A COUPLE who run a local shop in Saughton have won praise from their community for delivering essential groceries during the icy blast brought in from the ‘Beast from the East’.
Mani and Tanika Bassi, both 33, braved the treacherous conditions to make sure that housebound customers were fed and watered as the ice and snow brought much of Scotland to a halt.
The couple run the One Stop Convenience Store on Saughton Mains Gardens, where they have formed friendships with the close-knit community they serve.
Tanika, who was born in India, said: “It’s a great feeling to work here. It’s more than a friendly environment. People around here go beyond their reach to help each other.”
Along with their shop assistant, Kirsty, Mani and Tanika made daily deliveries to customers and when stores of bread ran low, they substituted loafs with brioche rolls – which went down a storm. Tanika said: “We tried our best. We feel responsible to feed and serve people here, we’re all like family.”
Sons Lakshya, 10, and Tanmay, seven, were off school and helped their parents in the shop or occupied themselves building snowmen outside. The family trudged through the deep snow daily to make sure the shop stayed open but closed early to take their sons home safely. Kind Mani and Tanika refused to take payment for their personal delivery service.
Deliveries came in as the weather cleared but the lorry drivers refused to manoeuvre their rigs down to the shop, so the problem-solving Bassis took matters into their own hands. Wheeling one of their shopping trolleys through the slush, Mani and Tanika transported 800 loaves of bread and around 300 pints of milk by foot and wheel to the shop. They sold out of everything within four hours.
“Milk was like gold dust”, Tanika said. “We were just happy that we could help people.”
The personal service the couple provide isn’t limited to freak weather. Regulars who are sick or recovering from an accident or have just had a baby can give them a call.
“What we give out we get in return in loyal customers who are friends to us. They choose to shop with us over the big supermarkets and we are very grateful for that”, said Tanika.
Rosie Campbell, a loyal customer who after breaking her arm couldn’t venture out in the bad weather, was grateful for the delivery service offered by the Bassis.
“If they can help someone out they will. When you’re injured, you lose confidence but Mani and Tanika were brilliant. It was so helpful knowing I can pick up the phone and get what I need. It’s been so comforting to know I’m not alone. They are extremely good people who work tirelessly for the community and deserve to be recognised. They’ve helped so many people.”