In celebration of Independent Retailer Month this year, we wanted to share the small business love and highlight some of our favourite independent retailers here in our home of sunny Margate! If you want to find out more about Independent Retailer Month, you can read our previous blog post here. We believe supporting local, independent businesses is vital for creating a caring, creative community. Here in Margate we are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to indie shopping, we often spend our days strolling through the old town, admiring all the treasures to be found and the endless creativity of our local community. So, in celebration, here are just a few of our favourite independent businesses!
Not only does this colourful little shop have one of the most Instagram-able shop fronts you will ever see, it is also packed with a carefully curated selection of bright and cheerful goods sure to put a smile on anyone's face. Shop owner and human ray of sunshine Polly opened the shop in 2017 after making the move to Margate from London. Everything stocked in the shop is made by independent makers, mostly from within the UK, or is made in house! Polly's motto is; "If it doesn’t make me smile,it’s not allowed in the shop." For now, the physical doors to the shop remained closed, however you can shop Little Bit online and they are currently running a 'mobile mooching' series on their Instagram so you can browse their colourful shelves from the comfort of your own home. Our top picks from Little Bit are their range of colourful cards featuring their Little Bit characters (we particularly love the Little Bit Silly birthday card) and their Hello Flag which makes for great wall decor.
Peony Vintage is a real stand-out store in Margate's Old Town, not only for it's beautiful pink shop front but also for their beautifully curated collection of vintage clothing. Located just around the corner from our shop, we often find ourselves gazing in at the dreamy dresses and fabulous accessories inside! Peony Vintage handpick each and every item in store, ensuring each garment is of the highest quality. Alongside their incredible selection of vintage clothing, they also offer a selection of vintage-inspired jewellery and skincare products from the sustainable, vegan brand Up Circle. For now, Peony Vintage's physical store is closed, however you can still shop from them via their website or check out their stock as part of the monthly Virtual Vintage Market.
Opened in August of 2017, The Margate Bookshop was originally launched in collaboration with the Margate Bookie literature festival as a pop-up bookshop within the Turner Contemporary art gallery. The Margate Bookshop really is a community bookshop, stocking major titles, small publications, rare editions and everything in between. The cosy shop instantly lifts your spirits, and personal recommendations are easily found. They also offer a good range of gifts, we love the colourful Kaweco Rollerball Pens. They also offer out their 'writer's room' to local creatives and writers as a space to work, grab a coffee and relax in the calm. You can shop books online if you aren't local, or visit the shop from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. We highly recommend popping in, having a browse and asking the lovely owner Francesca for some reading-list recommendations.
An incredible addition to the wonderful businesses on Hawley Street, Mahal Kita flowers have an absolutely beautiful range of fresh and dried stems that change regularly. Their name, Mahal Kita, is Filipino for 'I love you' and was chosen by shop owner Anthony to celebrate the love of his parents. You really can feel the love that is put into carefully selecting the beautiful blooms and bouquets they offer. You can see some of their blooms in action in our new photos for our Kenyan Recycled Charm Jewellery. They can also cater to weddings and other events, so if you have any special post-lockdown events coming up, definitely give them a call. For now, the shop is open Tuesday to Friday, 9am to noon and Saturday & Sunday, 10am to 3pm.
Hands up who loves cake? Now, what about delicious, homemade, all-vegan cake?! Seaside Kitchen & Cake Parlour do just that! Their entire menu is plant-based, making it vegan friendly, and they offer delicious treats including milkshakes, burgers, waffles, sundaes and of course, a huge range of incredibly tasty cakes. If you feel like treating yourself, they also offer afternoon tea and on Sundays they serve an all-you-can-eat buffet brunch (which is currently on pause due to the current covid situation.) A huge range of their delicious food is available to order online for local pick-up or delivery, or even UK wide shipping for some treats! Why not treat yourself to a vegan afternoon tea two to enjoy in the comfort of your own home? Don't worry, we've thoroughly taste-tested most of the menu and it gets our seal of approval. They are currently open Friday to Sunday for collections that have been made through their online shop, so be sure to check it out and get yourself something yummy!
We hope you enjoyed reading about some of our favourite independent businesses here in Margate! Please do continue to support your small, local, independents as we need you now more than ever. The coronavirus outbreak has had a huge impact on all of our lives, and that has undoubtedly affected the independent businesses that you love. If you want to support independent business but you're not sure how, take a look at our previous journal post for some ideas. Tell us all about your favourite independent businesses in the comments and let's share the love!