DF McLEOD’s independent grocers is one of those traditional neighbourhood shops which retains the name despite the last McLeod having left decades ago.
Grant Terry, 43, is the owner now, having worked there since the age of 19 when his father bought the Marchmont store.
He still notices if regular, elderly customers haven’t been in recently, knows where they live and checks on their welfare. He still delivers free gratis to older customers who can’t carry their shopping home, calls his customers of all ages by their first names, and immaculately maintains the McLeod signage above the door which has probably been there since 1912.
“That’s the oldest invoice we’ve found,” says Grant. “I have no intention of losing that neighbourhood feel, the tradition and the name.”
But the stock? Well, that certainly brings in new blood. The cut-price, ripe fruit and veg is legendary with the local student population. Otherwise it’s a posh independent grocer selling “nice stuff you don’t find in supermarkets” but at reasonable prices, according to Grant, all of which explains why he doesn’t feel threatened by the big chains.
His latest speciality is his Spanish range with around ten types of chorizo and an equal number of varieties of preserved and fresh garlic, oils and tinned foods. “We get a lot of Spanish customers now. One said I had more Spanish stock than in his village shop back home! And it’s mostly cheaper than suppliers can sell it on the internet.
“That’s been very successful after only three months. It fits in well with the other stock and works with our lunch time sandwich-deli operation.”
• DF McLeod, 138 Marchmont Road, 0131-452 9786. Open until 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 1pm on Saturday.