Almost 60 years on and customers continue to flood in to Grantham greengrocer

Arnold Graham, Swinegate, Grantham.
Arnold Graham, Swinegate, Grantham.
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As the Journal continues its ‘Shop Local’ campaign, we look at one of the town’s oldest businesses - the greengrocers Arnold Graham.

The small shop has been in Swinegate, Grantham, since 1955 and looks set to remain there for a good few years yet.

Arnold Graham, Swinegate, Grantham.

Arnold Graham, Swinegate, Grantham.

Arnold Graham opened the shop 58 years ago, while his son, David, 61, has been working there for 45 years. He started as soon as he left school and he remains there behind the counter of the quaint shop today.

Arnold died several years ago and David now runs the business alone.

Stepping through the door is like taking a leap back in time. Little has changed in the last six decades - the shelves are stacked the same and the cash register is an old wooden contraption.

As an independent retailer and a true Granthamian, David believes it is “very important” that such retailers remain in the town.

Arnold Graham, Swinegate, Grantham.

Arnold Graham, Swinegate, Grantham.

He added: “They are special because shopping in them is much more personal and you get to know everyone who comes in.”

He believes business has decreased over the years in the form of footfall. However, he is adamant that the shop is not at risk of closure, thanks to the number of schools and restaurants he supplies.

David said: “With more supermarkets, all independent retailers suffer because you can get everything under one roof, but people still buy from here because it’s nice to go to individual shops.”

Weather is a big factor, he says. In sunshine like this week, more people will come down and buy from him.

If the weather is poor, then he does see a decline in the amount of customers.

David said that because his shop is in the old part of the town, lots of his custom comes from tourists and people who are visiting St Wulfram’s Church, but good weather also brings more local people.

He said he would keep the shop open for as long as he was fit and able to do so.