'Buy one thing local this October,' say independent retailers
BUY one less item from the supermarket and check out the wonders of Gloucester's independent shops instead.
That's the message from deli owners Neil and Nicky Wildin, from StanMan's Kitchen in Westgate Street, who want people to "go independent" for the whole of October.
Nicky, who has run the popular cafe since 2008, says that if everyone bought just one item from an independent shop such as theirs, it would turn around the fortunes of smaller businesses.
She said: "We know that people aren't all of a sudden going to start doing their whole weekly shop in independent shops, but if they just bought one thing a week from us it would make all the difference.
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"People will be surprised at the wonderful quality they will find. We have a box of eggs for just £1.40 and they are free range from Westbury, just five miles away; or you can try Nick Brown's Butcher's Gloucester Old Spot sausages, from Longlevens.
"Or why not support one of the independent coffee shops next time you want a cuppa? The coffee tastes great and you'll get a good, friendly service.
"I know all of our regulars and they don't need to say anything. I know their order."
Shoppers liked the idea when asked yesterday. Marcey Bartlett, 28, from Quedgeley, said: "I always go to Costa – it's like I'm on auto pilot, but I don't see why it would be so wrong to give one of the others a try."
Tracy Newman, 42, from Abbeydale, said: "I already pick up eggs and cheese from an independent and you can't go wrong. The taste is so much fresher."
John Redfearn, owner of the Crow's Nest cafe in Westgate Street, said: "I whole-heartedly agree with what Nicky is trying to do. It would be great if people stopped and gave independents a second thought.
"The only way that this can be a success is for the word to get around through the media.
"The thing is that nowadays we find it very difficult to think for ourselves. These big supermarkets and big coffee chains have huge advertising budgets to get their name out there.
"A coffee with me costs £1.75, so we are very well priced. We don't use all the fancy, fandango stuff.
"The hope is people will come once and they will come back again."
The idea was inspired by Stoptober – an initiative to encourage people to give up smoking for October.