The news that Headingley Development Trust (HDT) has taken over Harris’s greengrocers in North Lane has been met with delight across the Headingley community. Keith and Denise Harris, who set up the shop in 1975, retired a couple of years ago and Eileen and Raymond Harris, the owners, decided to sell. They offered the business to HDT who were only too pleased to accept.
HDT will be building on a longer tradition however. There has been a greengrocer’s shop in the premises for well over 100 years. The building was first converted by Suttill Hannam into a successful and popular Headingley fruit and fish shop in 1900.
Before that the building was a maltings house dating from the eighteenth century, which converted cereal grains to malt to be used to make beer, whiskey and different foods. If you look above the shop you can see the slanting roofline of the old house which formed part of the original maltings complex.
The Harris family ran the well known and treasured greengrocers for 44 years. The family successfully built up a large and loyal customer base of people who value buying fresh fruit and vegetables in their local shop, despite the massive competition from local supermarkets. It has been a very familiar and easily recognised part of the North Lane landscape and HDT is looking to build on their work.
So what is happening? Plans are under way to create a stylish new greengrocer shop with improved internal and external décor. New baskets will hold fresh and, as far as possible, locally sourced fruit and vegetables, still catering to a range of budgets. In line with HDT’s Zero Carbon Headingley project, the shop will also reduce plastic packaging to a minimum, eventually use an electric delivery vehicle, and be run in as energy-efficient manner as possible.
The shop began trading on 26 April 2019, and was formally opened by Alex Sobel MP on 4 April - come and try us out!
Headingley Development Trust
Photographs courtesy of James Hardisty at Yorkshire Evening Post (Keith and Denise Harris) and Leeds Library & Information Service (historic photos).