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The Leeds small businesses we love – support local!

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Amy

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Photo by Benjamin Elliott on Unsplash.

Support local – now and always

As a small Leeds digital marketing agency helping Northern owner-managed businesses, it’s no surprise we love to support local. Leeds is a wonderful city. It’s full of hard working and enthusiastic people determined to make Leeds the best place to live and work in the country (sorry about it, London).

Independent and owner-managed businesses are essential to Yorkshire’s economy. We see this firsthand working with Yorkshire manufacturers and B2B businesses. Small and medium sized employers contribute to the fabric of this city in so many ways.

To celebrate this, and to brace ourselves for Lockdown 2, we wanted to shout about our best loved Leeds small businesses. We might not be able to visit them, but we can support them by shopping online, leaving reviews, recommending, donating, and engaging with them on social media.

Leeds-canal-tower-works

Photo of Leeds Canal and Tower Works near our office by Ross Stringer on Unsplash.

Here’s the team running down 5 of their top Yorkshire businesses

(It was so hard to choose!)

Ben

Ben

Having moved to Leeds a few years ago I have made it my mission to try as many new places as possible, something easily done when there’s new businesses opening every month!

 

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The best coffee and breakfast in Leeds can be found at Laynes Espresso. The only issue is you do get jealous of everyone else’s food no matter what you order because it all looks so damn good! The good news is they’re on Deliveroo.

Colours May Vary has excellent artwork, prints, and cards – a lot by local artists. It’s lovely for a weekend browse or buying gifts.

Village bookshop & gallery has an amazing selection of niche magazines and books. As well as a gallery space upstairs and good coffee, it’s a great little spot. They have an online shop too!

 

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Brownhill & co/ Little Leeds Beerhouse is a beautiful, simple bar with a huge selection of bottles and cans as well as a daily changing draught selection. Drink in or take out, if you like your beer, this place is the one.

For pints and a brilliant roast, I’d always go to The Turk’s Head. It’s an intimate and beautiful space with a cosy courtyard right off the beaten track (Briggate).

 

Amy

Amy

Flavour Like Fancy is a gorgeous gift shop in Meanwood. I used to work in Meanwood and seeing it become a hub of local independents has been amazing. I’m doing all my Christmas shopping local this year so I will be hitting up Flavour Like Fancy’s online shop for sure.

Living in Burley, The Cardigan Arms and Kirkstall Bridge Inn are two of my locals. I love nothing more than a sunny afternoon sat in The Bridge patting the many beer garden dogs!

 

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A visit to Sunny Bank Mills is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. There are regular exhibitions plus the shop and café to enjoy. It’s such a shame their Christmas market can’t go ahead but they have an online shop with collection and delivery.

Seagulls Paint on Kirkstall Road mix old paint and colour match it for you. I’ve been decorating my house for the past year or so and being able to get cheap, reused paint is so handy. They sell all the bits you need like brushes and rollers too.

Every time my friends get together for dinner, we always eat in or take out Senbon Sakura sushi. The rainbow roll and salmon sashimi are always on the order.

 

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Sean

Sean

I’ve been shopping at Zero Muda in Horsforth. It’s a no plastic packaging shop with a bring your own container policy. They stock lots of local indie brand and put profits back into community projects.

Woodrup Cycles is a family business that’s been going over 60 years. They create custom bike frames which they send all around the world and get involved in local cycle clubs.

 

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Chirpy is a cool little gift shop in Chapel Allerton. They sell loads of locally made stuff and use the space upstairs for local artist exhibitions and workshops.

Leeds has some amazing coffee roasters. Maude and Northstar roast delicious beans and you can subscribe to have coffee delivered, either ground or whole bean. A small consolation while working from home and missing coffee shops.

 

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Trattoria il Forno is mine and my partner Emma’s favourite restaurant in Horsforth. It’s family run, super small and cosy, and has an open kitchen with a big pizza oven ❤

 

Aymeelee

Aymeelee

My picks are a bit different as I live in Halifax with my husband and commute to Leeds (in normal times). I do enjoy a drink or bite to eat with the team in Leeds, but Halifax has my heart!

 

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Our favourite restaurant is Gimbals. It’s quirky and intimate and the menu is locally sourced and changes with the seasons. The dishes are always super interesting, which makes it so hard to choose, and they do great cocktails.

HDUK (Happy dog house UK) is run by Philippa, who is an absolute gem. They put on fantastic training and fun sessions for dogs and their owners. Philippa does so much for dogs and owners across Yorkshire, and devotes her own time helping at Linbee dogs’ home.

Our pick for a drink is GRAYSTON UNITY. It’s a cosy bar run by proper Halifax folk, set in a gorgeous building dating back to 1860! I love that they mainly use local suppliers and Northern breweries. The pork pies are to die for! They also put on a great mix of events, including live music, talks, poetry readings, and quizzes.

One of the oldest cinemas in the Country (built in 1912) is The Rex Elland in Halifax. It’s super cheap with extremely comfy seats. They keep the old traditions alive with an interval for ice-cream, and someone playing the piano, it’s too cute. They put on a lot of new films, but also a great selection of old favorites.

The local Mongolian restaurant, Temujin, is our go to takeaway. They support local events and initiatives such as the Winter Light Festival in Sowerby Bridge, which is great!

 

Ian

Ian

When it comes to eating and drinking, I’d have to say the Reliance. Since the first day it opened, the service, vibe and quality of food has been consistent no matter what. I love the open kitchen, which they were early pioneers of in Leeds.

 

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Roland’s bar has an intimate feel and great drinks selection (I judge a place by its gin selection). Good background tunes and lovely staff make it a great place to spend an evening.

Living in Chapel Allerton, Crust & Crumb is a regular spot for me. The homemade sausage and leek rolls are heaven, and the Sunshine Stack is perfect for when you want a healthy breakfast. The staff are always nice.

Another great spot in Chapel Allerton is Neil Smith Quality Butchers. They always ask: ‘what are you doing with it?’ for particular cuts, and often recommend something different. Their suggestions are always spot on (and not necessarily more expensive!). The butchers has been there forever – a Chapel Allerton institution!

 

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The cheese shop George and Joseph in Chapel Allerton has to get a mention – it’s incredible. The owners are knowledgeable, friendly and there’s a huge selection.

And that’s that!

We must confess that writing this was a mix of emotions. Sad, proud, and nostalgic.

The next few months are going to be tough but supporting local Leeds businesses is how we keep going as a community. When lockdown’s over, Leeds will be back to the city we know and love! And we’ll be straight back to our best loved spots soaking up the food, booze, and atmosphere.

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