Shop local?

Keeping your custom closer to home has a wide range of benefits for the economy, the environment and the local community. Small businesses have been growing, with an increase of 1.2 million since 2010, and it's important that we support and encourage creative entrepreneurs in their business ventures.

Invest in our Communities

Local business don’t just provide products, they can also be gathering places for the community. As a base for a cosy or vibrant experience, their inviting atmosphere can draw people in and provide a welcoming environment.

Get to know the locals and discover new places and products by exploring Cambridge’s wide variety of independents, such as delicious cheeses at Cambridge Cheese Company or a tasty meal at Fitzbillies Cafe.

Product Diversity

Independents are amazing places to pick up unique and interesting products that you won’t find at the large chains. They’re perfect for gifts, offering a wide range of creative and personal ideas that will impress your friends and family. Support your local entrepreneurs and help nurture the talents of the latest innovators.

Cambridge has numerous artsy and eclectic gift shops to browse. Check out Typically British for a quintessentially Cambridge present, or Lost in Vinyl for music lovers. For a lovingly curated gift guide, check out our Christmas Shopper trail which guides you around a selection of the best stops for treats.

Support the Local Economy

What better way to support the local economy than giving back to your local businesses? Local businesses hire local workers, and create many external jobs including within accountancy, insurance, contractors and agencies.

At the start of 2017 there were a record 5.7 million small businesses in the UK – an increase of more than 1.2 million since the start of 2010. The latest business population estimates show that these businesses are responsible for 48% of private sector employment and contribute £1.4 trillion in turnover.

Get a More Personal Experience

You can get a much more personal experience from a local shopkeeper than your computer screen. The great thing about shopping independent is the ability to ask questions, communicate and develop a sense of the motivations and passions behind that small company.

Experience a much more intimate experience and better customer care when you support your local businesses.

Strawberries on Cambridge market
Independent art gallery in Cambridge
Independent shops in Cambridge
Jacks on Trinity
Man serving pizza in Cambridge restaurant

Environmentally Friendly

Shopping local is the definitely the ethical choice, with less deliveries meaning less trucks on the road, and fewer emissions. When it comes to produce, you’d often be supporting your local farmers whilst being safe in the knowledge that your food has had a short field-to-plate journey.

The European Shopper Insights Survey found that more than half of UK consumers (55%) prefer to buy local, with 46% saying their reasons are due to higher quality, and 33% citing the ever-important environmental impacts.

For some amazing local meals in Cambridge, we recommend visiting DoppleGanger Burger for delicious vegan burgers, or have a beautiful Sunday Roast or steak from the Cambridge Chop House.

Cambridge is fortunate to include over 250 independent businesses, ranging from food and drink, bike shops, gifts, clothing and much more. Take a look at our helpful map showcasing a variety of great businesses – and explore, shop and eat local.

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Meet the Owners

We think it’s incredibly important to get to know the experts behind our local businesses, to understand their inspirations and motivations, get to know where the money is going, and see the friendly faces behind independent operations.

Say hello