THERE were cheers as a ribbon was cut officially marking the opening of a new convenience store in Knightswood today.

The newly refitted Nisa Local, located on Yokermill Road, has reopened to the community after nine months of closure as staff worked hard to get the shop ready.

Clydebank Post: The store is open from 7am - 10pm Monday to Saturday and 9am - 9pm on SundaysThe store is open from 7am - 10pm Monday to Saturday and 9am - 9pm on Sundays (Image: Newsquest Staff)

It offers a huge range of services including fresh and frozen groceries, a Post Office, a dessert parlour, a Costa Coffee machine, and a hot food counter.

Clydebank Post: Arbaaz Hayat, one of the owners of the new storeArbaaz Hayat, one of the owners of the new store (Image: Newsquest Staff)

Arbaaz Hayat, one of the owners of the family-run business, told the Post that he and his family had a specific vision for the store.

He said: “The vision with this wasn’t just to open a shop or just to be a convenience store. The vision was to be a one-stop point for the community and to provide something exciting.

“We wanted to give the community options that aren’t on offer elsewhere, make it a bit of an attraction.

“I think it’s important to have somewhere where even if you come in feeling not so great, you can leave feeling bright and vibrant.

“A lot of work went into the design, layout, and lighting of the shop to make sure we created this kind of atmosphere.”

Despite officially launching today the shop has been open to the public for a number of weeks now.

Arbaaz explained that customer feedback is very important to him and that it has been instrumental in expanding the store’s offering.

Clydebank Post:

One example highlighted was the addition of birthday cakes after customers mentioned they were having to take hour-long round trips just to get to the bigger stores.

Arbaaz added: “The response has been absolutely incredible, even better than we expected.

"I think because of the way the shop was previously and the improvements that we have made, people really appreciate it.

“It’s about people being able to get everything they need in one place. Someone had mentioned that they had, had to take a one-hour bus journey just to get to Sainsbury’s and back for a birthday cake.

“It’s not always possible for everyone to do those journeys especially as there are a lot of elderly and vulnerable people so it’s important to give them somewhere local to get everything they need and to minimise the trips further out.

“Customers have come to us with requests so we try our best to fulfill them. The launch today celebrates all the people that came together to make this happen.”

There was a familiar face at today’s launch, the previous beloved postmaster Mrs Nirmal Singh who worked at the old shop for over 30 years.

Clydebank Post: Mrs Nirmal Singh, the previous postmaster at the old unitMrs Nirmal Singh, the previous postmaster at the old unit (Image: Newsquest Staff)

Mrs Singh recalled a number of stories from over the years as she spoke to our reporter.

She said: “The shop is different now but the people are the same, we miss them so badly.

"We were a part of the community for over 31 years and we saw children growing up, their kids, and then their kids again.

“I raised my three children here and they’re all grown up now. My son is a successful lawyer, my daughter is a doctor and consultant and my younger one is a pharmacist and they all used to work here.

“When we worked here and people had their babies they used to bring them to the shop and show us before they took them home.

“Some children were crawling and coming into the shop because they knew there were sweets here.

"One time a young boy crawled across the road and into the shop and the police had been called and the officers only allowed me to go and sit with him in the car, the helicopter was above us and the roads were closed.

“We have loads of stories and so many memories here as a big chunk of our lives was spent here.

"I would run every morning at 6am from Bearsden, even if it was snowing, for 31 years. I’ve run over 100 marathons.”

One of the biggest changes to the Yokermill Road unit is the hot food counter which offers sandwiches, burgers, freshly made Samosas – handmade every day at a bakery in the Southside – and chips.

Clydebank Post: Of course, our reporter had to sample some of the hot food Of course, our reporter had to sample some of the hot food (Image: Newsquest Staff)

The Hayat family currently has one store but there may be plans on the horizon to expand if the opportunity was to come up.

Matthew Howie, business development manager for Scotland at Nisa, added: “The main difference that this store brings to the community is a huge selection in comparison to what was here before as well as good value.

“I’ve been coming here about three times a week for the last six months so it’s great to see the store get to this point.

“There have been some hurdles but we’ve got there which is the main thing and I’m looking forward to developing more stores with the guys as well because they do have plans to do that.”

Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North-West, cut the ribbon this morning officially opening the unit.