Hackney shopkeeper re-opens business after riots

A shopkeeper who thought his business had been irreparably destroyed by looters is celebrating the triumphant re-opening of his store today (Friday).

Clarence Convenience was smashed open by thugs and almost completely gutted during the riots last week. But residents were so moved by shopkeeper Siva Kandiah’s plight they set up a fund to help save his shop in Clarence Road, and raised more than �22,000 - although it has not yet been allocated as money is still flowing in.

This morning, at 11am, Mr Kandiah was thrilled to re-launch his store – which he has renamed Siva’s Shop – and local residents, as well as dignitaries including MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, Meg Hillier, and Cllr Ian Rathbone, who helped coordinate the fundraising efforts, were all in attendance.

Mr Kandiah said: “It was very good, very nice. There was quite a lot of people there.

“It’s been the day we’ve been waiting for. We still haven’t got much stock, but I wanted to open straight away and we had enough to open.

“We’ve had lots of customers already. It’s good to be back.”

Mr Kandiah, who was joined by his wife Baskavy and daughters Shivaanthy, six, and Dibika, two, had hung a sign across the shop front saying: “Thank you for all your support.”

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For more details about the re-launch, and picutres of the event, see next Thursday’s Hackney Gazette.