Fourth generation still going strong

Millie’s: 100 year old fruit and veg business in York, UK

Simon Baynes, owner of Millie’s fruit and vegetables shop on Bishopthorpe Road in York, is the fourth generation of his family to run the greengrocery business. It all started with his great grandfather John one hundred years ago, on a small stall on York’s old Parliament Street market.

“Back then it was called Pennington’s,” recalls Simon. “At its height we had the stall on York market and three shops. We actually always thought the business dated back to 1920, but I am a bit of a history buff and I did some research and discovered that it actually dated back to 1918.” After great grandfather John, Simon’s grandmother Millie and grandfather Eric took over the running of the business before it was handed down to Simon’s father and then to him.
Simon started working at the family business while he was still at school. “I was always going to go into the business,” he says. “Looking back I would have actually loved to have done something else. I love history and English. But when I left school I went straight into the business.”

A Yorkshire Post article explains all about the history of this firm. John says that although he hopes one of his own sons will take it on in due time, he won’t be putting any pressure on them to follow in his footsteps. “I would really like them to find their own way and have life experiences. If either of them then want to come into the business, then great.”

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