As I type this, there is one day left in February. I’m also a few days away from my 5th anniversary of running thebestof Sudbury. At the heart of what I do, is supporting the local community, local economy, help promote events & great local businesses, shout about their reviews and encourage people to chose to spend their pennies with the independents on their doorstep, rather than a one-click swipe to a multi-national online shop.
I hear (or read on social media, I should say) that Sudbury has nothing, it’s a dying town and the high street is dead. I actually think, for a small town, we’re in far better shape than many.
Unfortunately, those pre-Internet shopping days are over. In our busy lives, it’s easy to do the weekly shop, online, on your mobile whilst getting the kids ready for school. Forgotten it’s World Book Day (again!) and your daughter wants to dress up as some obscure character from a David Walliams book, of course online is going to provide a quick solution when you’re in a hurry. However, we still as humans have an ingrained need to be with others and in a world where we have so much stuff, the experience is now what, to quote Marie Kondo, “sparks joy” This is where Sudbury (and the local village businesses) comes into their own.
When I was an account manager for Suffolk Magazine, Sudbury was one of my areas (along with Bury, Newmarket and other West Suffolk towns) Sudbury was always my favourite (I’m local so biased, but it still stands) The owners of businesses in this town are passionate, enthusiastic and love what they do and this shines through. In a world full of negativity and fake news, how nice to walk into a shop, be greeted by the owner, who not only is genuinely pleased to see you but has a genuine love for what they sell. When you spend £10 with them, that gets reinvested back into the local economy, by spending it on ballet lesson for their kids or hiring the services of a local window cleaner. That in itself beats online shopping!
The High Street now is not just about shopping though, but about the experience; pop down Station Road and visit Mandy’s Jewellery & Gifts. Mandy was our thebestof Sudbury Business of The Year Winner, having received 222 wonderful reviews from her customers. Not only can you get some really cool gifts and jewellery at affordable prices, you can also make your own. And you don’t need do a class with a group of others, you can have a session with the bead queen Mandy herself. I’ve taken my two girls and she’s brilliant. So patient. We all get to have fun, spoil the lovely Mylz the dog and come away with some beautiful jewellery. And that’s a couple of hours away from the old iPhone screens, chatting and laughing with each other.
Duck in Boots are on the move, but they have some great crafting classes for young and old, plus unique gifts and beautiful creations from local artisans. Did you see the crocheted Brussel sprouts at Christmas? Brilliant. They were on a headband. If they hadn’t have sold out, I would have bought a couple and worn them all year round!
Fed up with all the coffee shops? Well not me! Coffee is my favourite. Meeting friends for coffee is one of my favourite things to do and if you throw in cake, what’s not to love. Again, it’s just a way the high is changing, but still an important part of our local community and economy. Have you read about Meet Up Monday at The White Horse? Fighting rural isolation and loneliness over coffee and cake. We may all be connected via our mobile devices, but never have we felt so alone. The High Street is helping to combat that.
Winch & Blatch has been around ages and Sudbury wouldn’t be the same without it. Five years ago, when I first started, I had a stall at the Sudbury Farmers Market. I collected a variety of local items you can buy in Sudbury. I had a mannequin dressed from top to toe in items just from Winch and Blatch. And people were astounded you could get some many things from the shop opposite St Peters. Don’t assume it’s expensive or they don’t have a great range of products, because you’d be surprised. I honestly don’t think there’s a better selection of tights in the region (I like bright coloured tights and W&B has loads!)
So, for two weeks, I’m going to bigging up the local businesses in and around Sudbury. I have I Love To Buy Local stickers and I have social media that’s ready and waiting to promote your favourite businesses for FREE. If you’d like your business to have a sticker, or if you already have a sticker, but let to get in on the action, get in touch here (or drop me a message)
Member since: 17th March 2014
Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens