We’ve been encouraged to #shoplocal a lot this year, and amid another lockdown, it’s important to continue showing the love to independent companies. Below is a list of some of our favourite small businesses in Manchester. They are all still trading in some way throughout the lockdown and most of them have a physical store or restaurant you can visit when things open up again.
We’re delving right in with a foodie favourite. Nothern Soul brings customers some of the best grilled cheese dishes in the region, but we’re talking more than cheese on toast. Northern Soul offers recipes with slow cooked pulled pork, caramelised onion chutney and bourbon glazed bacon lardons. Not to mention the fact that their milkshakes are well and truly Instagram-worthy.
Like the sound of it? If you’re Manchester based, you can collect from Northern Soul or order via Deliveroo. If you’re too far away, get yourself a GIY (Grill it Yourself) kit and whip up the best cheese toastie you’ve ever made.
Our Kid is a laid-back, stylish independent shop especially for children and stocks clothing, toys and gifts. Located in Chorlton, the shop also has a lovely café complete with an AstroTurf lawn that is especially popular with families. The venue is also available to hire out when things go back to normal, perfect workshops, events and meetings.
During lockdown, Our Kid continues to trade online. You can order to click and collect or opt for delivery if you’re too far away. The business is also providing sustainable deliveries by cycling to nearby addresses every Wednesday – a great way to save on their carbon footprint!
Paramount Books has been around since 1965, with a shop in the city centre. It might not look like much from the outside, but don’t judge a book by its cover (pardon the pun). Paramount Books is a hidden gem and is popular amongst those who know about it. The bookstore is full of nostalgic pre-owned books and comics that will keep you browsing for hours.
Thankfully, Paramount Books have a website where you can explore the range they currently have. Or, for something different, pick the “surprise” option - you will be directed to a randomly chosen book that you may or may not want to buy. This could be a fun gift for a booklover. Things are a little old school on the website, so to order you must call the shop, and they will arrange payment and delivery.
Elnecot is an award-winning neighbourhood bar and restaurants based in Ancoats, close to The Northern Quarter. Renowned for its Sunday roast and weekly changing set menu, you’ll be happy to know that you can indulge in great quality food during lockdown without lifting a finger.
Elnecot are serving fabulous roast dinners available for collection! Enjoy beef, pork, chicken, lamb or nut roast and have a glorious Sunday at home. However, their food is good and slots are limited, so make sure you book in advance.
Created by – believe it or not – seven brothers, this craft beer and brewery company originated in Salford, and they now have a few bars around Salford and Manchester. Their love of beer was passed down from their dad, who used to brew it in their cellar.
In normal times you can visit the Seven Bro7hers brewery and tap house in Salford, as well as multiple bars around Manchester where you’ll find yummy food and good vibes. For now, you can buy unique beer, gin, merchandise and gift hampers online to show your support.
For beautiful accessories, jewellery and home pieces inspired by Scandinavian design, Nordic Muse is the place to go. Updating your home décor and expanding your wardrobe is a great way to get through lockdown, and thankfully you don’t have to visit Nordic Muse’s store to do so.
Treat yourself and explore their well-being hub for exclusive candles, hand-cream, soaps and organic face masks (a necessity in 2020!). Their range has loads of great gifting items, from pens to plant-pots, and can all be delivered straight to your door.
Actor turned illustrator, Christopher Walster, was born in Aberdeen, but now calls the city of Manchester his home. Christopher specialises in black and white illustrations, including skylines, landmarks, slogans and cartoons.
You can browse his work online and purchase from Etsy, and he also takes commissions if you have something special in mind that he hasn’t covered before. Exploring Christopher’s work is a must if you’re on the hunt for a gift or looking to update a room in your house.
In need of a Mexican fix during lockdown? We feel you. The good news is, if you’re Manchester-based, Panchos Buritto are still trading and you can grab as many nachos or tacos as you want. Owner Enrique Martinez Hernandez and his wife Colette sell their authentic Mexican recipes on the Arndale Market.
They’re open for takeaway and delivery with a menu that caters for everyone – even offering vegan chilli and fajitas as well as halal chicken, lamb and beef.
One for all you music lovers out there, Wilderness Records is the place if you are looking for new releases and old school tunes in record form. From folk to soul, reggae to rock, you can’t go to a gig, so why not have one at home? Pre-COVID, Wilderness Records was a place to enjoy live music and hangout with friends with the option of indulging on a locally baked cake, coffee or craft beer.
Thankfully, they have an online shop where you can browse to your heart’s content. If you’re local to Withington (around 30-minutes from Manchester city centre), you can pick up free from store, or staff will provide a free local courier service on Mondays. If you’re further away, you can still benefit from nationwide postage options.
Tipples of Manchester
Committed to quality and obsessed with unique spirits, Tipples of Manchester is an independent boutique that stocks all your favourite beverages (and some weird and wonderful ones, too).
From gin to American whisky and tequila to limited edition liquors, Tipples ship to England, Wales and mainland Scotland. Order a delivery and turn your kitchen into a cocktail bar this lockdown, enjoying some tasty recipes with online tutorials from Tipples’ staff. Then, once things are back to normal, book some face-to-face fun in Around the World in 80 Gins – a masterclass taken by Manchester’s most knowledgeable gin connoisseurs.
The Spärrows is a continental café based near Manchester Victoria station. The café specialises in hand made dumplings and European pasta. Anyone who’s been to Germany or Austria will have heard of Spätzle – a delicious egg pasta extremely popular in the area. The great news is that you don’t have to go far to get some - The Spärrows is offering collection and takeaway and are always on hand to help you with your carb craving.
Whilst you’re at it, why not sample some Japanese sake? This alcoholic beverage is slightly different to what we’re used to and The Spärrows stock many variations.
It isn’t the right time to travel for now, but we encourage you to shop online from these small businesses in Manchester to support those that may need it during these tough times.
Learn more about how you can stay safe on public transport if you need to use it, or explore new places in our Virtual Tour of Britain from the comfort of your own home.