Love Local and support Norwich Lanes
Filled with a wonderfully unique range of quirky and diverse shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, Norwich Lanes is the beating heart of Norwich's independent sector.
It epitomises all that is great about keeping things local, and shows the importance of our Love Local campaign which aims to encourage more people to give their support to independent traders.
David Finlay runs the mens clothing stores Elements and Elements Projects in Lower Goat Lane with Paul Dodd.
He said: 'People like Norwich Lanes because of its uniqueness and all the different little shops there. People like to see the independent shops but we have to remind them that they need to shop in them as well to help them survive.'
He explained that with Elements and Elements Projects next door he aimed to sell products people are unlikely to get anywhere else - Elements stocks brands like Luke 1977 and Two Stoned, while Elements Projects sells brands like Marshall Artist and Scotch and Soda.
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'We are all about uniqueness, independence, and not the mainstream kind of clothing,' he said, adding that the Norwich Lanes in general is all about 'doing different.'
St Benedicts Street is home to Soundclash, which owner Paul Mills said is the last-surviving old-style truly independent record shop in East Anglia. He said 90pc of the vinyl he sells has been released in 2011 and that his music store also sells gig tickets for the UEA, The Waterfront, and Norwich Arts Centre.
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'This is a shop that sells lots of different types of music to lots of different types of people,' he said, adding that he was very passionate about championing the cause of independent traders.
'If people do not use independent shops, they will be gone forever,' he said.
'It is important to buy locally for lots of reasons which are obvious.
'Norwich Lanes is full of alternative choices. This is the place to be if you want to do something different.'
At Louis' Deli, in Upper St Giles Street, manager Sarah Pattison, said she loves working in Norwich Lanes because she said it is like a village in the centre of Norwich.
She described Louis' Deli as a cafe, bakery and deli all rolled into one, and said that lots of the food is either made on site or at the Metfield Bakery, in Dereham.
When asked what was special about the Lanes, she said: 'It is the unique shops and the atmosphere. It is such a friendly community.
'Also, everybody is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what they sell. Shopping in Norwich Lanes is just a nice experience.'
Jonathan and Carol Maddocks run jewellery stores Aurum and The Aurum Factory in Bedford Street with their daughters Claire and Charlotte, who also designs some of the jewellery .
Mr Maddocks said: 'It is a family business and we specialise in the really unusual designs. We like to promote British designers.
'We are all about design and quality and supporting new designers, as well as doing the classic wedding and engagement rings.
'Our shop is for people who want something they won't find anywhere else, and that is the same for most of the shops in the Lanes.'
• For more on Love Local go to pages 58 and 59.
• Are you opening an unusual new business in the city? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email email@example.com