Independents in Crookes lead the charge in second wave of openings

Independent shops in a Sheffield community are getting ready to celebrate the first full weekend back in business as lockdown eases.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 3:33 pm
Small Stuff owner Hellen Stirling-Baker and Rafe, five, with Katie Zwerger. Picture: Chris Etchells

“Saturday is going to be our official reopening party – we have some goodie bags and bits and bobs to give out to welcome people back, so we have got a lot going on and people are really excited,” said Hellen Stirling-Baker, who runs Small Stuff, an eco-conscious children’s lifestyle shop in Crookes.

Her shop has been open since Monday with a ‘steady’ flow of custom, but says it is fantastic to see the buzz back in Crookes with families, students and shoppers descending on the area.

Hellen said: “Monday morning we opened really, really early, it was really good. Not too crazy busy, but definitely one person after another, good vide.

Crookes Hardware reopens after lockdown. Pictured are Christine and Richard Kerton. Picture: Chris Etchells

"Everything around Crookes just seemed really nice, everyone beeping and waving as we were reopening so it was really lovely. And it has just been quite steady; a lot of us have some really great measures in place to make sure people are keeping safe because I think people are still a bit tentative about going out with other people, and going into shops, but the feedback has been amazing.”

Independents across Sheffield have had a tough year with restrictions meaning they have had to turn solely to online for large parts of the past 12 months – and they need support to help them thrive once more.

As well as Hellen’s Small Stuff, in Crookes independent businesses Flourish Florists, Small Plants, Crookes Hardware and Whaletown Coffee Co. are all looking forward to the first weekend back in business since 2020.

Small Stuff offers ethical children’s products, including clothes, toys and books, and runs on 100 per cent renewable energy.

Whaletown Coffe Co. Pictured are Stephen Tuohy and Elle Bown. Picture: Chris Etchells

"People are just desperate to spend their pennies, and especially the young children who have been saving up their money to come back. which has been really nice,” Hellen added.

“There’s Flourish across the road, a flower shop, and they’ve been open as well so its been really nice and lots of people around Crookes desperate to come and see us.”

In the city centre, independent food hall Kommune at Castle House is opening an outside eating and drinking area this week .