While a trip to the supermarket may be convenient for buying everything under one roof, and online shopping enables you to purchase from the comfort of your armchair, nothing beats the enjoyment of going in person to a local independent retailer and browsing to your heart’s content.
To some degree, convenience shopping has taken the joy out of the retail experience. Discovering a wonderful little store tucked away in a location that’s off the beaten track to hunt down some bargains, is truly uplifting! Read on to find out about some of Britain’s best independent shops and why customers love them so much…
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Ganesha Wholefoods, Honiton
Located in Honiton, Devon, this health food shop is particularly renowned for its great range of organic grains and pulses, while it also has a selection of delicious chocolate. Certified by the Organic Farmers and Growers, it has a huge selection of dried fruit, seeds, nuts, herbs and spices. It also sells locally-produced vegan and vegetarian bread, savouries and cakes, as well as eco-friendly household products and toiletries.
Washingpool Farm Shop, Bridport
This well-established farm shop is located on the B3162, three miles from West Bay, Dorset. As a genuine family business, it is run by three generations of the Holland family. Regular customers love their selection of fresh vegetables, which they have been growing for generations. Established in 1971, the business now includes a licensed restaurant, which uses locally-sourced ingredients.
OK Comics, Leeds
If you’re a big kid at heart, OK Comics in Briggate, Leeds, is like an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. Located in the Victorian-style arcade, Leeds’ independent comic book store has author signings, a free lending library and “drink and draw” events. Fans say they particularly love the sofas, where they can relax and browse the comic books. Also popular is their huge range of classic back issue comics for just 50p each.
AG Hendy & Co Home Store, Hastings
Standing proud on High Street, this truly unique store is loved by shoppers because you can buy just about anything here. Perfect for gifts, it’s described as a place where you can buy everything from vintage crockery to Romanian slippers! Shoppers say you can buy items that you couldn’t imagine finding anywhere else. What’s more, the shop has a truly nostalgic feel, as it’s housed in a tastefully restored Georgian home.
Ritchie’s of Rothesay, Isle of Bute
Ritchie’s has been smoking salmon and haddock on the Isle of Bute in Scotland since 1888 and today has a loyal clientele that has ensured its success continues, despite competition from supermarkets and national chains. Customers love its rich history, original recipes and traditional methods. The independent firm trains apprentices in traditional styles of food production and also sells the finished products from its own shop.
Raves From The Grave, Frome
Vinyl has been making a comeback recently and records have begun to appear again on some shops’ shelves, next to the CDs. At Raves From The Grave in Frome, Somerset, it never went away. Record buyers of a certain age will remember the days when going to the record shop to buy the latest 12-inch singles was the highlight of the week. Enjoy that feeling again with floor-to-ceiling records, new and pre-owned, with staff who know their stuff.
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