“I could write a book about everything that has happened here and about all my customers. Without my customers, I have no value. I am here for them, not the opposite,” says Ranjit Singh (64) about his time as merchant in Oslo.
When he spoke to the journalist from Vårt Oslo, Singh did not know that more than a hundred neighbors and customers would gather outside in the dark, ready to honor their beloved merchant as he now steps down.
Light Parade to honor the shop
“That so many people shows up to thank Singh, says more about him than us who live here. We could always send our children safely to his shop. Singh would help them find their groceries and teach them about prices and money. Singh is a crucial part of the community here.” Says Tom Juul-Gam, one of the people who showed up to sing, give flowers and present a travel gift card as a thank you to the Singh couple.
“They have had tremendous value for the community. It means a lot to have a merchant who everybody knows and who knows everybody. If anyone went on vacation, you would leave your keys with the shop. Everyone trusts Singh.” Says former Neighborhood Cooperation Director, Tom Knudzon
Wanted to give something back
When people in the community realized that Ranjit and Kaur wanted to retire, it was quickly decided to give something back as a way of saying thank you for all the years behind the counter in Fayes Gate.
“Singh knows everyone who lives around here. He knows all the children and where they belong. He knows the rules in our home that no sweets are allowed during the weekday. So it was always a disappointment for my children when they tried to break the rules and buy sweets from Singh during the week”. Says the Community leader, Kristin Moldestad, with a smile on her face.
“Singh and Kaur are good, old-fashioned merchants. They are always present and we as customers feel very loyal to them” says Heidi Shoba Søvold
During the winter and the spring, the new merchant Kulsit Singh will take over the shop. Ranjit and Kaur moves back to Asker for good. There is no secret that the new merchant certainly feels the pressure, as he will now become the new merchant in Fayes Gate.
To read the original article in Vårt Oslo click here.