‘Black Farmer’ to open shop at former Nour site in Brixton

Building works
Work in progress on the site for the new shop om Brixton’s Market Row

The Black Farmer of television fame, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE, is to open a 5,000 square foot shop and café which will include the former premises of Nour Cash & Carry between Market Row and Electric Avenue in Brixton.

Due to start trading in mid-November, the venture has been announced in a series of YouTube videos.

Work on the Market Row site is already under way – although, at the time of writing, the Lambeth council planning database lists the two applications covering the necessary work as “awaiting decision”.

Like the Lost in Brixton bar site in Brixton’s other covered market, Granville Arcade, it will feature a mezzanine floor.

Described as “an Amazonian experience” by Emmanuel-Jones, he says “the idea really is that it’s going to be full of greenery and it’s going to help that sense of wellbeing. And it’s a vast space. What I want to try and do when I’ve actually started to fit the place out is to keep the sense of space”.

Like Nour – which is now based in Granville Arcade beneath the Lost in Brixton mezzanine – the new establishment will have entrances on Market Row and Electric Avenue. Planning application documents show the Market Row frontage with floor-to-ceiling windows.

It will include Nour’s former home at unit 23 and units 25 and 27 which once housed Brazilian restaurant Carioca.

Man speaking to camera
Wilfred Emmanuel Jones in one of hid YouTube videos

“I want this place to become a fantastic hub, a place where people are going to feel inspired,” says Emmanuel-Jones in a YouTube video.

“Not only is it going to be a fantastic space to be in, but you’re going to be able to buy great premium quality foods and take them home, or stay here and eat them.”
In a second video he says he is “really, really keen to hear from any artisans out there making interesting stuff, whether that’s food, whether that’s drink, whether that’s giftable items. If you’ve got some really interesting stuff that you would like to see on my shop, please get in touch.

A £50 voucher is on offer at the Black Farmer website for people signing up to know more about the new shop.

Nour Cash & Carry – a long-established favourite with Brixton Market shoppers – moved to its new premises after a long drawn out dispute with Hondo Enterprises, which runs Brixton’s covered markets.

Nour was threatened with eviction in 2020 because, Hondo said, its premises were needed for a new electricity sub-station that could not be sited anywhere else.

After a campaign by local activists that gained wide publicity, a deal was reached to keep Nour in Brixton.

According to the planning application for the new premises, to “overcome the restrictions” of the UK Power Networks substation, it is proposed to reduce the footprint of unit 23 and “re-allocate” the central open space area and passageway leading to Electric Avenue to units 25 and 27.

This will involve extensive building work.

Emmanuel-Jones, who stood for Parliament as a Conservative Party candidate in the 2010 general election, was born in Clarendon, Jamaica in 1957, moving to Birmingham, UK, in 1961 with his parents and eight siblings.

After working in catering, he did a media training scheme and worked as a TV producer and director.

After 15 years, he bought a farm near Launceston in Cornwall, later setting up the award-winning “Black Farmer” food brand.

A Channel 4 TV series, Young Black Farmers, saw Emmanuel-Jones take a group of inner-city school leavers from ethnic minorities on a scholarship on his farm.

He recently hit the headlines when he said the women’s England football team, Lionesses, was not representative of “diverse Britain” but filled with “blonde, blue-eyed” players.