With the help of Independent Cambridge – the community of ‘real’ Cambridge –
Cambridge Network continues its weekly exploration of the best independent shops,cafés, restaurants, people, businesses, venues and events in Cambridge and the surrounding area.
Salsas from Mexico, jerk seasoning from Jamaica, pumpernickel breads from Germany, halva from Greece, sit on shelves next to pomegranate molasses from Iran (great as a salad dressing), Harissa paste from Algeria, De Cecco pasta from Italy and much, much more. There’s a wonderfully exotic range of fresh produce too – fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices all displaying country of origin (an education initself). As well as traditional varieties, you can pick up mangoes, fresh dates, guava, paw paw, granadilla, yams, okra, eddoe, matoke and apple bananas as well as fresh ginger and many different types of chillies.
This week: Al Amin. A classic case of looks can be deceiving. AlAmin may look from the outside like anordinary grocers, but once inside, this deceptively large shop opens up to reveal a wealth of foods from around the world.
Located in the heart of a university city, Al-Amin Cambridge serves a diverse, international community of customers, and retailer Abdul Arain relishes the challenge of stocking a range that meets their needs.“We’ve been in business for 25 years, so we’ve made inroads with a lot of suppliers,” he explains. “We deal with importers and suppliers from all walks of life.” Working with an international mix of suppliers to secure products that range from sauerkraut to biscuits and coffee from the Balkans, Abdul also prioritizes dealing with local suppliers where he can.
“It’s good to be able to support local businesses, and grow together,” he explains. “It means we know the suppliers, and know that they run good,ethical establishments. On top of that, we know the quality of the products is excellent.”
“I remember the events where everyone sat in the street and chalked the pavements,” says Houston. “I’d grown up in Leamington Spa, which was quite sheltered: there was certainly nothing of that sort going on there.”
Countless students have dipped a toe into activism while living on Mill Road. But for over a century, other members of the University have involved themselves more wholeheartedly, entangling different strands of social reformist zeal from town and gown, as Mary Burgess, local studies assistant at Cambridgeshire county council, explains. “You get quite a lot of students, particularly from about 1908 to 1913, being interested in the town,” she says. “A book by the social reformer Eglantyne Jebb had come out in 1906 about conditions in the city, and a lot of the University people were shocked about how much poverty there was – particularly when they started going out and seeing what things were really like.”
At the turn of the 20th century, Mill Road was at the center of Cambridge’s movement for women’s suffrage. Burgess believes the earliest meetings took place in 1906 at the Lodge, a liberal magistrate’s house on the site of the Broadway in Romsey.
“Parker’s Piece was used for first-class cricket matches for almost 50 years in the 19th century, and in May will again play a pivotal role for the sport.
The Street Child Cricket World Cup group stages will be coming to the heart of Cambridge on May 4 and 5, before the semi-finals and finals take place at Lord’s on May 7.
Mixed teams of four boys and four girls will represent Bangladesh, India, Mauritius, Tanzania, Nepal, West Indies, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and England at the inaugural
The free festival of cricket will have an opening ceremony, including a band performance and singing of anthems will be held on Saturday, May 4, with the event running from 11 am to 4 pm on both days.
It is aimed at being a day for the family, as there will be cricket skills games run by Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, art activities, live music and there will be the chance to face deliveries from former England spinner and Ashes bowler Monty Panesar on Sunday (May 5).