If you happen to be wandering through South East London in search of Persian ingredients, you’ll likely be pointed in the direction of Peckham favourite, Persepolis. What started as a corner shop importing Iranian produce in 1995 later blossomed into a notable Persian food store and cafe-restaurant lining customers’ cupboards and stomachs with Middle Eastern delights.
Sally Butcher is the fiery-haired proprietress known widely not only for her shop but for her writing, too. Having started as a blogger, Sally soon amassed a devoted online following for her Peckham-related musings, and later became a best-selling author.
Her first book, Persia in Peckham, was shortlisted for the 2008 André Simon Award and selected as a Sunday Times cookery book of the year. Her other books, Persepolis, Veggiestan, and Snackistan, have also received critical acclaim.
When she’s not writing books in the backroom, Sally keeps busy out front alongside her husband, Jamshid, who runs the shop with her. In an attempt to spread the love for Persian cuisine across Peckham and beyond, Sally and Jamshid invite customers to snack while they shop, sampling dishes and then buying the ingredients to recreate them at home.
Those wishing to stick around a little longer can take a pew in the cafe area offering everything from meze platters and ash reshteh to saffron banana split. Persepolis products can also be ordered via the online shop or through wholesale — the latter bringing Persian produce to a network of shops, markets, and restaurants across London.