Sham Grimshaw, founder of DDP on New Covent Garden Market, dies at age 75

Produce Business staff report

Sham Grimshaw, a highly respected and admired wholesale leader who patrolled the Old and New Covent Garden Markets for many years, has died. He was 75.

Born in Westminster and raised in Pimlico, Mr. Grimshaw got his start in the industry carrying cases at Victoria Station before gaining employment on a fruit stand in Pimlico.

He made his mark on the market at Mack & Edwards and Pankhurst’s before starting DDP Limited in 1982 with son Kevin. Sadly, Kevin died in 2019, but son Paul has been active at DDP, running day-to-day operations. The company continues to supply a number of contract caterers, restaurants, hotels, schools/colleges, retailers, events companies and corporate fine-dining offices.

Paul said his father remained active until his passing.

“I can’t get anywhere near what he achieved over the years,” Paul said. “Even though he retired from the business over two years ago, he still knew what was going on and we spoke virtually every day. I will miss his sense of humour every day and being a solid sounding board for business and life in general.”

The elder Grimshaw, who was a member of the CGTA Management Committee for more than 10 years, also earned high accolades from fellow traders, including Gary Marshall of Bevington Salads, who said Grimshaw continually backed the proposed redevelopment as well as the “Phase One” Tenants sticking together.

“Sham was a great supporter of the Market, especially the CGTA and me as Chairman,” Marshall said. “His unbiased advice, wisdom and staunch support was priceless. He was a man of his word and a gentleman. He will be sadly missed.”

Mr. Grimhsaw perhaps was most proud of supplying The House of Lords for 20 years and earning two 2 Royal Warrants whilst leading DDP – The Queen Mother and Her Majesty The Queen – the latter of which still remains today, unbroken after over 20 years of supplying The Royal Households.

Family members called him “a true market man and loved the cut and thrust of the early morning trade and the obstacles it presented, and still presents, every day. He worked very hard all of his life and was not one for lavish holidays, but enjoyed the peace and quiet of living in the country with wife, Carole.”

He also enjoyed talking to many faces on Buyers’ Walk, including Eddie Barrett (HG Walkers), Ian Furness (French Garden), Bruce White (Bruce White), Nick Mahoney and Terry (London Fresh), Bart (Supreme), Robert Reid and Barry Damian (Gilgrove), Simon (Greenhills), Barry Grant, Roger Garber and Marshall (Bevingtons).

A funeral for Grimshaw will be held on Saturday – 19th March at Chilterns Crematorium in Amersham (11.30am) and the family would welcome anyone from the market.



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