End of an era as historic retailer closes after 115 years

Peter Maturi on Vicar Lane, Leeds

Peter Maturi on Vicar Lane, Leeds

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AN HISTORIC Yorkshire retailer has had to close its doors after more than 115 years in the business.

Peter Maturi, the kitchenwares retailer, was established in 1899, when its first store opened at George Street in Leeds city centre.

The business went on to open stores in Harrogate and Manchester.

A statement released on Twitter on Saturday, March 22, said: “Peter Maturi & Sons has ceased trading.

“Due to pressures of internet shopping and excessive business rates and rent, the shops are unsustainable.”

It added: “We would like to thank all our customers for their loyal support throughout the years and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Peter Maturi senior was born in Pinzolo, Italy, in 1880.

Mr Maturi was one of 25 children.

At the age of 16, he accompanied his elder brother, Pio, to Lugano in Switzerland.

He worked in the city until 1898, when he joined four of his other brothers to come to England to set up a business of his own.

Mr Maturi set up shop in Leeds in 1899, on George Street in the city centre.

At first, he served other local businesses, and with only a bicycle and a barrow he sharpened knives and scissors in hotels, restaurants and tailoring factories across Leeds.

In 1911 he exchanged his barrow for a motorcar and in 1943, he decided to move the business to a bigger premises – this time at Ludgate Hill.

In 1955, he moved again to Vicar Lane.

He also built a new mobile workshop at the site.

Along with his two sons, Alfred and Peter, and wife Esther, the services continued to expand and the company’s blue van became a familiar sight around the city.

At the age of 76, Peter Maturi senior passed away.

But his family made the decision to continue with the business.

In 1961, it relocated to a new development at Eastgate, before moving back to Vicar Lane in 1996.

The business, which was best known for its cookware ranges, kitchen gadgets, pans, utensils, coffee machines, bakeware and cutlery, celebrated its centenary in 1999.

To mark the occasion, it played host to some top television chefs, including Anthony Worrall Thompson, Brian Turner, James Martin and Nick Nairn.

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