Video: Greengrocer retires from family store after 40 years

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He’s been the top of the crops for the last four decades.

RK Harris and Sons, in Headingley, has become an institution over the years after battling against major supermarket chains and discount food stores.

Greengrocer Keith Harris and wife Denise. PIC: James Hardisty

Greengrocer Keith Harris and wife Denise. PIC: James Hardisty

And hundreds of thousands of Leeds students have passed through their shop’s doors.

The family business, which will continue to trade, is also a popular haunt for Leeds Rhinos players and when the team heard Keith, 62, was leaving prop Kylie Leuluai brought in a signed shirt from all the players.

Keith, who opened the shop in April 1975, said: “They are such a fabulous team of lads, from Brian McDermott to Jamie Peacock and many others who get their fresh produce here.

“The students over the decades have all been great. Many have worked for us and gone on to be doctors and the like.

“We see all kinds of characters and Headingley is a fantastic place to trade.”

The family business also supplies hotels and restaurants with fresh produce.

Keith, who lives in Barwick-in-Elmet, admits he loves eating fruit and vegetables.

He said: “We started the business in Cross Gates around 1971 with my brother Raymond and opened in Headingley in 1975.

“I can honestly say I have loved it, all of it.

“I love the people, the customers and love helping them get good value for money with fresh, healthy food.

“There have been hard times over the years trade wise, but we have had great support from the people of Headingley and the students.

“We always tried to create a great atmosphere in the shop.”

But he won’t miss having to be into work early every morning.

“I won’t miss getting up at 4am and lifting big boxes of cabbage,” he added..

Keith and Denise, who has also worked in the shop over the years in between having their children Keith Junior and Nicola, are now looking forward to going away on holiday, spending more time with their grandchildren and gardening.

Son Keith Harris Junior paid tribute to his father’s efforts of the years.

He added: “I find it difficult to put into words the love , respect and admiration I have for my dad both as a father and a business man.

“It’s now time to start the next exciting chapter in his life

“I am sure he will embrace and attack retirement with the same passion and enthusiasm that he shows to everything in his life.”

RETIRING COUPLE

Keith and Denise Harris purchased their shop in the 1970s after spotting an advert in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The family business, which will continue to trade, has become an institution over the decades in the heart of Headingley.

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