With the country now well into its second lockdown of the year, an online directory celebrating independents throughout Leeds has been launched. From the people behind Leeds Indie Food, ‘Support your local Indie’ is a virtual directory where people can search for local businesses to support.
The popular Leeds Indie Food Directory, which launched in March to support businesses in the first lockdown, is back but now with an even bigger message – ensuring the survival of independents post-pandemic. Split out by suburb and featuring sub-categories, it’s now easier than ever for people to find everything they need; from indie cafes through to fresh produce and sustainable homewares, the ever-growing directory points to all the things that can be bought within a stone’s throw of your front door.
The new website has been kindly funded by Chapter 81 and designed and built by Hungry Sandwich Club, with further support from the Brudenell Social Club, Playful Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club and Duke Studios. The hope is that the site can develop into a city-owned space and the information hosted on it adapting and evolving, showcasing all that Leeds has to offer.
The directory and hampers will support the ‘Buy Leeds’ organic campaign, launched today (Friday 13th November) at 10am, encouraging people to shop locally, where possible, in the run up to Christmas and beyond. It will challenge the way people think about their shopping habits, supporting the message that keeping money within the city’s economy is vital to saving jobs and businesses across the independent sector. Organisations and businesses should utilise the hashtag #BUYLEEDS to flood social media and get people talking. There will also be takeover days and ways for the community to come together with one voice – that of Leeds and its independents.
Alongside the directory, Leeds Indie Food has launched a bumper shop of products from local indies. With Christmas just around the corner, they are stocking three different Christmas hampers full of locally sourced goods. One is tailored towards coffee lovers, one towards foodies and the other for those who enjoy Leeds’ great brewery scene.
The hampers will each showcase items from Leeds, such as coffee from incredible local roasters Chipps, Shiloh, Echelon, North Star Coffee Roasters and Maude; hand-crafted produce from Porterhouse Cake Co, spice mixes from Spice & Green, Marmalade by Mama Bear, Chocolate from Lauden and more; beer and glassware from Northern Monk, as well as key brews from North brewing Co, PigLove and Kirkstall Brewery. The online shop will be a place to shine a light on new producers like Big Guys Thicc Sauce and Little Yellow Rice Co.
The hampers are available to pre-order until 4th December and will be delivered by 11th December, courtesy of Awesome Distro, making them the perfect feel-good Christmas gift.
A brand new gift card service operated by Open can be purchased via the website to use at a favourite café, restaurant or shop, continuing the cashless culture that has been adopted of late. Open is working towards signing up as many indies as possible, making it a gift card for all participating indies.
Speaking about the project, Simon Fogal of Chapter 81, said: “After creating a mini directory in the first lockdown and helping signpost people to small businesses, we decided to create something a bit more useful and user friendly that opens the net wider, and ensures a longer shelf life. Christmas is normally a very good trading period for small businesses, so this year, in particular, we need to be sending as much trade their way.
“The new directory is free for indie businesses to sign up to and aims to help get them noticed and, more importantly, people shopping with them. We saw how these businesses adapted to the lockdown restrictions and spotted an opportunity to really showcase them via our newly launched shop. We have included makers and producers in the directory to enhance the offering and because there is some great emerging talent that deserves to be recognised. Our hampers are a limited edition trial, but we hope to roll them out more frequently as we move into 2021.”
Councillor Jessica Lennox, Support Executive Member for Labour, said: “Leeds has an incredible reputation as a foodie city and one that supports the independents coming onto the scene. The directory is a wonderful way to bring small businesses together, in one place, so that those looking for something a little different can find exactly what they need. The economy needs support now more than ever. This means that those who are able should look to utilise the incredible indies that we have within our city and really drive home the message to shop local.”
Jack Simpson, Hyde Park Book Club, said: “Leeds has an amazing community of businesses, community-minded folk, creatives, with people from across the public and private sector. #BuyLeeds is an attempt to help focus our attention on how we can support each other in the run up to Christmas.
“When people spend locally, businesses and staff invest locally and your spending goes further, and helps to support the city in which you live. You can help preserve jobs in Leeds.”