It's a decade or more since the last sausage was sold here, and since 2007, the building has housed an optician's owned by business partners, Anand Shah & Lucy Uddin. Anand, who was born and bred in Mitcham, and went to school in Croydon, studied to be an optician at Aston University. Since qualifying he always wanted to set up in business as an independent rather than taking on a franchise of a larger company. It just so happened that the opportunity arose on Westow Hill to take over an existing optician's.
Since setting up here, Anand & Lucy have experienced both good and bad aspects of life on the Triangle. Like many others, Anand has particular frustrations with our peculiar position on the fringe of several boroughs. While the premises stand in Croydon, the other side of the street is in Lambeth, where the business rates are apparently lower and the planning rules less strict. Among its services, Crystal Eye Centre does home visits via the NHS, but this is limited to residents in the borough of Croydon, so unavailable to those just across the street. Customers actually come from far and wide to the Eye Centre, so the lack of parking is another of Anand's bugbears.
On the positive side, both Anand & Lucy rate the local community highly. From the friendly local customers who pop in, to the wonderful local restaurants. They were particularly touched by the support of the community during last summer's riots, when locals succeeded in keeping the Triangle relatively trouble free.
Both business partners come from the world of science and medicine, but Lucy also takes care of the creative side of the business, with regularly changing, themed window displays.
20 Westow Hill
0208 766 7476