Local business recommendations

Support your neighbourhood small business

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Local business recommendations

At the time of writing, we’re in the middle of the coronavirus lockdown, with only those businesses deemed essential still open.

But not long ago, we were writing about the work Matt Blease did in collaboration with one of his favourite small businesses, Old Street indie bike shop SBC Cycles. And not long before that, he’d also done some work for his local barber shop in Kingston.

We’re very conscious that small businesses could do with every bit of help they can get. In that spirit, we decided to ask our artists (and we at Breed have included some in addition) to recommend the little places that they rely on locally or enjoy visiting further afield, from cafes to shops to local galleries. Then, if any of us reading this happen to find ourselves in the vicinity, we can pop along (or provide online support if we’re not in the vicinity) and provide a little boost to their custom.

Here are their recommendations:

Anna Bu Kliewer

The Grand Howl

Small coffee roaster and vegan café.

214 Well Street, E19 6QT — Instagram

Tome Records

234 Graham Road, E8 1BP — Instagram

Burley Fisher Books

Kingsland Road, E8 4AA — Instagram

Matt Blease

SBC Cycles

A mechanic run, real deal, one-stop bike shop. 

41 Cropley Street, Hoxton, N1 7HT — Instagram

Ismail’s Barber Shop

Close cuts and real talk. 

27-29 Richmond Road, KT2 5BW — Instagram

Frith Street Tattoo

It may have been a little while since my last visit, but when life goes back to normal I’ll be dropping in. 

18 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4RQ — Instagram

Craig Redman

Sweatshop Coffee

232 Metropolitan Avenue, New York 11211 — Instagram

Birds of a Feather

191 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 — Instagram

Sprout Home Brooklyn

44 & 59 Geand Street, NY 11249 — Instagram

Karl Maier

Lanark Coffee

262 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ — Instagram

Momosan Shop

79a Wilton Way, E8 1BG — Instagram

Ombra bar and restaurant

1 Vyner Street, E2 9DG — Instagram

Steven Wilson

Joe’s Café

Joe’s Café is at the end of my street and is absolutely brilliant. The food is excellent, it uses ingredients from local producers around the South Downs and it’s also a real hub for our local community. It has had to shut down during this period so to see it not survive would be a massive shame. It’s usually really busy, so I know it will be well supported when it reopens. I miss my weekly ritual of taking the kids there on a Saturday morning after football.

24 Upper Hamilton Road, Brighton BN1 5DF — Instagram

Duke of York’s Picturehouse

My second nomination is The Duke of York’s cinema. It’s about half a mile from my house and is considered to be the UK’s oldest continuous use cinema, having opened in 1910. They select great films but I’ve also seen Q&As here by the likes of Gruff Rhys. They have a great little bar at the top, with a roof terrace, and you can have a glass of wine in your seat while watching. Definitely worth a visit.

Preston Road, Brighton BN1 4NA — Instagram

Jasmine Grocers

My third nomination is Jasmine Grocers and health food shop. It’s a shop local to my house and has been a real saviour since the lockdown. It used to seem pretty quiet prior to all this happening, with most people opting for the local Co-op or using the large supermarkets. Everyone in my local area is making a real effort to try and shop local now and support the smaller local shops and businesses. It’s a much nicer experience than waiting for ages to get into the supermarkets and the produce seems generally better too, so hopefully once this is all over everyone will continue that support.  

133 Dyke Road, Brighton

Phillippa Mills

Amy’s Flowers

I did an illustration of Amy’s Flowers, a beautiful small florist in Chagford who won a gold award at Chelsea Flower Show last year. Lovely people who let me pick out my own bouquet arrangements and even help find winter stabling for your horses. One of my favourite local businesses.

10 High Street, Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8AJ — Instagram

Natasha Law

VISION hairdressers

I’ve been following the owner/main guy AB devotedly (not stalking) for 20 years through all the changes of location – started in Curtain Road, then spent a decade in Drays Walk before finally moving to Stoke Newington/Dalston area where it’s now a small 2-3 person operation, where anyone who has ever had their hair cut or coloured by AB knows there is no one better. He has experimented tirelessly on my annoyingly dense hair – taking into account each time how adventurous or tame I’m feeling. I’d also just had my hair cut by him and was in US and had to get styled for some stupid thing and the person doing the hair bit made a point of asking who’d cut my hair because as she was drying it she was so impressed by his ‘cutting’? Anyway, obviously a hairdresser’s hairdresser! He’s also lovely and will chat or be totally quiet – or maybe that’s just me!

80 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PA — Instagram

Peckham Bazaar

There are so many brilliant places to eat in Peckham that I was in a bit of dilemma just picking out one – Levan, Artusi, Miss Tapas are all places we go regularly to eat. Peckham Bazaar though is one I love particularly – and have gone to throughout its evolution from outdoor bbq into the very busy, popular local restaurant it now is. Mediterranean and Balkan-influenced food with a big charcoal grill going for the lamb etc at one end of the room, it’s got some of the best mezze I’ve ever had – I would happily marry the courgette fritters.

119 Consort Road, SE15 5RU — Instagram

Dulwich DIY

Prides itself on stocking EVERYTHING you could ever want or need (DIY-related that is) and it really feels like it when you’re in there. A long, narrow shop with a maze of towering shelves –I go in there to get my paint mixed and buy my brushes and usually come out with a load of other things (pizza cutters, plastic rubble buckets) I hadn’t meant to buy at all. Owned and staffed by a bunch of guys who are so nice and friendly.

30 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HJ


Well, I resisted this place at first – we had the amazing Payless (aka the Village Grocer) already, with all its veg and groceries and the General Store seemed like a sign of the new boutique hipster times. But it was ultimately too lovely to resist! Stocks the best cheese, THE best eggs I have ever eaten, local and organic seasonal fruit and vegetables, fantastic pastas, coffees, cereals, la grotta ice cream and many other things from around the world. It’s the only place where I buy my wine (and they remember what I like and point out things I could try – shows how often I go in there to buy wine!) and more times a week than I like to admit I head in there for some of their home-made shortbread or Eccles cake and a very nice coffee. It’s so clear that good food/wine etc is a passion for the people who run it and they are happy and able to talk about where things have been sourced and who the suppliers are. And the music playing in there is always fantastic. 

174 Bellenden Rd, SE15 4BW — Instagram

Andy Gilmore

Voula’s Greek Sweets

439 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607 — Instagram

Ugly Duck Coffee

89 Charlotte Street, Rochester, NY 14607  — Instagram

The Bop Shop

1460 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 — Instagram

And from us at Breed…

Tine Toftdahl Nielsen (Marketing Exc)

Ray Stitch

My local haberdashery (I luckily managed to stock up on sewing thread before the lockdown).

66-68 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LR — Instagram

Past Caring

Retro shop with unique furniture, glassware, ceramics and clothing.

54 Essex Road, Islington — Instagram

Cafe Oto

Spacious cafe where you are sure to see all the local faces. They’ve also got an array of beautiful succulents.

18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston, E8 3DL — Instagram

Olivia Triggs (Director)

The Fox Inn

Local pub. Closed at this time, but doing a great job for the village community and offering boxes of supplies for the villagers

Broadwell, Gloucestershire, GL56 0UF — Instagram

The Fox at Oddington

Favourite pub that takes about an hour to walk to. Again, closed at this time. The day everything shut down, we saw the manager Thomas outside and he gave two of their legendary cheese soufflés so we could make and heat it up at home that evening.

Gloucestershire, GL56 0UR — Instagram

Fettle and Flow

A new yoga studio that just started up in Stow. It only opened recently but had a lot of love and support, so I hope it continues to thrive once its doors open again.

7 Talbot Court, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BQ — Instagram

Plus next door, you’ll find Coach House Coffee

1 Talbot Court Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BQ — Instagram

Glenn Law (Breed’s brilliant copywriter)


Owner Phil personally chooses the eclectic selection of menswear sold here, and offers genuinely helpful advice on what might interest you. During the current shenanigans he’s been personally delivering online orders on his bike around London.

276 Portobello Road, W10 5TE — Instagram


If you’ve a taste for the esoteric, you’ll find all your reading needs catered for here, presided over by the nicest witch this side of Glinda.

33 Store Street, WC1E 7BS — Instagram

Urban Botanica

One of a batch of local coffee places to have opened in recent years, though this is the best one to disappear inside with a book, and the only one that also sells house plants.

14 Windmill Row, Kennington — Instagram

Sounds that Swing

Possibly the best surviving record store in London, though that might also be Sounds of the Universe, All Ages, Sister Ray, Honest Jon’s or World of Echo.

88 Parkway, Camden Town, NW1 7AN — Instagram

Image: Steven Wilson