THE owner of a kebab van says he is pleased to be back in Henley after more than 10 years away
THE owner of a kebab van says he is pleased to be back in Henley after more than 10 years away.
Mohammad Seylani-Zadeh first set up Henley Kebabs in Greys Road car park in 1990 but was forced to return to Iran after his father died in 2005.
He came back in 2009 and was told he had to re-apply for his licence, which was finally granted last year.
He began trading again in November and says business is picking up.
Mr Seylani-Zadeh 56, who lives in Tilebarn Close with his wife Ziba and their son Aria, four, said: “Everyone has been glad to see me back. I’m getting new faces as well as my old customers. I enjoy doing this. I’ve been doing it for 15 years on and off and only gave it up when my father died, otherwise I would have stayed. I’ve lived in Henley since 1987 and I like it. it’s a great little town with a nice bunch of people and a pretty good place to live. My son goes to school here and loves it.”
Mr Seylani-Zadeh says the town is different to when he started but he hopes that his van will get more customers as they discover he has returned.
He said: “Henley isn’t like it used to be. When I started there were two nightclubs so it’s not as busy as it was then. There are also two fast food shops which weren’t here when I started. People are pleased to see me but because of the gap of 10 years, maybe not everyone is aware that I’m here. I’ll have a go at it and hopefully business will get better.”
Mr Seylani-Zadeh paid for his spaces in the car park for more than two years after leaving Henley but was told on his return that he would have to reapply for a trader’s licence.
His requests to South Oxfordshire District Council for a licence were turned down every year until last year, when he was given support by town councillors and members of the public.
Mr Seylani-Zadeh said: “I went to a town council meeting and every councillor in the room put their hands up to support me. I’m an extra pair of eyes in the car park and I’m no trouble so they all said they didn’t mind if I came back.”
At the time, then councillor Dieter Hinke said: “I remember this kebab van. I used to visit it occasionally, not for a kebab but for a bag of chips, which were excellent. As long as it is good quality, clean and with plenty of bins I would support this application.”
Mr Seylani-Zadeh said: “I was away for 10 years, which is a long time, and coming back is like having a brand new business. Hopefully people will support me.”
The kebab van opens at 7pm every day and is closes at midnight, 1am, 2am or 3am, depending on the day of the week.