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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Multicultural Food Superstore A Big North-East Success Story

An international superstore launched in Linthorpe during the pandemic has become a great success story for Middlesbrough entrepreneur Zulfquar Ali.

Late October saw ‘Ali’s International Superstore’ open with a little help from the mayor Andy Preston who performed the opening ceremony. In fact, he posted on his Facebook page “Ali’s Superstore is packed full of an amazing range of international foods – and promises a warm welcome for all.

“The store sells fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, savoury and sweet snacks,

Ali’s Superstore in Middlesbrough

and frozen food, to name just a few of the goods on offer.”

Zulfquar is well known throughout the Teesside business community having run several different stores to local acclaim.

He told me: “We are well known and liked a lot in the local community, and it’s nice to offer our customers something different. It’s been incredibly busy since we opened so we’ve obviously come up with the right formula.

“It’s a multicultural store in the nicest sense as we have a top-class halal butcher, frozen foods from around the globe, even Mediterranean foods and household goods, so there really is something for everyone.”

Ideally placed in Linthorpe Road the spacious store also offers free parking and customers are guaranteed a comfortable shopping experience. It’s bright, airy and colourful.

Zulfquar added: “Everyone struggled during the pandemic but when the premises became available we didn’t hesitate. The Store covers 15,000 square feet and cost around £250,000 to fit out with all the latest equipment. All told, it took about a year for the project to come to fruition and cost close to £500,000.

“To be honest we were a lot busier than I expected and things have just gone from strength to strength ever since. We are open at 8.30 in the morning and close at 7.30 in the evening.

“For us it’s not just about making a profit but also serving the community as I’ve done for a long time now. The customer always comes first, and we want anyone coming into the store to have a wonderful shopping experience. We can also pack bags and offer a delivery service as well – nothing is too much trouble. You only get out what you put in.”

Ali’s Superstore has also looked after critical care workers and students during the pandemic offering a 10 per cent discount.  Because this is an international food store and the biggest in the region, people come from Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and even outside the area.

It’s been such a success there are plans to open more stores in both the North-East and Scotland. So, is there are secret to Zulfquar’s success?

“I don’t think we have a magic secret to success”, he said: “But I’ve been in this business for 35 years and we’ve used all our know-how to give the customer exactly what they want in a food superstore.”

Christmas is looking busy for the Teesside store as they look forward to a fantastic new year.

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