Family pay heartfelt tribute to popular shopkeeper who ‘came to Sheffield with nothing’

The family of a popular Sheffield shopkeeper who became the first person to sell Asian and West Indian food in the city have spoken of their pride after he passed away.

Monday, 14th September 2020, 3:52 pm

Syed Masaud Hamed Shah, who was known as Shah or Mr Shah to family, friends and customers, died in his sleep on Tuesday, 8 September. A successful businessman, he ran Shah Oriental Grocers on Abbeydale Road, on the corner of Bedale Road, from its opening in 1968 to his retirement 49 years later and was well-known in Nether Edge and Abbeydale.

Shah’s oldest son, Tony, 54, said: “We’re proud because he had so many friends. He was always having people round his house, they started out as customers and became good friends.

"He came here with nothing and he built his fortune in England. He wanted to be buried here because he classed it as his home.”

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Syed Masaud Hamed Shah, who was known to friends and family as Shah, passed away on Tuesday, 8 September.

Shah, who moved to England from Pakistan in 1962, leaves behind his wife, Maquada, as well as sons, Tony, Lee, 52, Jason, 50, and youngest daughter Aisha, a doctor at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, 32. He also had another daughter, Sharmila, who died aged 40, and 18 grandchildren.

Tony said: “If he set his mind to something he would get it done and he told it as it was, but he was fair.

"He was a typical shopkeeper – he would argue over a penny. But he always helped everyone. He used to watch cookery shows on Saturday morning and then make little ingredient bags up for customers.”

One of Tony’s friends whose parents used to visit the shop told him: "If it wasn’t for your dad, we would have grown up eating only bangers and mash.”

Shah worked for British Rail as a conductor and ticket collector for five years before purchasing the former Co-op store on Abbeydale Road and opening his own shop. In the early 1980s he bought the premises next door and expanded his business. He closed Shah Oriental Grocers when he retired and today it exists as Barrowboy Bar.

Shah’s funeral took place on Tuesday. His family have received “hundreds” of messages of support since the news of his death, Tony said.