Wreath made in a workshop at Little Wold Vinyeard

Nine of our favourite small businesses

As a small business, every sale is exciting! We have alerts set up so every 'favourite' or sale chimes on our phones. We get a little thrill checking our orders, and it's the first thing we do when we wake, and the last thing we do before we go to sleep. Our children also listen out for the alerts and shout to let us know (from the comfort of the Xbox). Those memes about small businesses doing happy dances are true!

But we've been small independent business shoppers longer than we've been small business owners, and there are some great examples out there, so we thought it would be only nice to share some of our favourites...


The interior of the RE shop in Corbridge


I've always loved this shop, and will take any excuse to visit in Corbridge in Northumberland. The town itself is lovely, and if you get the chance I'd highly recommend a visit. If you're travelling far, the lovely Matfen Hall is not too far away. RE set out in 2003 to create a unique retail environment, and it certainly has done. I could leave with half the store, but our most memorable purchase was some bone china plates printed with butterflies, that now live on our kitchen wall. 



This Hull-based sandwich shop is an absolute must visit. The poached chicken salad is the best salad I've ever had, and the pickled fennel is incredible. I don't like fennel, and I hate aniseed, but I can't get enough of this, and even made some at home. Previously located in Paragon Arcade, the arcade itself is a little gem, it's quirky, bohemian, cool and very different to the streets that surround it. The other shops are also worth a nosey at. Marla's has now relocated to the avenues and we definitely recommend a visit.


Haines Collection 

I first started following Haines Collection last year on Instagram where I fell in love with the Christopher Farr fabric. Everything they sell is high end designer material, from roll ends, misprints or what was otherwise destined for landfill. But from Haines it's often half the retail price, and the service is great! I asked for some advice about what fabric could go with some curtains I'd sourced second hand, and Jules sent me over some options which were perfect. I moved too slow and the Nina Campbell one I liked most had sold out, but I was able to buy another wool later that worked brilliantly too. When it arrived it was wrapped in paper - the sustainable credentials ran through every touchpoint. It's been brilliant to see the business develop too. She recently grew the team and also offers cushions, and some Christmas gifts too. Fabric drops on a Monday and I always look forward to having a look. 


Little Wold Vineyard

I went to a lovely wreath making workshop at Little Wold Vineyard last year and loved the results! Not just that, the atmosphere, setting and the wine were all superb. They are planting vines each year, and are growing as winemakers, with new team members joining.

Diversifying away from purely wine, they also offer events, weddings, wine tasting - all with such style. They ship all over the UK, and do free delivery locally. Please do check them out!


F Leakes Butcher, Market Weighton

Fantastic small business run by Tom (on the right in the picture above). He took over from the previous owner about 5 years ago and has only improved what was already a brilliant butcher. The meat is locally sourced and top quality. With chicken that's not pumped full of water, great sausages, home made pork pies (delicious ones) and more. They also do a weekly stir fry special which is consistently good. Not only is the product top notch, during lockdown they started doing home deliveries, and even opened a greengrocer in the adjoining shop, which we hope will come back in the new year. An entrepreneurial spirit that's great to see. We rarely buy meat from the supermarket now, it's not a patch on Tom's.

 Vine & Grain 

A great selection of beer in the lovely market town of Beverley. They ship nationally too, so if you can't get to Beverley don't worry! (Beverley is another lovely place to visit if you get the chance). Actually, it's not all beer - there's wine, cider, spirits plus chocolate, snacks, condiments and more.  But, back to the beer, they do sell one of our favourites, Straffe Hendrix, oh, and Tripel Karmeliet too. 


Thieving Harry's

Proper coffee, strong coffee. A proper good flat white, not some milky latte-like thing. Great breakfast and cakes. And it's in the coolest setting on the corner of Hull's Fruit Market, which was revamped in 2016 ahead of Hull being UK City of Culture the following year. It's now packed with bars, restaurants and quirky independents, but Thieving Harry's was there from the beginning, in a converted fruit warehouse next to the marina. 

Photocredit: Neil Holmes


MW Farm Supplies

Our local farm shop. Not the overpriced biscuits kind. More the stockboard, rat traps, blots, log baskets, horse feed, wheelbarrows kind. There's always something good in store - last time I went in looking for big washers for our staircase (we built it from scratch) and came out with two types, both huge, and they would only take payment for the bigger ones!


And also a shout out to Olive and Bloom and the lovely Sasha who gives us lots of cardboard boxes to use again, rather than throwing them away. 



What's your favourite small shop? We'd love to hear! 










Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.