As the proud owner of the UK’s ‘best place for small businesses’ title, there really is no better place to visit on Small Business Saturday than Manchester. So, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to ensure you spend the day visiting the best small businesses that Manchester has to offer. Whether you usually spend your weekend eating out, shopping, or self-caring, we’ve got you covered.
Manchester is full of incredible independent eateries, so it was hard picking just three, but we’re confident that we’ve got some solid contenders which will satisfy both your sweet and savoury cravings.
If you’re anything like us and can’t say no to a sweet treat then Cocoa Cabana is where you want to be on Small Business Saturday. After the success of their first chocolatier and tearoom in West Didsbury, Cocoa Cabana opened its doors in Ancoats as a chocolatier, café, and cocktail bar – so you can enjoy a quick treat and coffee or indulge in a brunch and drinks with friends surrounded by delicious chocolates and patisseries. Open every day from 10am, you’ve no excuse but to try this little slice of heaven.
Dreaming of a trip to Italy? Well, we know of somewhere that will definitely satisfy your craving. Sicilian NQ, tucked away in the Northern Quarter, is a small but mighty bistro bringing the taste of Sicily to Manchester – you won’t even know the difference. From their famous arancini to their ever-changing treats and desserts, you’re bound to find something you love, and with a bunch of vegan and vegetarian options on offer too, Sicilian NQ cater to everyone’s taste.
Don’t let their humble looks deceive you, despite having just about enough space to accommodate for 20 walk-ins and a 4-item menu, Tokyo Ramen still brands themselves as Manchester’s number one ramen shop and we can totally see why. While their menu may be small, once you taste their dishes you’ll understand why, as each bowl is made to perfection with authentic flavours and precision. This spot isn’t intended to be a social hub, but if you want to grab a quick bite and nod along to some rap tunes while you eat, then Tokyo Ramen is the place for you.
Whether you’re looking for some home décor to spruce up your space for the winter, are on the lookout for the perfect Christmas gifts, or are simply shopping for yourself, these three small businesses are full of quirky pieces fit for anyone.
What started as a clothing alterations store in 2015 has slowly evolved to be a mishmash of subtly unique homeware and lifestyle items. It’s hard to define what exactly Deadstock General Store sells, as their ethos has always been to offer things they’d want to own themselves – therefore curating a myriad of one-off products. However, you can expect to see some homeware accessories, kitchen supplies, and beauty and grooming products, amongst many other miscellaneous items. If you like to be surprised by what you find, you can visit the store on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter, Monday – Sunday.
If you want to support as many independent creators as you can but only have enough time to stop by one shop, then make it Chorlton Art Market, as Jay and Alice’s story is an inspirational one. After setting up a 3-week pop-up shop in Chorlton in 2013, its huge success led to the opening of Chorlton Art Market in 2014. Now the bright and colourful market holds the work of over 50 local creators allowing you to admire and shop the beautiful pieces, and that’s not all – in a recent addition the market has also started offering vintage clothing to its shoppers, so whether you want to dec out your home with unique art or just want to do some vintage shopping, you can find it all at Chorlton Art Market from Monday – Saturday.
If you love plants but haven’t visited Glass House yet, then you’re majorly missing out. Located right in the centre of town on Princess Street, you’ll find a seemingly little store which you’re sure to notice due to its entirely pink exterior and interior. When you walk in you’ll be immersed into a sea of greenery and as you make your way further into the shop through the hundreds of plants surrounding you, you’ll also start to notice nooks and crannies filled with plant pots, vases, plant care, terrariums, and a bunch of other plant related goodies. Good luck choosing your favourites!
You may know Hatch as the hub of independent food and drink vendors, but did you know Hatch also has a selection of small hair and beauty businesses? We’ve put together a list of our favourites in case you fancy a little pick-me-up this Small Business Saturday.
The Portland Barbers have made quite the name for themselves at Hatch. Since opening in 2009, their small business has grown and evolved into one on Manchester City Centre’s best barbers offering anything from modern fades to classic scissor cuts. After undergoing recent renovation, the shop looks better than ever and offers a one-of-a-kind service – customers can order a drink at the bar before heading to their chair and kicking back while one of the three talented barbers works their magic. The Portland Barbers are always open to welcoming new customers, so make sure to book in your visit.
Another Hatch gem, Butterfly Effect is owned by Lash Technician Kate who started doing lash extensions 4 years ago from her bedroom before opening her first salon not long after in Hatch. Since then, she has expanded and employed 3 lash technicians to join her in the cosy salon and has increased her service list to include eyebrows. If you want to feel like the main character this winter, then we definitely recommend booking in with Butterfly Effect – you’ll be met by a warm atmosphere and lovely technicians, and you’ll leave feeling fabulous.
For many of us, lockdown was a time to learn new skills and discover hobbies we never knew we had and for Stevie, that hobby was nail art. After completing her training and plenty of practice, Stevie was finally ready to open her first small business and It’s a Nail Thing was born. Other than delivering great nails, It’s a Nail Thing makes it their mission to be a gender-neutral, inclusive space so that all who visit feel comfortable before anything else. If you want banging nails created by independent nail techs in a non-judgemental environment, you’re in the right place.
However you choose to spend Small Business Saturday in Manchester, you will definitely not be short for choice. If you take us up on any of our suggestions, make sure to tag us in your socials, we love to see what you’re up to!