We want to help connect independent businesses to the public, so we decided to hunt down some of Manchester’s most loved or underrated companies for you to visit this autumn. Here’s whom we found.
Head down to Altrincham Market on the weekends and you’ll find Jamie Savage shucking mussels from his popular stall. It’s not your typical seaside scran – expect unusual creations such as a mussel burger served with bacon, cheese and smoked slaw, popcorn mussels in deep fried batter, chilli mussel nachos and a fish finger butty. It’s all part of Jamie’s mission to modernise his favourite seafood and one day own a ‘mussels restaurant’ in the city. The former Royal Navy chef first imagined his idea when serving on board the HMS Northumberland. Back on land, he became a private chef and hosted his first mussels night at The Snowgoose in Macclesfield. The events continue to sell-out in Manchester and the Savages Mussels stall has a cult following for its experimental dishes.
English Rose Bakery
Hidden amongst the New-York inspired bars, burger joints and urban graffiti on Oldham Street lives English RoseBakery, a quaint patisserie and kitchen working to perfect the art of FrenchMacarons. Created by Emma Brown, the Chief Macaron maker first fell in love with the sweet treats after a visit to Ladurée in Zurich. After a successful stint supplying macaron tiers for weddings, department stores and events across the UK, English Rose Bakeryfound its home above the Castle Hotel. The baking team bake their classic and experimental macarons each morning (we’re keen to try the Pinacolada flavour) and are delivered each week
Form Lifestyle Store
Northern Quarter concept store, Form Lifestyle, is based in a stunning grade ii listed building on BradleyStreet. Unassuming from the outside, inside features a breathtaking atrium glass ceiling and an extravagant winding metal staircase. It’s ideal setting for Form’swell-curated collection of prints, hanging plants, skincare, notebooks and more. The store is owned by Elly and Harry who moved to Manchester from London back in 2017. Together they champion slow-living and a more conscious approach to shopping
Call it cliché, but ask any millennial and they’ll likely admit their burgeoning love affair with household plants. Contributing to a legion of new-age plant parents (with beautiful Instagram accounts) is Stockport’s Plant Shop. Based on the Old Town a short distance from the town centre, Emma Nosurak has sourced a leafy jungle of cactus, monsteras, rubber trees and much more. It was on a trip to Melbourne in 2016 that led Emma to open her plant business. An avid environmentalist, her aim is to help inspire Manchester to become greener by adding leafy adornments to businesses and homes in the city centre and beyond.
New to Oxford Road’s shipping container- turned-indie food and drink hub, Hatch, is wine bar Vin-Yard. It’s the first standalone venture from former stockbroker and wine-lover Anna Tutton. Tutton first explored her love of wine working for Reserve in West Didsbury as well as the popular Hanging Ditch. For Vin-Yard, she has crafted a well-curated and ever-changing menu, featuring vegan, organic, natural and biodynamic wines.
Helping to bolster Chorlton’s reputation for unique retailers is a finely-formed gift and interior store, Curious Fox. The Beech Road store, with its forest green frontage, gentlemanly design and wealth of refined yet contemporary gifts, is deservingly considered a Manchester treasure trove. It is owned by model-maker Stuart Hutcheon who previously owned the Beech Road Café for eight years.
Object Style’s owners, Alex and Rachael Otterwell, have a keen eye for, well… good looking objects. The super-stylish and well-travelled couple brought their chic interior and clothing store to Chorlton back in 2016. This year, they’ve sprung for a bigger unit on Beech Road to make room for more beautiful ceramics, wall art, modern clothing, handcrafted jewellery and other incredible items you’d want to showcase in your home. The brand new space also welcomes a new venture for the couple. In October, they’ll introduce ‘Object The Apartment’ a beautifully outfitted staycation home.
Neighbourhood bar NORDIE is the latest indie to join Levenshulme’s blossoming food and drink scene on Stockport Road. The bar was launched early 2019 by Oddie McClintock and partner Megan Hyland (Oddie previous ran the Pilcrow Pub and Trof NQ). The duo was keen to establish a local bar with local people in mind. “The suburbs were always a place we had our eyes on,” says McClintock, “and we loved the feel of Levenshulme as it’s only one of a few suburbs that is hugely independent.”
If you’ve ever had a serious hankering for a donut, the Northern Quarter’s Siop Shop would likely be your first port of call (other than that major donut chain we all know). Often described as a ‘pimped up Greggs’, it’s home to bakers Blawd who provide the Siop Shop with its celebrated collection of cakes, bakes and quirky donut creations (the mince pie donuts are a winner). After previously operating from the basement of Common bar, owners Iwan Roberts and Lucy Jackson opened their coffee shop on Tib Street back in 2017. While they’re best known for sweet treats, Siop Shop also boasts a full breakfast and lunch menu, as well as artisan coffee.
Working under the pseudonym ‘The Fox Fairy’, talented illustrator Elizabeth Neveux creates spellbinding prints inspired by women, fairytales and horror. Originally from France, the artist set up The Fox Fairy store in Manchester’s iconic vintage emporium, Afflecks Palace more than 5 years ago. With a focus on celebrating unique art, it sells an eclectic mix of items from over 20 different artists, including art prints, jewellery, accessories, cards, clothes, homewares, art materials and stationery.