LONDON TREASURES
By Rachel Belton

The Evening Standard (London)
March 31, 2006 Friday

Where: 70 Blythe Road, W14 Telephone: 020 7602 4843 Opening times:
Wed-Sat 7.30am-6.30pm. Closed Sun, Mon, Tues.

Background: Armenian Cypriot butcher Sid Kassabian, along with sister
Rosie and father Michael, started out in Caledonian Road 42 years ago.

Kassabian means "butcher" in Armenian.

Rent: Until 2000, the Kassabians were paying about Pounds 8,000 a
year rent.

That rose to nearer Pounds 10,000. In 2003 they almost went out of
business when Hammersmith and Fulham council threatened to put the
rent up to about Pounds 14,000. That was defeated after the Brook
Green Association organised a 500-name petition.

Why it's special: An old-style family butcher, it has the custom of
high-profile chefs such as Ross Burden and Annie Bell, and foodwriter
Simon Hopkinson. Mr Kassabian knows all the locals - down to the
names of customers' grandchildren. His sister will suggest recipes
and advise on cooking techniques for meat.

Bestsellers: Scotch ribs of beef, fresh chicken wings (great for
stock), and premium-quality sausages.

Owner says: "The business has been in the family for over 100 years.

Now we're concerned the rise of the supermarket will kill off
traditional shops. Customers are lured by the convenience of everything
under one roof.

You won't get the same quality, but a supermarket can cut prices
in a way a small shop with big overheads cannot. Family businesses
give the community personality. Each year we face a struggle to stay
in business."