As the owner of thebestof Sudbury, I am passionate about buying local and supporting our local businesses. By giving my hard earned cash to my local shop, rather than a faceless online shop, I’m contributing to my local economy that in turn helps support my local community.
Last year, I spent a month buying local; For 30 days I shunned the Amazons and the Ebays, turned my back on the Tescos, the Sainsburys and the online shop and turned my attention to Sudbury’s local town market (that’s on twice a week and has a great fruit and veg stall) the Farmers market (always packed, held once a month at St Peter’s Church) and my local butchers and village shop. People moan that there isn’t enough choice locally, but if you really look, then there are some real gems in our local towns and villages.
I would be lying if I said it was the easier option to buy locally because it wasn’t. I run a business, have two small children and a house to organise and attempt to keep clean. I don’t have a lot of time and it’s so convenient to pop onto my smartphone or laptop of an evening and order my week’s groceries.
However, since promoting local businesses through thebestof Sudbury, I’ve realised how important it is to support our local shops. The landscape of the high street is certainly changing, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Yes, we can buy online, order a car, stationary and all our food from one shop via the press of button, but are you liable to bump into a friend and go for a coffee or a chat, enjoy a free exhibition at St Peter’s church or buy some locally sourced food from the farm up the road? Are you able to support a local school, charity of group event?
The Farmers Market in Sudbury I think is an excellent example of how a community can be brought together. Justine Paul’s award winning markets, now attract a great footfall to her markets and was voted one of the top 100 businesses nationally in thebestof Local and Loved Awards. Whilst speaking to local shoppers and producers, asking why they loved the farmers market, a common theme was apparent; it was where people could meet. One shopper said she loved the little café run by the Bridge Project. Not only does she love to catch up with old friends, but she’s made new ones. Now that, Amazon, despite your promises of overnight delivery or free postage, takes some beating.
It’s in our hands to keep our high street alive; we have free parking in both Sudbury, Hadleigh and Clare. We have beautiful scenery, we have towns and villages steeped in amazing history & yes, we have charity shops, but we also have great businesses such as Nanook and lovely Juniper Flowers (a vintage fantatics dream) Winch & Blatch has a huge amount of products (and probably one of the best collection of tights and stockings I’ve seen outside London)
Last year, I saved £200 on my food shopping bill over the month. I’m going to attempt it again. If any of you want to send in recipe ideas or hints, I’ll be glad of the help and support
I will also be floating around Sudbury, Hadleigh and the villages, with my buy local stickers and my selfie stick ready to promote everything that’s local. If you’re a business that would like a bit of free social media promotion, get in touch!
There’s also a competition; if you pledge to buylocal, then you’ll be entered into a competition to win £100!
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