We visited Joe Lycett’s corner shop in Birmingham & discovered its exciting new plans for customers

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A popular corner shop in Birmingham has unveiled exciting plans after appearing on national TV with Joe Lycett

For most people, the corner shop is a place to pick up essential items when you’re short on time.

But a popular local store in south Birmingham, which first opened in 1978, has unveiled exciting plans to do much more.

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The owners are Brummie Hardev and Harjinder who took over the business from Hardev’s parents a few years ago. It’s a familiar story for many Asian families in Birmingham. But this is no ordinary corner shop.

Thanks to one regular customer, Ruprai Food and Wines on Station Road in Kings Heath, was thrust into the national spotlight - and became a regular slot on Joe Lycett’s Friday night chat show - Late Night Lycett - filmed live for Channel 4 from Digbeth.

During the five episodes of the hilarious live talk show the shop welcomed stars including Claire Sweeney, Natalie Cassidy, “H” Steps and Anthea Turner.

Now they are planning to continue the fun vibes and open a bar in the back of the shop. But the plans came about before TV stardom.

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During the lockdown, Hardev and Harjinder started selling beer on tap as local bars were closed. The service became popular with customers who were craving for a fresh pint.

While they sold dozens of beer brands during the pandemic, they have just one on tap right now - Attic Brewery’s Intuition and you can get it to-go sealed in a two pint carton similar to a milk carton. The shop also sells cider slushie that includes the Strongbow Dark Fruit cider making it perfect for summers.

The new bar will enable the couple to extend their range of drinks and offer customers a place to sit back and relax. Co-owner Harjinder Ruprai told BirminghamWorld that Joe Lycett’s show put their shop on the map and they have seen more people visit since then. However, it was already a well-loved shop for the locals.

Ruprai Food and Wine - a mom and pop corner shopRuprai Food and Wine - a mom and pop corner shop
Ruprai Food and Wine - a mom and pop corner shop | BirminghamWorld

Harjinder said: “I engage with my customers a lot and they see it more as a community store, that’s how I got to know Joe as well.”

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About her experience on the show, she said: “First of all, Joe made us feel comfortable and then his team was very good as well. They made us feel comfortable.

“People have been proud around here that it’s our community. Our Station Road Kings Heath community has been involved.

“Joe involved us all in this, not just the shop. It’s been about the customer engagement too because we don’t normally open till 11pm but people have been coming in especially to see the show filming. It’s not just about Joe and us. It was about the community around here as well.”

Joe Lycett’s Corner shop Joe Lycett’s Corner shop
Joe Lycett’s Corner shop | BirminghamWorld

The enterprising couple are also currently working on opening a bar in Dad’s Lane, Moseley - where the five star fish and chip shop Dads Lane Fish Bar and Restaurant is located.

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Harjinder said: “We’ve got another project that’s linked to the shop but we haven’t quite decided on that yet. It might be a bar/cafe.” She added that people take a back seat when they retire but they are taking on more projects together.

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