Two fishmongers have become embroiled in a war of words after one accused the other of copying his shop.
But boss Rafa Kashedi, 34, was left fuming after the latter changed its name to Fish World in a dramatic rebranding six weeks ago.
He has given interviews with the press accusing his south London neighbour of copying his blue signage and uniforms.
Fish World owner Muhmmad Saeed Chaudry has now hit back by calling his former friend “crazy” for making such a “fuss”.
He told the Standard: “He is giving me free advertising by speaking about me in the press. I had several customers coming to me who have made 40 or 50 pound purchases after hearing about us in the papers.”
Mr Chaudry says he switched to fish because his meat business stalled during the pandemic.
He added: “We were a meat business but my business was going down due to the pandemic. There was greater demand for fish so I felt it was best to pursue that.
“So many people were saying his shop was too expensive. We sell fish much cheaper than him and he isn’t happy about it.
“The sea is blue, everything to do with fish is blue. I have a 27-year-old son who works in IT. I spoke to them for guidance. I spoke to lots of people and they all said blue is colour that works best for a fish business. So that’s what I did.
“Then the guy next-door accused me of copying him. But all fish wholesalers use a blue sign. I said to him if you’re still not happy I will change my sign, but I can’t do it straight away as I don’t have the money. I said to him look, I spent 50 grand on this refurbishment already and I can’t afford to invest more money on the sign.”
Mr Chaudry said both he and Mr Kadeshi were “happy neighbours” who used to lend each other equipment when needed.
But he alleges that Mr Kadeshi spat at his shop after they began selling fish.
He said: “When I wasn’t doing fish everything were fine. We were happy neighbours. He asked me for a trolley, I gave him a trolley. He later asked if he can keep the trolley, I said you’re my neighbour, no problem.
“He broke the wheel and then another day he came back and said two wheels are broken, I said no worries. He said OK – I said don’t use it again, I have another one in the storage room which you can use. This is how much I was trying to help him. This was like a year ago when I was only doing the beef.
“Now, when he heard I was doing the fish he stopped saying hello to me. I said salaam the other day – and when he walked past he started spitting at my shop. He has even tried to stop suppliers from selling to us. This is how much he tried to ruin my business.”
Mr Kadeshi has previously called Fish World “disgusting” for having “blatantly copied us”.
He told The Sun: “ They have just blatantly copied us. It is disgusting. How can they do this?
“I feel like we’ve been stabbed in the back. He should have spoken to me before he did this. I could have helped him but instead, I just turned up one day and it was like this.”
“They are trying to steal our customers. They don’t allow Tesco and Sainsbury’s to open next door.
“When they were a meat shop we’d send each other customers, but now it’s no longer funny.
"It is affecting our business, some of our customers are confused, and think we are the same place."