Ash going back to his roots to open convenience store in Hawick

Taking over the old Sandbed post office unit in Hawick is something of a step back in time for new proprietor Ash Mirza.

Ash Mirza at his Sandbed convenience store in Hawick.

He has reopened the shop as a convenience store in a move which sees him returning to his roots – and to Hawick – after many years.

The post office stopped trading this winter after a turbulent few months starting with its unexpected closure in May.

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That was followed by its reopening under new ownership a week later, then its second closure less than six months after that.

Now, after a two-week renovation, it has reopened as a family-run general dealer’s.

And that means a welcome return to Hawick for owner Ash, running it alongside wife Shaz.

“I have worked in Hawick before, when I was in Almstrong’s department store a long time ago,” he said.

“I have visited the Borders other times too with my work before as a courier.

“I know the Borders quite well myself. It’s a nice, close-knit area.”

The 50-year-old, originally from Edinburgh but now living in Livingston in West Lothian with his wife and their teenage son, says it’s early days yet but he hopes the store will create jobs in time.

“At the moment, it will be family-run, but we will look to take on part-time staff once the business grows.

“It’s an independent store, but we will see how it grows and may take on a group too,” Ash added.

“I have been in this line of work before. This is me coming back to my roots as it’s this type of work I grew up doing.

“I’ve got 20 years of experience, and it’s the kind of experience you can fall back on at any time, so when I saw this shop was available, I was keen to take it on.”

The store will be open daily selling the usual sort of convenience store stock bar beers and spirits and it’s set to host a post office counter once again too.

Ash added:“We are going to be reasonably priced and will be stocking everything.

“I have my application in with the post office, so once that is completed, I will be taking on that as well.”