City Buzz: Mother and son open new shop in Leeds’ Corn Exchange

Anne and Stephen Roper at their new Simchi Gallery at The Corn Exchange in Leeds. Pic: Mark Bickerdike.
Anne and Stephen Roper at their new Simchi Gallery at The Corn Exchange in Leeds. Pic: Mark Bickerdike.
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WHEN TRINITY Leeds came along, people were worried that it could mean the city’s independent traders would be hit hard.

There’s no doubt the development has had a huge impact on Leeds’s retail landscape – but there’s one corner of the city that’s fighting hard to look after the little people.

Stephen Roper at his workshop. Pic: Mark Bickerdike.

Stephen Roper at his workshop. Pic: Mark Bickerdike.

The Corn Exchange is home to more than 26 independent businesses, shops, salons and cafés – and a new addition is about to be added to the list.

The Simcha Gallery is owned by mother and son team Anne and Stephen Roper, and opened at the Grade I-listed building this week.

The retail space and workshop offers handmade jewellery, fashion accessories and cards. Their designs are stocked by galleries across the country, and Anne was one of the original Camden Market retailers in the seventies.

Her original creations have also been stocked by household names such as Liberty London and Selfridges.

Silversmith Stephen also ‘upcycles’ customers’ unworn jewellery into fresh new designs.

He said: “We’ve had our eye on Leeds Corn Exchange as a home for our collection for a while and it was great timing that we’d left our previous space just as there was an opening in Leeds Corn Exchange.”

He added: “It is such a beautiful building and the space is full of natural light making it the perfect setting for my mother and I to create our designs.”

It’s the perfect addition to the Corn Exchange and we wish them both luck in their new venture.

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