Entrepreneurial expats turn wrecked Spanish shop units into trading hub

Published:  1 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, UK, China, Euro, England
A British couple with an eye to the community’s needs have breathed new life into a derelict row of shops and made it a hub for local expats.

Entrepreneur couple Chug and Karen, as they’re known in the expat community in Spain’s La Cala hills, saw the sadly neglected row of shops two years ago and decided to open a store selling second-hand goodies for the home. Two years later, Aladin La Cala is THE place in the region for furniture, lighting, kitchen equipment, art, rugs, bric-a-brac and collectibles and is hugely popular with the local expat community.

The live-wire pair didn’t stop there, with a 500,000 euro investment used to update and repair the entire run of stores and add a cashpoint. Chug was thrilled to report to the Olive Press that all the units are now rented out to businesses now thriving and attracting customers from all over.

One new tenant is CK Removals, specialising in transferring household goods to Spain from the UK as well as offering local deliveries. Their new vans have recently been delivered and the service is becoming popular. The Oasis Café is a much-appreciated addition, serving traditional British Sunday lunches, kebabs and other culinary delights from the home country with, unsurprisingly, fish 'n chips the most popular dish on the menu.

Taylor’s hardware store is another popular arrival, now famous locally as the British version of a Chinese emporium and selling everything expat do-it-yourselfers might need, and LFS Interiors offers beautiful, British-made bed linens and other décor must-haves. Chug and Karen are still working with the community in mind, with their latest successful effort resulting in a zebra crossing being approved for the busy road to St Anthony’s College. Starting in 2016 with a petition, the crossing will give safer access to the popular row of shops.

The next attraction organised by the couple will be a regular Sunday spring and summer car boot sale. Chug told the media he wants to give a proportion of the proceeds to local cancer charity Cudeca, adding he’s now waiting for the town hall to finalise the plans.
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