PUBLISHED: 15:30 24 March 2020
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Fortunately, many of our favourite independent shops also have online stores Picture: CATHY FROST
These are tricky and uncertain times for our local, independent businesses. We’ve been told to avoid busy public places in order to “flatten the curve”, so our town centres are now looking a lot quieter than normal. Now’s the time to (digitally) rally round and (virtually) show our support for our much-loved local boutiques, bookshops, gardening centres and homeware stores – every penny helps to keep them afloat in tough times. So, let’s keep our distance and take to online shopping – thankfully, many of our favourite local shops can facilitate home deliveries. Here’s a selection of Suffolk shops for you to support from home.
This much-loved book shop and tea emporium is a haven for all bookworms. Luckily for us, the shop has a thriving online store, which allows you to browse books by category, as well as searching for specific titles that you might be after. And, not only is the store offering free delivery on orders over £30, you can also take 10% off everything in your order with the code: StaySafe. The team is also showing tremendous goodwill by sending free books to anyone who might be self-isolating and in need of some entertainment. Visit the website and social media fe for more information: www.woodbridgeemporium.co.uk or www.facebook.com/WoodbridgeEmporium. The store is also accepting PayPal donations to help cover the costs of sending out free books. You can donate via the email address: email@example.com
Lynn Turner at Cake and Catwalk
Stylish boutique Cake Catwalk has long been a popular spot on Ipswich’s St Peter’s Street. Home to gorgeous gifts, quirky jewellery and beautiful women’s clothing, Cake Catwalk boasts a wide array of treasures that you simply won’t find on the high street. The in-store experience is really something special, but for those who are self-isolating, the shop also has a user-friendly online store, too. Whether you’re treating yourself to a little something, or are looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, browse to your heart’s content at: www.cakeandcatwalk.co.uk/online-shop. You can also contact shop owner Lynn for more information on direct deliveries, or advice with online shopping. Phone: 01473 871566 or email: firstname.lastname@example.orgZoe Woods, owner of Crafty Baba Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN
If you’re going to be spending a bit more time at home, now’s a good time to get started on some craft projects or to take on a new hobby to keep you occupied. Crafty Baba is a fabric and haberdashery shop, with a stunning array of textiles and fabrics. While the Ipswich town centre shop is closed for the time being customers can still order online and over the phone. You can find plenty of the shop’s key products on the website: www.craftybaba.co.uk, and you can also shop online on their eBay and Esty sites: www.ebay.co.uk/str/Crafty-Baba and www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CraftyBaba. Shop owner Zoe is also planning on organising some online sewing classes, to keep customers busy during this tricky period.
Hex Record Shop
With its eclectic selection of vinyl and its friendly service, Hex record shop has proved a real hit with shoppers in Woodbridge and Ipswich. If you’re after some great tunes to see you through self-isolation, look no further than Hex’s online shop – you can browse the entire inventory, and delivery is free for all those living in Woodbridge and Ipswich. Anyone living outside of these centres is encouraged to get in touch, as the team is sure they can work something out delivery-wise for you. Find your next favourite record at: www.hexrecordshop.co.uk, and keep an eye on the Facebook page for some curated Spotify playlists!
The Place for Plants
Even if we are self-isolating, it’s still a good idea to get some fresh air, and gardening is a great way to spend a bit of time outside. And, with spring just around the corner, there’s never been a better moment to give your garden some TLC. But, if your space could do with a bit of sprucing up, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at The Place for Plants. With a wide selection of English-grown plants for your garden, the team is more than happy to arrange local deliveries to your door. Deliveries are also free of charge in the immediate area around East Bergholt. Call 01206 299224 for enquires and advice.
Lady Norfolk Lord Rust
This award-winning independent cookware shop is a popular spot among shoppers from Felixstowe and beyond. Fortunately for us, Ruby Scarlet also has an extensive online shop, which boasts a wide array of gifts, kitchenware and homeware for you to browse at your leisure. Visit the website at www.rubyandscarlet.com to see the selection of products on offer.Barretts in the Thoroughfare Picture: Choose Woodbridge
Bringing a touch of Scandinavian charm to the streets of Woodbridge, Vanil is a stylish homeware shop brimming with goodies from leading Swedish brands. Think chic homeware, candles, jewellery and much more. As well as maintaining a regularly updated online store, Mandy, the owner of Vanil, is also happy to organise home deliveries at this uncertain time. Browse the online store at vanil.co.uk, or contact Mandy directly with your enquiry. Email email@example.com or telephone 07702 877081.
Lady Norfolk Lord Rust
Stillwater Books Picture: CONTRIBUTED
This quirky little vintage shop has won scores of loyal customers in Ipswich. Home to unusual vintage trinkets, reworked furniture and beautiful plants, it’s a pleasure to browse the shop, which sits on Queen Street. The shop might be closed for now, but the team are hoping to go ahead with online sales in the interim. Keep an eye on the Instagram page for more updates: www.instagram.com/ladynorfolkandlordrust_
This ever-popular, independent department store is committed to serving the community and its customers in these difficult times. Covering everything from the essentials – such as sheets, pillows and bedding – to home furnishings such as sofas, b, flooring and curtains, Barretts has everything you could need to make a few home improvements during this period of social distancing. The team can delivery locally for free, and you can place your orders either online or over the phone. Or, if you’re just after a little expert guidance on your purchase, then the team is happy to talk. Telephone 01394 384300, or visit the website: www.barretts.co.uk.
The Italian Shirt Shop Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND
Set on Felixstowe’s Hamilton Road, Stillwater Books is a hop that has clearly been crafted by a book lover. With an extraordinary range of titles, and covering everything from local history to children’s books, this bookshop is a real treasure trove for bookworms. But for now, if you’re self-isolating, you can continue to show your support for independent books by placing your orders for delivery. Books can either be posted to you, or can be delivered if you live locally. Telephone 01394 548010 for more information, or to talk through an order.
Cathy Frost, owner of LoveOne
The shops that make up the Saints Quarter in Ipswich also want to remind customers that they can always buy gift vouchers to help support local businesses in this difficult time. Just call or email and the teams behind each business can advise you.
The Italian Shirt Shop: Can organise gift vouchers for shoppers. Telephone 01473 218658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The House in Town, Maud’s Attic and Merchant House Interiors: Browse quirky homeware items and place your order on the website www.houseintown.co.uk, or call 07867 544653 for more advice and information. The team can also hand deliver locally.