UP CLOSE in Ealing: Co-op store manager Sajid Ashraf

Ealing Nub News aims to support our community, promoting shops, businesses, charities, clubs and sports groups.

We will be profiling some of these businesses and organisations regularly in a feature called 'Up Close in Ealing’.

We chatted with Sajid Ashraf, store manager at Co-op’s South Ealing store.

Sajid first moved to Ealing from his native Bradford nearly 20 years ago and has worked at the Co-op ever since.

“I didn’t expect to be with the Co-op for the past 19 years, but I’ve really enjoyed the work we do and have seen the opportunities available, so here I am all those years later,” he told Ealing Nub News.

Although he’s spent nearly two decades working for the Co-op, he hasn’t spent all those years at the South Ealing store.

In fact, he first started working at the Reading store, commuting from his home in Greenford every day.

He then moved on to stores in Surrey, such as Guilford and Windsor, before moving closer to home in Isleworth and then eventually to South Ealing three years ago.

Sajid explained that he admires the Co-op’s values and ethos.

“I really like that the Co-op is putting money back into the community and I can see what improvements are being made in the local area around me,” he said.

“At the same time, I really enjoy the close relationships that we build as colleagues, helping each other.

“My favourite part of the job is bringing the best out of my team and mentoring others.

“For example, one of the first people I mentored was a part-time employee when I worked at the Reading store.

“I encouraged and supported him in any way I could and two years later he became a store manager and has stayed with the Co-op ever since,” he added.

Since the pandemic, Sajid said the store had gone to even greater lengths to ensure their customers were well looked after, citing the Co-op’s Membership as evidence.

Sajid explained: “If you’re a Co-op member, when you swipe your membership card you’ll receive 2p for every £1 spent for yourself, but also 2p is split between supporting local causes in South Ealing through the Local Community Fund and the Community Partnerships Fund which supports like-minded national organisations.

At the moment the local causes we’re supporting are the Log Cabin which provides disabled people with a place to socialise, Grange School PTA’s Garden Club, and West London Performing Arts Academy.

During the pandemic the South Ealing store also created online deliveries for customers, outside of the small volume deliveries that were already available as part of Deliveroo.

Sajid said: “It was very important for us to keep our staff safe, which is why we brought in lots of PPE, but at the same time we wanted to keep our customers safe and make them feel comfortable, so we introduced an online delivery service.”

Recently the South Ealing store has also installed recycling bins in store which allow customers to recycle their plastics and small cardboards.

Sajid said: “We pride ourselves on our work on sustainability and we were a vocal advocate of the 100% biodegradable bags, long before they were introduced in 2018 and I’m very happy to see the recycling bins in store.”

Co-op membership helps support your local community, with great rewards for you too.

When you buy selected Co-op branded products and services, 2p for every pound spent goes to you and we’ll give the same to local communities.

Join us today online at the Co-op website or in-store.

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