Stores business that found success despite tough times will be focus of documentary

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Viraj, Tinesh, Vicki and Kumar Patel at their family-run Patson Local store in Whetley Lane Viraj, Tinesh, Vicki and Kumar Patel at their family-run Patson Local store in Whetley Lane

A Bradford business that sprung to prominence in the Telegraph & Argus Bradford Means Business Awards will spill its top trading secrets on a new BBC2 documentary later this year.

Showmakers spent six weeks filming the Kumar family, who run a small-chain of three Patson Local shops across the city.

The fly-on-the-wall documentary followed how the Whetley Lane-based business keeps making a profit with plans to expand – despite customers tightening their purse strings.

Patson Local boss Dinesh Kumar said the reasons why their shops are doing so well in struggling times is all down to it being run by such a close-knit family.

Mr Kumar said he runs the Patson Local empire with his wife and family as well as his brother and his wife and sons.

“It is the fact we are such a tight-unit, a close family that we are doing so well and our business has the seal of success.”

Mr Kumar said the business that has shops in Whetley Lane and another in Thornton Road is now looking for a site for a new fourth shop.

Mr Kumar said he was anxious at first about taking part in the documentary because he did not want to give too many secrets away to business rivals, especially the bigger stores.

“I wasn’t sure at first but then we decided it would be good for business and we should be proud to be on the programme, it shows the days of small family-run shops are far from dead,” he said.

Patson Local, which specialises in selling Eastern European food and drink, were invited to take part in the documentary by London-based KEO Films, the show will also feature a number of other small businesses from the city.

In 2011, Mr Kumar’s son Kumar Patel won the Young Business Entrepreneur of the Year category in the Telegraph & Argus Bradford Means Business awards ceremony.

Mr Patel had been appointed to a managerial role after graduating from Aston University with an honours degree in business computing and IT.

His first project included managing a store expansion and full store refit in Whetley Hill, together with the opening of a delicatessen at a total cost of £130,000.

He had previously worked for blue chip company IBM as part of his work-placement at university, but returned to the family business because he wanted “more of a hands-on approach,” he said.

Patson Locals now employ 32 full and part-time staff.

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