Like so many people this year, I’ve been making a real effort to buy from small or independent businesses rather than lining Jeff Bezos’ pockets even further.
I do admit there is the odd thing I’ve struggled to source outside Amazon, but where I could I’ve tried hard to support businesses directly.
The wonderful upshot of this is that I’ve discovered some amazing places, so I thought I’d share a selection of the online shops I love and use. They’re all UK-based, but some of the shops do ship internationally.
Temprd – Maldon
Temprd is a brand new family-run chocolate company based in Essex. They launched in the late part of 2020, and I’m already addicted. They sell some really interesting flavours such as Honeycomb & Popping Candy, and Peanut Butter & Pistachio – but their plain bars are heavenly as well.
Hill St – Saffron Walden
A friend of mine who lives nearby sent my family some chocolates from Hill St for Easter, and they were scrumptious. Not cheap, but worth the extravagence for a special occassion.
TwoDay coffee – Bristol
I’ve used TwoDay Coffee for a while, but I only discovered recently that they have an online shop and a subscription service. They sell coffee – good coffee – and grind it (or don’t grind it) to your preference.
Pact coffee – online subscription
Having decent coffee available in the house has become a must for me this year, and when I got an Aeropress for my birthday I thought it was worthwhile signing up to Pact. Good coffee delivered whenever you want it.
I love gin – Online subscription
I was given a subscription as a present this year, and it was so fun to get a couple of different (miniature) gins to try out every month. Great if you’re new to exploring the world of gin, which I certainly was!
Craft gin club – online subscription
When lockdown 2 hit, I decided to treat myself to one of these subscriptions for a couple of months. Rather than minatures, you get a single large bottle of small-batch gin and a whole bunch of mixers and extras to make various different G&Ts and cocktails. The Pienaar & Son Orient gin from South Africa they sell is also the best gin I have ever tasted.
Paper Therapy – Online
My favourite place for stationery these days, Paper Therapy sells Kaweko pens, Stalogy and Nuuna notebooks, washi tape, clips and planner inserts.
Toppings – various stores
There’s a Toppings store in Bath which is how I fell in love with this small chain. They sell books online, but also run events. You get the feel they reeeeally care for their books.
Blackwells – various stores
On the odd occasion I go to Oxford, I always end up in the Blackwells store. It’s delicious. I’ve been really impressed with their online service too, as prices are competitive and delivery is free.
Teahouse Emporium – bath
I like near Bath and am a regular customer here. I love their Darjeeling. As well as tea, they also sell coffee and some of the best hot chocolate I’ve come across.
the Tea makers of london – online
My go-to online tea shop when I need something a little special for a present, their loose leaf teas are seriously good.
Face Theory – online
One of my 2020 discoveries, Face Theory make vegan, natural and cruelty-free skincare, and they now cover most of my morning skincare routine.
Neals yard – everywhere
Ok, chances are you know exactly who Neal’s yard are, but if you’re into luxurious bubble baths like I am you have to try their bath foams. They’re a staple on my present lists.
Harkel – online
Their clothes can be a little synthetic, but it was a joy to discover a company that makes bright, colourful clothing.
Sous Chef – online
I love to visit world food stores in person, but as it wasn’t possible for a while I was glad to hear about this online shop. Not the cheapest, but they sell a great range of ingredients.
Wai Yee Hong – Bristol
This is my favourite Chinese supermarket in my area, and I was overjoyed to discover they run an online store too. It doesn’t have their full range, but perfect if you need to stock up on your soy sauce regularly like me!