The three new independent shops opening at historic Leeds Corn Exchange

Three new independent stores have opened at the historic Corn Exchange building in Leeds.

By Jonathan Pritchard
Sunday, 26th December 2021, 4:37 pm

The three new stories - independent art gallery Cole’s Gallery, upcycled homeware retailer The Crafty Bar Steward and luxury leather retailer S.Joon - join the 24 other independents already based out of of the Grade I listed Victoria building.

Cole's Gallery is run by award-winning artist Joss Cole, and will feature new and established artists from Yorkshire and further afield. Joss, who has exhibited his own works in London and Harrogate, moves across from Kirkgate Market.

The Crafty Bar Steward is led by Dean Collinson, whose green ethos has inspired a collection of upcycled furniture created with fallen branches, trees and other items found in reclamation yards and on forays with his aptly named dog, Oak.

The Corn Exchange in Leeds

Dean uses organic self-made wood dyes and varnishes, and carries out his work with traditional hand tools to create homewares such as upcycled gas bottle log burners and oak whisky barrel seats.

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S.Joon was set up in Leeds by a former choreographer and dance teacher Sahar Asvandi. It specialises in luxury leather goods which are designed in the UK but made in Italy. The brand is now stocked around the world but has chosen Leeds as its first physical store.

Adam Warner, Centre Manager at Leeds Corn Exchange, said: “We couldn’t be happier to welcome Cole’s Gallery, The Crafty Bar Steward and S.Joon to the Corn Exchange family.

"It is an incredibly exciting time here at the Corn Exchange as we continue to work closely with Leeds City Council to transform the area around the Corn Exchange to create more public space and to continue to support Leeds’ thriving independent retail scene.

"We’d like to thank our loyal customers for their continued support this year and look forward to welcoming them to visit our newest vendors this month and into 2022. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ”

Leeds Corn Exchange has seen a rapid revival of its indie retail scene despite having to close its doors as a result of Covid-19 restrictions over the last 18 months. The home of independents has welcomed an array of new indies including eateries OWT and Bruschetta by Food Cabaret; holistic health service, The Pink Room; and retailers, Colours May Vary, Chinese Laundry and Bellwether Yarns.