Still minding the shop at 100

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 22, 2009

Most men of 100 would gladly put their feet up. But it’s been business as usual for Jack Yaffe, who runs the family household goods store in the heart of Manchester’s Jewish community.

The great-grandfather celebrated his landmark birthday on Saturday and says he has no plans to retire, despite suffering vision problems. “I don’t feel any different and I don’t know why there is all this fuss,” he said. “I hope to have many more years. I want to carry on — I’d really like to dress the window like I always used to do.”

Mr Yaffe opened the shop 75 years ago in Prestwich. He lives in the flat above and his daughter-in-law Evelyn — who has worked in the business for 40 years — helps to look after him. He advises her on stock and prices and on summer days sits outside talking to customers.

Evelyn Yaffe attributes his longevity to hard work and a strong
constitution. “The business is his life. He’d like to be serving customers and physically he’s very well, but he can’t do more because of his blindness.”

He opened the store in 1934 with his late wife Leah and they were among the first members of the Holy Law Synagogue across the road. The shop remains an “Aladdin’s Cave” of hardware, kitchenware and glassware.

Last updated: 2:39pm, January 22 2009