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Blaze-hit Bradford store is back in business
A Bradford supermarket gutted by a devastating fire in July has celebrated starting the first phase of its revamp this week.
The Pakeezah store on Girlington’s Ingleby Road was destroyed in the blaze, costing the company more than £5 million, but a new £250,000 ‘Food2Go’ outlet on Manningham Lane has now opened its doors to the public.
Hundreds of people attended the official opening, and company director Mohammed Jamil said he hoped the contemporary ‘curry to go’ takeaway and cafe would prove popular with the supermarket’s loyal customer base.
“The launch went really well, with everyone enjoying a party atmosphere,” he said. “There was so much demand from our customers. They kept telling us that they missed the food and that we had to reopen as soon as we could. So when this opportunity came about, it was a chance to put us back on the map.
“I think people will love it. Our name is still out there, people relate to us and know us, and we feel we have a duty to look after our customers.”
The new store offers a range of authentic home-style Asian cuisine prepared by Pakeezah chefs, with options to eat in or take away.
Mr Jamil said the fire in July, which took around 70 firefighters and 11 fire engines to bring under control, had been a “massive shock”, but reiterated the firm’s desire to rebuild the business on the same premises.
“The plan to reopen on Ingleby Road is still ongoing, and we’d love to get started as soon as possible. The situation was very difficult as obviously some people had to lose their jobs, but we have been able to take 15 people back on with this new venture.”
The Pakeezah Group was originally established by the late Mr Mazhar Ul Haq in Undercliffe in 1967, and Mr Jamil said the firm was proud to be able to follow the traditions of fellow Bradford entrepreneurs such as supermarket giant William Morrison.
“We have grown with the Bradford community and are honoured to serve the people here,” he said. “We are grateful to our customers for their support, and it was horrible to have to let them down when we were shut. This is just the start, and hopefully we can come back bigger and better than before.”