6 Reasons You Should Explore Nottinghamshire Shopping On Small Business Saturday

debbie bryan exterior

Have you ever bought something from an independent trader and experienced a small buzz of happiness? The knowledge that you are supporting someone’s business and the local economy while you shop can be a gratifying feeling, but there are many more reasons why shopping at small businesses is a great experience when compared to buying at big brand chain shops.


Saturday 2nd December sees Small Business Saturday take over the UK, and our independents are given the stage to shout a little louder than usual. Now in its fifth year, the campaign encourages small businesses to get involved, and for the public to put their money back into the hands of regular people.

We’ve got some cracking independent businesses in Nottingham; from shops, cafes and bars, to more unusual trades like tour guides and storytellers. This list touches on some of the reasons you should pay them a visit more often…

For more ideas, please check out our Nottinghamshire Shopping page, or take a look at the Guidigo Nottingham Independent Shopping Trail which takes you around the city’s most interesting shopping areas!

Alluring Atmosphere

When exploring a new city, there’s nothing better than finding that one area in which you can really see the personality of the city shine.


In Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, which covers the cinematic red brick factories of the Lace Market and bohemian area of Hockley, there are secret bars and street art, indie cinemas and bookshops. With festivals like Pride and Hockley Hustle held in the area throughout the summer and cafes and bars spilling into the street, if you wander through on a sunny day you’re sure to linger a while longer.

Elsewhere, picturesque towns such as Southwell and Newark have a plethora of independent shops and cafes to explore, making them great for a day of hunting for antiques, gifts and tasty food.

Specialisation & Personalisation

Most small businesses are created by someone with a love for a specialist subject and will  source niche items that you might not get in a big brand store. They are often more than happy to pass on their knowledge so you can find just what you need.

lee rosys

Not only does Lee Rosy’s Tea in Hockley serve lovely, healthy light lunches, luxurious cake and coffee by the bowl full, but they also stock over 100 loose leaf teas to try. Green Tea Blue Sky is a favourite, while the Chocolate Truffle is a delicious smoky black tea to indulge in.

The Bead Shop is another of Nottingham’s great specialist shops, and a mecca for jewellery makers to find Swarovski Crystals, semi-precious stones, findings, tools and all sorts of useful bits and pieces to make gorgeous, personalised handmade jewellery. Having been operating for the past 15 years, they know their stuff too, and you can join their workshops and craft groups, or get advice in store if you are a budding crafter.

Quirky Finds

Sometimes you don’t know what you are looking for until you’ve found it, and that’s the beauty of many independent businesses.

worm that turned

At shops like The Worm That Turned on Derby Road you can kit out your garden and home with all kinds of lovely, useful things and gorgeous decorative accessories, while Hung Up, a few doors down the road, has awesome contemporary art prints to bring colour and personality to your home.

If you want to pick up an unique local souvenir, then Dukki Designs is worth a visit. Dashings of yesteryear and sprinklings of local dialect decorate the gifts, homewares, cards and accessories they sell, which are sure to cause amusement, nostalgia, or mild confusion, depending on where you hail from.

Wealth of Knowledge

Small businesses don’t just come in brick and mortar buildings!

tour guide

This one is a shout out to Nottingham’s excellent tour guides, whose knowledge of the city – its history, its quirks, its best hidden gems – shed light on how Nottingham has grown into the place we see today. Whether you are a local or a visitor, its fascinating to hear the story of a city, and Nottingham’s is a riotous tale (quite literally at times!).

Each with their own take on the classic city tour, they will happily point you in the direction of what to do next, whether it be a great place to eat or drink, or somewhere you haven’t yet explored. A range of tours which operate regularly throughout the weekend or by booking, so have a browse and let them take you on a trip through time.

Community Spirit

Many independent businesses support the local community themselves, either working in collaboration together or celebrating their community.

creative collage

In gallery shops like Debbie Bryan, Focus Gallery, and Strelley Hall’s Created By Hand, regional artists present their wares, meaning the stock is ethical, unique, and made with love. Many offer classes so you can make gorgeous items yourself, and Debbie Bryan is a great place for preserving Nottingham’s history of lace manufacture in the Lace Market.

Sobar is Nottingham’s first alcohol-free venue which offers both the friendly, lively atmosphere of a bar and high standard food. Developed by Double Impact, a local based drug and alcohol recovery charity, Sobar supports the local arts and presents a varied programme of great events, along with providing recovery support in the local community.

Local Produce

Venture into the countryside and you’ll find Nottinghamshire has a wealth of farm shops supplying deliciously fresh, locally sourced food, often grown on neighbouring farms or whipped up on site.

local produce

Many shops like Harker’s Farm Shop, Torworth Grange Farm Shop & Lakes, Welbeck Farm Shop and Thaymar Dairy, have other attractions on site also, so you can meet animals, relax by the lakes, visit a gallery or enjoy a delicious tea while you’re there.

In the city centre, eateries like Homemade Café pride themselves of hearty food made from locally sourced ingredients and award-winning deli Delilah will excite anyone with a penchant for making magic in the kitchen.


Small Business Saturday takes place on December 2nd 2017. We hope you’ll explore Nottingham, discover some of the city’s unique small businesses, and have a great Saturday!

Posted on 15 November 2017
Featured author: Sophie

Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

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    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

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    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

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