Trotters Butchers Is All Set To Close The Door For The Last Time

Local News

On Saturday, 30th January Seacroft shopkeeper Phil Stead will close his business Trotters for the last time having made the decision to retire after a career behind the counter for over 51 years. Phil began his working life aged 14, as a Saturday boy employed with Ernest Ward a well-known Leeds butcher and sausage-manufacturer with shops in Hunslet Road and Balm Road. In 1964 aged 15 Phil began full time employment as an apprentice butcher with R V Smith, based in Kirkgate Market under the guidance of owner Mr Ronald Vincent Smith and in 1969 transferred to the modern shop in the iconic 1960′ Shopping Centre at Seacroft where he later took over as Shop Manager. After almost 30 years, the business moved to new premises in nearby South Parkway in 1998 just months before the whole shopping centre was demolished and replaced with the 24 Hour Tesco Extra and other retail shops.
In the year 2000 Phil became owner of the South Parkway shop which was renamed “Trotters”. The business diversified and became a general food store selling groceries, fruit,vegetables, pet food, plants and flowers whilst retaining it’s reputation for supplying high quality meats, popular pies and delicious hot & cold sandwiches. Phil has enjoyed serving the community of Seacroft and surrounding areas with customers from different generations of local families. Over the decades Phil has seen many changes in this small area of East Leeds and has been privileged to share the ups and down of everyday life with his customers which he will miss. Hearing about the happy events and over the years watching families grow and sharing the sadness of bereavement of friends, neighbours and loved ones.
Customer and friend Dennis Nottingham aged 86 has known Phil from his early days working in Kirkgate Market. During the 1960’s and 1970’s Dennis was publican of the Clap Gate near Sicklinghall, now retired and living in Wetherby Dennis sends his best wishes for a long and happy retirement. He said “During a lifetime a few special people come along and Philip is such a person, it has always been a pleasure to meet up over the years, a true gentleman and I wish him well, and he will always be welcome to visit me at my home in Wetherby”.
Another customer for over 40 years is Carole McNamara, aged 62 she said “My late Mother was a customer since the 1960’s, she was very particular about her meat purchases and Philip new just how she liked everything including how it was to be packed to go in the freezer, nothing was a problem and every customer was given individual attention. When I started cooking for myself I would often ask for help and advice. As a shopkeeper’s daughter I know how hard it is to maintain a first class service to the public for so many years. Thank you Philip for your care and attention over the years, I am sad to see the end of an era, and I shall miss you, best wishes always”.
Phil and his wife Sharon have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Trotters, where customers are never rushed and often stay a bit longer for a friendly chat, the topics of conversation are as varied as the characters and personalities who are drawn to visit Trotters each week, without exception the talk will also include an analysis of United’s most recent game or the fantastic success of Leeds Rhinos, Phil has been a lifelong Rhinos supporter.
At the start of his career, his employer Ronald Vincent Smith told Phil “The shop door must always be kept open for customers” and it will be sad to see the shutters close at Trotters for the final time. Phil Stead and his wife Sharon would like to take this opportunity to thank all customers past and present for their custom and patronage over the years, and send their best wishes to each and everyone for a happy new year and will leave with many wonderful memories
I am sure you will join us all at the Yorkshire Reporter in wishing Phil Stead a long and happy retirement as he looks forward to spending more time in his garden and walking his dog, good luck Phil and enjoy!

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