Birmingham is known as a city which supports independent businesses.
From quirky cafés to real ale pubs and a host of food, gift and fashion retailers, there is something for everyone in its varied and vibrant districts.
This weekend is Independents’ Day – a campaign that supports and promotes independent retail businesses across the UK.
BusinessLive publisher Reach plc is supporting this initiative and the nation’s independent businesses by providing advertising discounts as part of our ongoing #BackForGood campaign which was launched in March.
These include 25 per cent off online advertising, 2-for-1 on print adverts and offers for Facebook and content marketing – click through here to find out more.
To mark Independents’ Day this weekend, BusinessLive’s West Midlands team has highlighted five independent retailers in Birmingham which are definitely worth a look.
Fashion retailer Liquor Store is housed in the revamped Grand Hotel building in Colmore Row – complete with its own speakeasy bar hidden in the basement – which it moved to from the nearby Great Western Arcade in 2017.
Founded in 2012 by Phil Hazel, who spent 11 years working for brands such as Lee Jeans and Wrangler, it is known for its denims, jackets and boots and the move four years ago enabled the shop to double in size.
It also stocks a special leather collection called Barnes and Moore which is handmade in Rubery near Birmingham along with accessories such as stationery, luggage and skincare.
Loki Wine was launched in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade in 2012 by Phil Innes and has gone on to open two more venues – in Edgbaston in 2018 and in Knowle just a few weeks ago.
Alongside its range of wines, the company runs regular tasting sessions and during the pandemic launched an online retail service and virtual tastings delivered by wine experts from across the globe.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the online side of the business contributed to one per cent of its annual turnover but this was expected to grow to 40 per cent as a result of trying these new avenues.
Miss Macaroon is a food manufacturer and retailer which was launched by Rosie Ginday in 2011 with a £500 grant in kitchen space at University College Birmingham.
The company opened its own prosecco and macaroon bar in 2016 in the Great Western Arcade and counts celebrity chef James Martin and TV presenter Jeremy Vine among its fans.
Rosie trained under Purnell’s owner Glynn Purnell and launched the company with the aim of helping young people into work.
It now runs a ten-week training and work experience programme called Macaroons that make a Difference.
Roots Market was opened in the Jewellery Quarter last year by chef and entrepreneur Andrew Goldsby.
He ran his own restaurant in France for 15 years before returning to his native Birmingham in 2017 and has brought his experience from his time there to the new store, housed in a former furniture showroom in Warstone Lane.
Roots Market sells locally sourced, seasonal and organic food, ready-prepared meals and cook-at-home recipe boxes made on site, a range of natural vitamins and supplements and grooming products.
Customers can also buy store cupboard items from around 70 dispensers akin to a pick ‘n’ mix stand aimed at cutting plastic waste.
Swordfish Records was founded in 1979 by Gareth Owen and Mike Caddick as Rockers in Hurst Street and remains a firm favourite among Birmingham’s music lovers today.
It buys and sells new and used vinyl records and CDs from its base in Dalton Street which it has occupied since relocating there from Temple Street in 2013.
Over the years, it has welcomed in-store appearances from artists such as Henry Rollins, Billy Bragg and The Wonder Stuff and counts Dave Grohl, Robert Plant and Jamie Cullum among those who have brought their custom there.