Harris’s Greengrocer with its distinctive bright blue decor and colourful boxes of fruit and vegetables displayed outside is a very familiar part of the Headingley landscape. The shop is also a highly valued part of the local community. A traditional Leeds family-owned business, it has been open in Headingley for 42 years.
Ray Harris is a fourth generation family member who has been active in the business for 24 years. He now runs the shop in North Lane. “My great grandfather first set up in Kirkgate Market and the family ran a shop in Lincoln Green, then in Crossgates. It was my Dad who opened the place in Headingley in 1976 after he saw a ‘For Sale’ ad in the Yorkshire Evening Post. He just went and bought the shop.”
“Headingley was a busy, growing suburb. Many families lived here who liked having fresh fruit and veg to buy locally. The customers have changed a bit since then. We have more young people coming in as well as our loyal, long standing customers. Lots of local families visit on Saturdays. Most of the seven staff have been here a long time and our regular customers all know them. Steph, our manager, has just had baby and people are delighted that she’s definitely coming back.”
“We all helped in the shops as kids, but I started my working life as a professional footballer with Sheffield United and York City until a knee injury ended it all. By the weekend Dad had me back in the shop working which was a bit of a shock! I still love sport, especially Leeds United, and my son is also a keen footballer. I support the Rhinos and Yorkshire cricket just down the road. It was fantastic seeing the England team here playing at the Test Match in Headingley.”
“My cousin Keith runs our wholesale business and we source as much of our produce locally as we can. We now supply nearly all the restaurants in Headingley. The shop is being refurbished and has a new blue awning and fast touch-screen tills. New lighting is going in, and then it will all be redecorated. We’ve spent over £15,000 over the last three months alone and are here for the long term.” Good news for the many Harris fans ...
R.K Harris and Sons Greengrocers
50 North Lane, Leeds LS6 3HU
0113 275 2113
First published 25 June 2018.