Submitted by Editor on Thu, 28/04/2022 - 11:40

If you’re passing Canonmills Newsagents this sunny Wednesday, pop in and congratulate Anwar and Ruby. Today, they’re celebrating 21 years in charge of the popular local shop at 3 Howard Street.

The pair first learned the business in partnership with Ruby’s sister Zahida and husband Mohammad (who later ran the M.A. Store on East Claremont Street) in Musselburgh.

Next, in 1985 they took over a newsagent in Colinton Mains, before switching to Canonmills in 2001.

The shop here was already an established business, with a history of at least 40 years behind it. But Anwar and Ruby have carefully moved with the times since, extending the stock from basic newspapers and cigarettes to a far wider offering of groceries and greetings cards as a community convenience store.


Anwar is particularly proud of the range of magazines stocked, with specialist titles such as the New Yorker and History Scotland on offer which you won’t find on the average supermarket shelf elsewhere.

Apart from hard work, the key to success, he says, is looking after your customers, and as other newsagents in Edinburgh have closed the pair have gradually extended their distribution across the New Town.

They have always fostered friendly and tailored relationships with locals – something which became even more important when delivering goods to elderly clients who found themselves housebound during recent lockdowns.

It's a formula which works. The business is clearly flourishing.

Not for the first time, yesterday Spurtle tried – and failed – to include Ruby in a photograph. She smilingly refused, reserving that honour for some future occasion if and when the couple finally choose to retire.

We hope (for our sake) that it won’t be for many years to come.