Added Value and the Gratitude Tree

When a business owner brings everything to the daily table, they’re like a world-class chef

Remember I told you my dentist is the best businessman I know? I found a contender.

Richardson Road in Hove is a secret shopping oasis in residential Hove. It’s a tiny street, easily missed among the endless terraces. If you do stumble across it, you’re rewarded with a butcher, a newsagent, a grocer, a coffee shop, a deli and a hairdresser. It’s a high street designed by a child, it’s so perfect.

Gratitude Tree Grocers is the pearl of Richardson Road. A self-described health food shop next door to Secker the Butcher, Gratitude Tree offers a bit of everything, from an awesome selection of fresh veg parked outside to bountiful jars in all shapes and sizes; delicious cheeses; unusual breads.

But it’s the man who runs the show that makes the difference. Nash, from Jordan, has a shop that’s one hundred percent a passion project. He knows every single spice, herb, box, jar and packet: what it’s for and what goes best with it. It doesn’t matter what you pick up, Nash will poetically tell you how to bring it to life. He hypnotises you with his beautiful accent, a deep Jordanian purr, until he’s imparted his wisdom. I’m convinced his passion and power comes from having had one of the toughest jobs in the world.

Gratitude Tree Grocers
Nash, entrepreneur of Gratitude Tree Grocers.

“For twenty-five years, I worked as a Humanitarian Relief Officer”, explains Nash.

“I was with United Nation agencies such as the UN’s Save the Children (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and other British and International NGOs such as Merlin, Save The Children, Oxfam and British Red Cross. I moved around dozens of countries helping those affected by man-made or natural disasters – from wars to cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes.

“Eventually, I came back to the UK to start family life again, since most of my missions were based at non-family duty stations,” he adds. The Jordanian’s dedication to family and good food gently landed him here in Hove.

If you shop at Gratitude Tree via Secker the Butcher, Nash will politely ask what’s in your bag. He’ll then give you a full recipe recommendation to make an incredible meal.

“Chicken wings? Please add two big teaspoons of natural yoghurt: we want it crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.”

“Lamb shoulder? Can I recommend chillis, fresh lime, red wine and a four-hour slow roast at 135 degrees?”

“Sausages? Don’t put them in the oven! Cook them in a pan with a little butter.”

“A whole chicken? Simmer it lightly in water with fresh herbs to soften. Use the water to make a fabulous soup, sir. Throw nothing away.”

Nash and Nick Shuff at Gratitude Tree Grocers
Nash and I (and some Spanish garlic) at
Gratitude Tree Grocers!

Not only does Nash introduce you to new ideas; he sells the tastiest handmade falafels money can buy. Rack up a big enough bill and he might chuck a couple at you for free. He’s all about spreading the food love.

What’s my point here? This shop ain’t cheap, after all, and there’s a Sainsbury’s five minutes away. Nash certainly doesn’t reveal his humanitarian past or play it for ‘likes’, either.

The difference is what this amazing entrepreneur brings to the table. Nash is passionate, adds value and never up-sells. He just wants to help you get the most out of what you buy. His shop is immaculate; full of wonder and authentic ingredients, from every Italian pasta shape to every middle-Eastern spice. Nash would be comfortable sharing a glass of vino and top culinary tips with Raymond Blanc. He’s not just an expert, he’s an enthusiast.

And this is what will make the difference for you in your business. When you’re prepared to fully care every single time about every single customer’s experience – and bring the passion your chosen profession deserves – your customers will be every bit as loyal as those who shop at Gratitude Tree. And you’ll have the 5-star Google Review rating to prove it.