Why I’m supporting my local businesses rather than sticking to well known chains in Norwich

Until I moved to Norwich city centre I would always opt for visiting a well known chain, especially when grabbing a bite to eat or just going for a coffee. I don’t know whether it was convenience because I knew the food would be ok or whether it was because the food was the same wherever so I was certain I’d like something on the menu.

My mission (well food & drink related anyway)

Recently, I decided that it was about time I start supporting more local smaller businesses in Norwich. It’s not that I have anything against chain coffee shops or restaurants, I just feel that my money would be more appreciated by smaller businesses.

Service is very important to me and I’ve found that over the years the smaller a business is typically the better the service. Your custom is much more appreciated and the service is usually a great deal better. I’m not sure if this is because a smaller business knows that they need to treat you well to keep coming back or if it’s because the business as a whole is more personal and therefore the staff enjoy working so much more.

A I’m a lover of coffee and have made it my mission to visit as many coffee shops as possible when meeting friends and family. I’m trying to make my way around Norwich city centre slowly but surely. Today I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite local discoveries so that maybe I can tempt you away from the likes of Costa or Starbucks from time to time…

Bread Source

St Giles, home to Bread Source the place I so often find myself visiting to work. There’s something about the White decor mixed with plants and objects with a more contemporary feel. The music and the decor just make me feel at home (well not literally) it’s a lot easier not to get distracted here, unless I’m sitting by the window where I’m tempted to people watch. The coffee is reasonably priced, the staff are lovely and the snacks look DIVINE. If I wasn’t gluten and dairy free too I’d probably be the size of a house after all the time I spend here working.

Why I'm supporting my local businesses rather than sticking to well known chains in Norwich

Pono Norwich

Pono Norwich a new favourite of mine, I’m not usually a smoothie lover because if we’re being honest I don’t really like fruit. However this smoothie bowl was incredible and I would happily consume it over and over again. Everything is made fresh to order and you can even order for collection if you’re in a rush! Vegan and vegetarian options are available here, oh and gluten free too. So if you’ve got an intolerance I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. Again the staff are lovely and the items on offer are affordable too, I can guarantee that you’ll find it difficult not to take snap of your order here.

Why I'm supporting my local businesses rather than sticking to well known chains in Norwich

Alchemista Coffee

Alchemista Coffee a new favourite coffee shop of mine in the heart of Norwich. With happy staff and a dreamy decor it’s a place I think I’ll find myself spending more and more time in as the days get cooler. The iced coffee is delicious and makes for a dreamy photo (not that it’s the only reason I drink it). Again Alchemista are another place that caters for us with intolerances especially when it comes to non dairy milk options. Their window is perfect for people watching in case you wondered…

Why I'm supporting my local businesses rather than sticking to well known chains in Norwich

The Tipsy Vegan Bar Norwich

I visited The Tipsy Vegan Bar with my pal Soph who’s a vegan, I’m not a vegan but I’m more than happy to eat Vegan and Vegetarian food. Being dairy free is difficult at times so Vegan food is usually a good choice to avoid an upset stomach. We went for a lunch bite and I got far more than just a bite. A common misconception of Vegan and Vegetarian food is that the food is boring… I can assure you that nothing on this menu is boring and that I will be going back to sample more of their menu as I was very impressed.

Why I'm supporting my local businesses rather than sticking to well known chains in Norwich

Louis Deli

Many many times I’d thought about visiting Louis Deli, but never ventured in as I worried that there would be little on offer for me to eat. You know what deli’s are like, full of meats and cheeses and everything delicious. I doubted that they’d cater for awkward gluten and dairy free people like me. Especially with the array of beautiful looking pastries and cakes on offer in the window that would entice anyone who could actually eat them. I visited Louis Deli for breakfast with my nan recently and enjoyed a poached egg and avo on toast breakfast accompanied with a dairy free latte of course. Our breakfasts were made to order and they tasted divine. We had to wait a little while for the food but you don’t mind when it’s made fresh whilst you wait. I’ll be venturing back again soon!

Why I'm supporting my local businesses rather than sticking to well known chains in Norwich

Strangers coffee

I’ve been to Strangers coffee a few times but had no idea it existed until a friend suggested we meet there for a catch up. The decor is something I love and the fact that non dairy options are available too makes me happier than I can describe. I know that in this day and age you expect most places to have non dairy options but you’d be surprised at the amount of places that still don’t, that really ought to. The staff at strangers are as friendly as you’d expect and laugh when you’re battling with your friend over who’s turn it is to buy the coffee (you’d be surprised that I’m usually the one trying to pay).

So there you have it, a small round up of why I’m supporting my local eateries and coffee stops in Norwich and a few of my favourites that now I’ve found I’ll keep going back to. Now don’t get me wrong I love a Starbucks or Costa from time to time especially as they are convenient and everywhere. So I’m not saying I won’t ever go to one again because that would be silly. I’m just trying to do my small bit for my local community and believe me it’s a nice feeling!

Thanks for reading,

Love Saff x

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