The Village Arcade, Chingford’s secret retail haven

PUBLISHED: 16:16 26 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:16 26 August 2016

WEL SEPT 16 CHINGFORD ARCADE

WEL SEPT 16 CHINGFORD ARCADE

Archant

Tucked away, just off Chingford’s bustling high street, is The Village Arcade, a favourite retail destination for those in the know

WEL SEPT 16 CHINGFORD ARCADEWEL SEPT 16 CHINGFORD ARCADE

With 12 units offering a wide variety of services, from a hair salon and health store to gift shop and cafe, this hidden gem has something to meet everyone’s needs.

The arcade has been a part of Chingford’s high street for over two decades and Michael Maher is one of its longest-standing tenants, having opened The Watch Shop 15 years ago.

He has, he says, seen many changes over the years as businesses come and go, but the one constant is the ‘neighbourhood’ feel and the encouraging environment amongst its inhabitants.

‘It’s a really nice little community,’ he says. ‘I have lovely neighbours and we all help and encourage each other.

‘There have been different businesses over the years but things have really stabilised and we now have a great mix that really complement each other well.’

WEL SEPT 16 CHINGFORD ARCADEWEL SEPT 16 CHINGFORD ARCADE

Along with being a family-friendly retail environment, The Village Arcade is also pet-friendly, essential for Nicola Marshall who has owned Classy Canines for two years. Not only does she groom other people’s pets, she’s also known to bring her own dog, Neeski, to work and he always gets a warm welcome from fellow residents and customers.

‘It’s such a lovely atmosphere,’ she says. ‘Everyone knows everyone. I know it sounds clichéd but we really are like a little family. It’s a small but very strong community. We all support each other and I feel very lucky that my neighbours have become my friends.

‘I love going to work, the welcome is always warm and it’s not a competitive business environment, we all really champion each other.’

Jade Bailey owns The Beauty Box, providing a range of treatments from manicures to massages. She says: ‘The Arcade is a pretty unique place with a lovely village feel. We all know each other and get on really well which makes for a cosy, friendly atmosphere. It’s like a little village inside a village offering something for everyone.’

Eylem Kizil was a regular visitor to the Arcade before opening her own business there just three months ago.

Her store, Balon, offers everything you need for the perfect party and has fast become a favourite with all generations. ‘I get grandmothers in looking for ribbons and children to buy their sweets,’ she says.

Eylem has been impressed by the energy and dynamism amongst her fellow retailers. She explains: ‘We are all working hard to create something special and that positivity and energy has been so refreshing, particularly for someone just starting out. Even on the days I don’t feel energetic, I come to work and that positivity from everyone else lifts me.’

Eylem says she feels ‘blessed’ to have found the perfect home for her business. ‘There’s such a sense of family amongst both the customers and my fellow retailers. There’s a real charm to The Village Arcade, and the fact that it’s tucked away makes it feel even more magical.

Classy Canines

Unit7/8 The Village Arcade, Station Road,

North Chingford E4 7DA

020 8279 1734

The Beauty Box

Unit 10 The Village Arcade, Station Road,

North Chingford E4 7DA

020 8524 4405

www.thebeautyboxchingford.co.uk

The Watch Shop

Unit 14 The Village Arcade, Station Road,

North Chingford E4 7DA

020 8529 1477

Balon

Unit 11, The Village Arcade, Station Road, North Chingford E4 7DA

020 3 0024957

www.balon.co.uk

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