A shopkeeper who was threatened with legal action by a supermarket giant has switched the name of his store from Singhsbury’s to Morrisinghs.
The shop went without a name for five years, though residents in the village continued to call it by its original name.
But Jel, 42, spotted his chance for another quirky name when the Post Office next door closed down and his shop expanded.
Jel, who was born in Middlesbrough but now lives in Stockton, drives the 50 miles to his Benton Road shop every day and says he wants to put West Allotment on the map.
He said: “These past couple of days have been absolutely crazy. It’s been great. I could not have bought this much publicity and we had no idea this would happen. We want to put West Allotment on the map. It’s a tiny little place and no-one really knows about it. The Cobalt Business Park arrived here and everyone knows that and not West Allotment – it should be the other way around.
“I live in Stockton but the friendship and love we get here is amazing. My mum was ill with cancer and the entire village was lovely. They come in every day, they sent flowers and they were just there for us.
“My friends are in West Allotment and I spend 91 hours a week here. My mum is doing really well now and the support from people here was a big help.”
Jel went through a divorce and “lost everything” when his sister’s brother-in-law, who ran the shop, decided to move on to pursue a career in banking.
But he saw his chance and decided to take it on himself and came up with the name Singhsbury’s – but soon incurred the wrath of the supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.
He said: “They sent a letter saying if we don’t take the sign down they will take us through the courts in London. It scared the living daylights out of me so I changed it. But everyone in West Allotment still called it Singhsbury’s.
“So we thought we needed a new name that was funny and made people remember the shop. Then I thought of Morrisinghs! I thought, ‘I’m on to something here’. I checked on a few laws to see where we stood but Morrison’s said they had no problem.
A spokesman for Morrisons said the supermarket “did not mind” about the new sign.
Speaking to the BBC, they added: “Mr Nagra and his customers obviously have good taste so we wish him well.”