Category Archives: businesses

Pop traders Bharat & Jean help turn murky storage space into brand spanking new gym for local club Afewee

Afewee founder Steadman Scott shows off his new gym

Afewee Boxing & Football Club, an integral part of the Brixton community, was set up by local Steadman Scott in ’97 in order to fill a gap in society. Seeing young black teenagers and kids spending their spare time out on the street, Scott, who’d been working for Crystal Palace FC, sought to create direction, purpose and discipline in the lives of youngsters via his football (and later boxing) club.

The aim is to create a positive environment for kids who might not otherwise experience one. At Afewee, rules are important: ‘We show that that it takes discipline, hard work and sacrifice to succeed.’ The kids also see that they are striving for something worthwhile, as their peers win places in top sporting teams: as of today, the club has seen more than twenty of its alumni win scholarships or professional signings with teams that include Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Afewee training has taken place in Brixton Rec since the very beginning. But recently, in need of an upgraded gym, Scott approached Pop Brixton for some support. He found himself in touch with Bharat & Jean, spatial designers who turned out to be just the right people to help the club out.

Pop Brixton businesses are part of a local Community Investment Scheme, a project that links up businesses with local community groups and charities to help those businesses give back to their local community. Every business gives back at least 1 hour per week to the local community.

‘We told them we had funding, and how we wanted it, and they drew it up with graphics software. When we needed the plans adjusted, we just asked them and they were happy to help.’ The partnership was fruitful, as you can see in the picture above – and Scott gives the scheme a solid review: ‘if you know what you want, they’ll give you a helping hand.’

Other organisations supported by the scheme include Tulse Hill’s GLOW project, who are receiving some help with the design of their new co-working space, Brixton Rec Users’ Group, who new Pop business Azeus are helping with their marketing strategy, and children’s art group Kids Kreate! who are receiving mentoring to help them set up and run a crowdfunder.

If you’re a community group and you’d like to explore how you could benefit from the project, get in touch with Lucy via lucy@brixtonpound.org.

We’ve covered the history of Brixton’s renowned local club Afewee before here, and you can also read more about them in the Guardian.

The Pop Brixton Community Investment Scheme is a way for local groups to access support in the form of free workshops, training and work placements, as well as more bespoke support along the lines of that provided by Bharat & Jean here.

#yourpound – Meet the Trader: Kaff Bar

This week we’re back to our meet the trader blogs and we have a very special business to write about…

If you’ve not yet visited Kaff Bar, you’re missing out! Kaff Bar is a hidden gem on Atlantic road. During the day it offers a welcoming and relaxed environment to chill, grab coffee and cake or a tasty lunch. The cakes are made locally and the food comes from local suppliers. There are a selection of books you can read and newspapers to read on weekends. We often find it to be the perfect place to have meetings or work on projects using their free wifi.

IMG_2519You might bump into Steve (pictured) who is the owner and manager. He or other members of staff can introduce you to a well-chosen selection of creative cocktails, beers, ciders and wines. We would recommend trying the Brixton Mule (white rum, local fresh ginger beer and lime juice) … its delicious and is available at the bargain price of £3 throughout the day! The cocktail menu has the shape of a deck of cards and your drinks may come from a jam jar, a mug, a soup can or even a milk bottle!

The entire atmosphere at the Kaff Bar is charming and welcoming: the unique wall paintings, the large vintage sofas, and the stage with the piano make the bar the perfect place to meet friends, have drinks and listen to good music.

Kaff Bar hosts regular events including ‘Meet Brixton’ arranged by the Brixton Blog and it also arranges nights with top local DJ’s, Bingo evenings and the Cake Club Cabaret (we can’t tell you more about it as the first rule of Cake Club is: ‘You don’t talk about Cake Club!’ – you’ll have to find out for yourself!).

So, what are you waiting for? Use your B£e to support the Kaff Bar. Make a special effort to support one of Brixton’s finest independent businesses this bank holiday weekend!

And remember to let us know what you think on Twitter… use the hash-tag: #yourpound!

#Yourpound – Meet the Trader: Satay Bar

Although we’re approaching the end of May it feels like it could be the middle of winter! Let’s hope the weather improves for ‘Shop Local’ day which getting closer. We hope that you’ve got the date in your diary and will be supporting Brixton’s local traders on the day. Remember you can increase your spending power by 10% by using B£ pay-by-text which is now accepted at 122 local businesses with more coming on board every week. Don’t be caught unprepared! Top up you pay-by-text account before the 15th June!

Now for this week’s blog…

Do you have a special event coming up? Are you looking for a good place to go for drinks before (or after!) going to the cinema? Or are just looking for somewhere to grab lunch during the week? Check out the wonderful Satay Bar. It is in the heart of Brixton, next door to the Ritzy.

satayday-copySatay Bar is a cocktail bar and restaurant at the start of Coldharbour Lane. It was founded in 1996 by a local entrepreneur. Like the other businesses we’ve featured over the past few weeks (Healthy Eaters and the House of Bottles), it is one of Brixton’s more established businesses that oozes sophistication, great food and friendly staff. Most Brixtonites will know it well… and for Brixton tourists ,don’t just take our word for it, check out Trip Adivsor … it has great reviews!

The restaurant menu ranges from Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Singaporean, Japanese and Chinese food. You can have the complete Pan Asian experience together with an interesting range of cocktails.  The venue is great too! We really enjoyed the Brixton Pound social we held there there last year and regulary have lunch there. In fact, here is a photo from lunch today!

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So, don’t wait until 15th of June, go and have a drink or lunch at Satay Bar, and use your Brixton Pounds. Let us know the food you tried and what you think on Twitter (#yourpound).

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#Yourpound: Meet the Trader – House of Bottles

24 days to go to our #ShopLocal event on the 15th of June! This week we’re blogging about another business that accepts Brixton Pounds: House of Bottles.

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House of Bottles is more than just an off-licence. It can help you satisfy your thirst! Did you watch that episode of the Apprentice a few weeks ago when they learnt that beer can be more than just lager or ale? Well the House of Bottles has a huge variety of beers. Our volunteer, Mario visited to find out more and some bought honey beer, though he was nearly tempted by the banana bread beer! They also stock a wide range of  wines and liquors.

The staff are really friendly too. You can stop by and have a chat with Tony (the owner) or Salwam (pictured), who will be more than happy to guide you through what they have to offer.

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The House of Bottles is also well know for the artwork of Morganico, outside the shop. Morganico is a rather talented artist that is “interested in making the world a more interesting and beautiful place by applying passion, inspiration and creativity” . He works on murals, carvings and portraits. The business opened in the early 2000s and has now been  on Coldharbour Lane for more than 10 years. Tony transformed the previous fishmonger (which had been onsite for 35 years) into an off-licence. Taking all this into account we can safely say that the House of Bottles is one of Brixton’s ‘historical’ places of interest! Its design, style, products, position and artwork all shout ‘made in Brixton!’

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So, what are you waiting for? Use your B£ to support another Brixton gem and let us know what you think on Twitter… remember to use the hash-tag: #yourpound!

Business Rates are live!

Brixton Pound businesses are now able to pay their business rates to Lambeth Council using electronic Brixton Pounds. This will give local independent businesses an additional way to spend their B£e balance. The first business to do this was Casa Morita . Watch the short video of Sarahgwen talking about her business and about the Brixton Pound.

We’re excited to be the first local currency in the U.K. to be accepted by the council in payment for business rates. Thank you to Lambeth Council for working with us to make this possible!

Keep an eye out for more exciting announcements in the near future!

Payroll Local to launch in September!

Today we announced a new way for Lambeth Council’s 3,000 staff to support their local community – Payroll Local will launch this autumn. Payroll local is a scheme that will allow all Lambeth Council employees to receive a small portion of their salary in electronic Brixton Pounds (B£e). They can then spend their B£e with local, independent businesses or donate to local charities and social enterprises. Employees who wish to be part of the scheme will receive an additional 10% on the proportion of salary they put into their online B£ account.

Derrick Anderson (pictured), Chief Executive of Lambeth Council, has already committed to receiving part of his salary in B£es.

This is excellent news for local, independent, Brixton businesses who are likely to see increased trade as a result. It is also great news for our community, as more money will stick to Brixton, directly benefiting local residents. In additon, the scheme will offer a convenient way to donate to local charities, social enterprises and community groups that may not be reached by corporate payroll giving schemes.

The Brixton Pound’s managing director Simon Woolf commented “Payroll Local is one of a number of innovative schemes that we’re launching this year – It’s vital for the Brixton Pound’s ongoing success that we don’t stand still. We’re absolutely delighted to have support from Lambeth Council at the highest level, as they are one of the most important financial players in our community.

You can find out more about Payroll Local by watching this short video or by checking out our frequently asked questions page. Note that the video was put together a few months ago and there are now 72 businesses accepting pay-by-text, with more joining the scheme every week!

When you hear the words…

… ‘Barber de Seville’, maybe you think about the famous opera or perhaps even the funny Bugs Bunny sketch where Bugs makes a fruit salad on Elmer Fudd’s head. Well – a growing number of us in Brixton think of one of our favorite barber shops in the heart of Brixton.

The Barber de Seville has now been open for 11 months (happy 11 month birthday!) and has been a great success with locals. With its trendy interior, friendly staff and long opening hours it has quickly grown to establish itself as one of the leading men’s hairdressers in Brixton. I got my haircut there last week and am incredibly pleased with it!

It is especially popular with pay-by-text Brixtonites giving them the opportunity to support the local economy in a convenient, hassle-free way.

Dorian (pictured above) has no resemblance to Bugs Bunny but was a little shy in wanting to appear on video (see our previous blog). You are likely to see Dorian in house or in the Brixton area. If you see him, please say hello!

So – if you have a date tonight, a job interview tomorrow and just need a haircut today – pop into The Barber de Seville and pay using money that sticks to Brixton.

Opening hours:

Monday:10am to 8pm
Tuesday:10am to 8pm
Wednesday:10am to 8pm
Thursday:10am to 8pm
Friday:10am to 8pm
Saturday:9am to 6pm
Sunday:11am to 5pm

Pay by Text or On-line with B£…Coming Soon!

The Brixton Pound team is excited to announce that from the end of September you will be able to pay by text or on-line for goods in local independent shops and businesses using Brixton Pounds.  The Brixton Pound Pay by Text or On-line pilot scheme will be launched at the Brixton Pound’s second birthday on Thursday 29 September 2011.

You will be able to register and set-up an on-line Brixton Pound account from Tuesday 6th September 2011. Once set-up, you can top-up your Brixton Pound account via standing order or transfer from your current account. You will then be able to pay for goods either by text or on-line in an instant at any of the local independent shops that are taking part in the Brixton Pound Pay by Text or On-line pilot.

The Brixton Pound pay by text and pay on-line pilot is an exciting new scheme supported by the latest mobile phone and on-line technology. It will make transactions easier for customers and businesses, opening up more opportunities for local trade and strengthening our local economy and community in the face of recession.

A dedicated webpage on the Brixton Pound website will be available from Monday 5 September 2011. It will give you all the details on how to register, how it works and the businesses that are signed up to the Brixton Pound Pay by Text or On-line pilot. So watch this space!

 

The Brixton Pound is a Community Interest Company (CIC 07635113) that supports local independent businesses and a stronger and more sustainable local economy.

Lunch for a Fiver – Bag a Bargain with the Brixton Pound

Lunch for a Fiver at Lounge Bar

Today sees the launch of the Brixton Pound ‘Lunch for a Fiver’ deal. Local independent shops and market stalls in the Brixton area are offering a lunch deal for just five Brixton Pounds or less.

You can experience the wonderful and diverse array of local produce that Brixton has to offer while supporting your local shops and community. Using your Brixton Pounds, you can get oodles of noodles in Satay Bar, juicy jerk chicken from Refill, delicious ciabattas from Rosie’s Café, fresh sandwiches from Duck Egg, Fish and chips from Olley’s or  falafel and hummus salad from Lounge Bar & Café…the list goes on! All for just five Brixton Pounds or less!

Download the ‘Lunch for a Fiver’ flyer here to find out all the deals and local shops in the offer.

“The Lounge Bar and Restaurant is proud to be part of the ‘Lunch for a Fiver’ deal. It is a great scheme which benefits local shops and traders by bringing in more trade to the local economy and at the same time providing a delicious bargain for the local community. The Brixton Pound scheme has supported local independently owned shops in Brixton for the past two years and has helped preserve the independence and much loved diversity of the Brixton.” Clover, Manager, Lounge Bar & Restaurant, Brixton.

The Brixton Pound is money that sticks to Brixton. It helps to support local shops, traders and

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the local community to ensure a diverse and vibrant local economy.  You can exchange pound sterling into Brixton Pounds at the B£ issue points listed – or simply ask for your change in Brixton Pounds when you visit one of over 200 independent shops and market stalls in the Brixton Pound scheme. Look out for the Brixton Pound sign in shop windows.

The Brixton Pound works like a gift voucher, acting as an incentive for people to spend their money locally in any of over 200 independent shops and market stalls in the Brixton Pound scheme.  So take advantage of this generous offer and support your local shops; get your Brixton Pounds and bag a tasty bargain!

 

London Mutual Credit Union is B£ bank!

This morning saw the launch of a new partnership between the Brixton Pound (B£) and the London Mutual Credit Union (LMCU), aimed at making the B£ more accessible to the wider community. We are therefore delighted that the LMCU (Acre Lane branch), has now become the B£ bank!

This exciting development will facilitate B£ exchanges and circulation, it will raise the profile of LMCU, to be promoted amongst over 1000 B£ users and 190 B£ businesses, and will also boost LMCU’s reserves, enabling it to make more loans to local people.

 

So from today anyone can get hold of B£s from the branch, where the B£ Sterling backing is also held.

And if you are business, the branch will serve also as an exchange hub, therefore enabling you to change B£s in to sterling.

The LMCU exists to provide their members with financial services at fair rates. Once legislation passes through parliament, businesses will also be able to become members of LMCU. To find out about the organisation’s ethos, and how to become a member, read here.

 

A special thank you to Lakshman Chandrasekara, CEO of LMCU, Roy McLeod, LMCU Director, and Stephanie Butcher, Lambeth Town Centre Director, for their ongoing support and vision in making this happen. Thank you also to everyone else who joined us in celebrating the launch of this exciting new partnership.

And to all of you out there, whether working or living in Brixton, we hope that you too will soon be able to make the LMCU your bank of choice.