Kindhearted shopkeepers Nico and Taz give out 1,000 loaves and 500 Easter eggs to mark a year of community spirit

Kindhearted shopkeepers at an award-winning store marked a year of community spirit during the pandemic by handing out 1,000 loaves of bread to vulnerable residents, as well as 500 Easter eggs to local children.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 9:26 am

Nico Ali and his brother Taz have run the Premier Shop on the Scotch Estate for the last 30 years, and say they want to put something back into the community they serve.

The 1,000 loaves have been given out without charge to loyal customers, simply as a gesture of goodwill and a little something to make people happy after a very tough 12 months.

Along with the community group Bede Ward, which aims to improve the estates and foster a community spirit, the shop has given away around 500 Easter eggs to youngsters in the area. More will be handed out in front of the shop on Saturday, April 3.

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Nico Ali, left, and his brother Taz are well known for his community efforts. Picture by Stu Norton.
Nico Ali, left, and his brother Taz are well known for his community efforts. Picture by Stu Norton.

Nico and Taz have also given hundreds of fidget spinners to local children with autism. The Pop It toys can be difficult to get hold of.

At the start of the first lockdown the shop donated free bread and milk to people on the estate who needed it most.

More recently they gave over 3,000 bottles of sparkling Ribena to frontline workers as a token of gratitude for their contribution during the pandemic.

At Christmas they dished out 100 free curries to help the less well off to keep out the cold. But there has been much more.

Nico has added a little fun to the shop's home deliveries.

Their efforts were given national recognition when they received the Spirit of the Community Award at the annual Asian Trader Awards during a virtual ceremony.

Nico said: “We’re still helping out the community because it’s important to us. We like to go all the way. We’ll still help out after Covid.

“It’s been one year now and basically we still need to support each other, especially the most vulnerable.

“It’s just nice to be able to put a smile on people’s faces; especially these days. It’s all about the community.

Jarrow shopkeeper Nico Ali with some of the Easter eggs his shop has given to local children.

“We’d like to thank everyone who helped us do this, especially Bede Ward and the wholesalers who donated.”

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