The story behind the Browning and Daughter cycle shop
One of the biggest things for OCCHIO as a distributor and UK guardian for the Nalini brand is being able to find retail partners who are prepared to be passionate about the Nalini brand and believe in its future potential. Cycling clothing is to many, something that conjures up a passionate and subjective response, and it is not always just about the numbers, right? Servicing and supplying authentic independent stores will be our focus therefore, and we have set up our business especially for this. This may undoubtedly slow the rate of our growth, as it will take us time to find retailers who have the desire to work with us. However, by working with the most authentic of independent stores, we will help secure the long-term health of the Nalini brand.
We have no such problem with the Browning and Daughter cycle shop in Leigh-on-Sea. This shop has been a brand ambassador for Nalini in the UK for many years. Many years before Occhio came along actually! In fact, it was this shop that sparked the thought to set up a new Nalini distribution in the UK, because Brexit had made it so hard to supply fantastic independents like this store if Nalini didn’t have a UK distributor.
If you live in the southeast, or east of London, and you love authentic Italian cycling products, then we would thoroughly recommend a visit to Browning and Daughter. It is a wonderful place. The shop is one of those rare places that hasn’t changed in its appearance in decades, except maybe for a lick of paint. Walking inside immediately evokes childhood memories of visits to bike shops where it was all about the wonderful smells, and the many shelves of exciting bike parts, accessories and clothing. The shop is as authentic as it gets, steeped in history, a strange mix of old England bike shop nostalgia with Italian style, and the owner Trisha Browning loves Nalini so much that it is now the only clothing brand she stocks.
In deepest Essex, on the London Road out of Leigh-on-Sea, the shop was originally set up in 1930 for cycles as a form of transport. James Browning took the shop over in 1951, and it has specialised in bikes, servicing, footwear and clothing ever since, with a strong slant towards all things Italian. It exists without any form of modern influence and remains true to the practices of yesteryear where the great majority of customers are regulars and loyal, and where premium customer care is top of the list. Paying attention to the individual needs of the customer, and knowing what will work for them, is part of the shop’s magic.
Trisha has run the shop since her father passed away. She’s been working there since she was around 10 years old, has 40+ years of bike servicing experience and there is nothing she doesn’t know about cycle clothing. When in 1979 her father wanted the shop repainted and have a new shop sign, he asked for ‘Daughter’ to be added to its name, which was an almost unheard-of thing to do at that time. When the sign writer finished the job, he was asked why he hadn’t added ‘Daughter’ as he’d been asked. The signwriter thought he was joking! He was told in no uncertain terms to come back the next day and finish the job.
Trisha Browning loves to select some fantastic pieces and oddities from the Nalini archives and back-catalogues and sells them alongside the latest collections. There is always something very cool to buy, at a great price, and she has an eye for picking out vintage styles with bright colours that her customers love. Browning and Daughter is an oasis of all things Nalini, and we love her for it.
Top Image - Trisha at the store, 2022.
Below Image - Trisha's mother and father.
Images supplied courtesy of Trisha Browning
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