work I think more people should be doing it.
“It gives small business owners like myself a place on the High Street that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.”
Although as a community hub the emporium is only available for local traders, it’s not just the people of Newham that have benefitted.
Number 8 was given the royal seal of approval in 2013 when a pair of cake dishes were presented to the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall.
“Someone came in one day saying she wanted to buy a pair of cake dishes for some ‘very-special people,’” explained Andrea. “We got chatting and it turned out they would be presented to the Queen for an upcoming visit to Barnodoes in Ilford.
“We didn’t see anything on the TV at the time so we assumed they weren’t used, but then there were our dishes on the front of the Ilford Recorder the next week – it was amazing.
“Although she may not have actually used it, it’s pretty exciting to think the Queen’s touched some of our things.”
As the store continues to grow, Jeff thanked the people of Forest Gate for the role they’ve played in Number 8’s success.
“The community has been really supportive,” he added. “Some people pop in every day just to say hello.
“It’s a very diverse area with people of all backgrounds and religions so we’re able to stock something for everyone.
“We’re always looking for people with interesting things to sell to join us, provided that they’re fairly local, so if anybody is interested we’d love to hear from them.”
For more information call Jeff or Andrea on 020 8534 3424.