York city centre shop to close for lockdown

Rafi's Spicebox on Goodramgate in York. Photograph © Google Street View
7 Jan 2021 @ 5.01 am
| Business

A popular shop in York has taken the ‘difficult decision’ to close temporarily during lockdown.

Rafi’s Spicebox on Goodramgate will close from Sunday (10 January).

It is one of four of the group’s shops to close – those in Sudbury, Harrogate and Leeds will also close for the short term.

Rafi’s also has four concession booths which will stay open, alongside their online shop.

In a statement on their website, Rafi’s described closing the shops temporarily as a “difficult decision”.

“As the nation enters another lockdown we are encouraging all of our loyal customers to continue to shop small and support local businesses where possible.

“Supporting small businesses is incredibly important, more now than ever before.

Rafi’s Spicebox. Photograph: Jim Poyner Photography

“There are many sectors, like hospitality, that have been worse affected by the current situation than ourselves but there are many ways you can help.

“Consider using online delivery services, takeaways, click and collect options or even just sharing your favourite small businesses with friends and family online. It really does make a difference.”

Rafi’s Spicebox hand blends family recipes and spice mixes for people to cook traditional Indian food at home.

It was launched in 1989 when cookbook author Rafi Fernandez opened an Asian delicatessen in Sudbury, Suffolk.

But the business’s turning point came when they opened a second shop in York in 2004. Kevin Fernandez, one of the members of the family who run the business, said this “pretty much transformed the business overnight”.

In 2017 Rafi’s Spicebox was named the Best Independent Retailer in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.