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Supporting independent businesses is always important, regardless of what’s going on in the world. But with many venues currently taking a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no better time to start shopping, eating and drinking local.
Sheffield is absolutely teeming with brilliant independent businesses who could do with some extra help right now. So, why not check out one (or maybe a few) from our top 10 next time you’re in the city?
If you’re desperate for a little retail therapy, there’s no better place than Atkinsons. Located right in the heart of Sheffield in The Moor, it’s an independent department store which hosts dozens of stallholders across its 75,000 square metres of retail space.
Atkinsons has been a major fixture on Sheffield’s shopping scene for nearly 150 years and continues to be a family run business. The independent venue sells almost every item imaginable, from furnishings and homewares ideal for giving your house a seasonal update, to clothing and accessories which you won’t see anywhere else!
Call yourself a food obsessive? A trip to the largest food hall in the North should definitely be on the cards! Lodged in a former cutlery factory (hence the name!) on Kelham Island, Cutlery Works boasts industrial chic décor and 12 independent vendors who serve up all manner of tasty cuisine from around the globe.
Once you’ve queued up outside, sat down at your table and downloaded Cutlery Work’s ordering app, you’ll have the tricky challenge of choosing between 100+ tasty dishes. Options range from fresh sushi and onion bhaji wraps to mouth-watering fried chicken or seitan from Slick Chick’s.
For those craving a good cuppa, you can’t do much better than Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen. The charming Japanese-inspired teahouse was started by a mother and daughter duo back in 2017 off the back of creating their successful loose tea brand Birdhouse Tea Company.
Inside a renovated warehouse, the Birdhouse is a lovely spot to enjoy a steaming cup of chai. Spread over two storeys and featuring plenty of exposed brickwork, lush plants and mood lighting, you’ll be properly relaxed while you tuck into unique dishes from its tea-inspired menu.
Fancy updating your wardrobe with some awesome vintage threads? Freshmans Vintage Store is one of the best independent second-hand clothing stores in Sheffield.
Located in the city centre, Freshmans has been dressing the city’s cool kids since 1996 and is a true Sheffield institution. Offering up some of the biggest names in vintage denim, search the racks for pre-loved pieces from the likes of Levi’s and Wrangler. Not to be missed is their collection of vintage sweatshirts and Hawaiian shirts as well as their Freshmans classics range. Shopping there will not only mean you’re supporting an independent Sheffield business, but it also allows you to practice sustainability too.
This is another food market on trendy Kelham Island that’s perfect for grabbing some good grub at the weekend. Nestled in a warehouse that’s been decorated with twinkling fairy lights, Peddler Night Market hosts no fewer than 10 award-winning street food venues who switch regularly to keep things fresh. There’s also 4 bars to grab a drink from in the market, plus a few stalls selling arts, crafts and gifts from some amazing independent creators.
Want somewhere locally-owned to take the kids for a treat? This little bookshop specialises in children’s books and is a real treasure trove of both classic fairy tales and lesser known stories.
As well as the chance to browse Rhyme and Reason’s shelves stacked high with colourful books for little ones, there’s a great selection of adult fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Sometimes they even host readings by famous children’s authors, as well as a regular book group. At the moment, tickets are limited due to social distancing measures, so make sure you nab yours well in advance.
Pretty pot plants, handcrafted ceramics, gorgeous jewellery, homemade soaps – what’s not to love about MoonKo? This boho chic store sits alongside numerous other independent shops on trendy Division Street and it’s an emporium for all things unique and artsy.
Discover one-of-a-kind items designed by local artisans and creatives, all of which are 100% handmade. MoonKo is a great place to shop for some unique gifts for your loved ones (or pressies for yourself if you need a little pick-me-up).
It’s no secret that Sheffield has produced some incredible musical talent over the years. If you’re absolutely mad about music, definitely nip into Record Collector for a browse. The independent shop is a bit of an institution when it comes to music.
It has one of the most extensive ranges of vinyl and CDs in the region, from popular hits to rare albums which will definitely give your own collection an edge. Got some records to sell? The shop also buys items and offers part exchange.
If you’re after a fun activity to do while also supporting an independent business in Sheffield, The Art House is a prime spot for tapping into your creative side! The independent art studio just around the corner from Sheffield Town Hall is currently open and offering a handful of different workshops.
Why not learn how to weave an intricate tapestry, create your own beautiful mosaic or have a lesson in tie dyeing? You could also enjoy a masterclass in pottery making. Advance booking is essential, but there are also loads of online classes if you’d rather show your support from home.
For those of you who like to shop local for your groceries as well as your clothing, Beanies Whole Foods is ideal. It’s one of the best-loved indie shops in Sheffield, selling everything you need to whip up some delicious meals.
Head down to the co-op on Barber Road and browse shelves piled high with fresh veggies, wholefoods, frozen products, healthy snacks and specialty items for those following a gluten-free or vegan diet. Beanies also offers a brilliant organic fruit and veg box delivery service if you live in the local area.
Getting to Sheffield
If you do decide to check out one of the above independent businesses in Sheffield, stay safe by following the latest coronavirus guidelines and any specific rules set out by the venue. If you can, try to travel during off-peak times and buy tickets in advance to book a seat. And remember, when you’re ready to get going, we’re here for you.