Shop Oldham this Small Business Saturday | Oldham Council
Weaver and Wild staff members Published: Friday, 02nd December 2022

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday - and we're encouraging people to shop local with the fantastic range of local businesses across the borough.

Small Business Saturday is a national campaign that’s centered around supporting our local businesses- those restaurants, markets, and dedicated independent retailers right here in Oldham.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: "It's been a tough time for many local businesses here in Oldham; after two years in which we've seen a Cost of Living Crisis, a moving trend towards online shopping, rising inflation and the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic.

"So what I would say to Oldhamers is, whether you're shopping for food, drink or Christmas presents this weekend, think local and support the local businesses on your doorstep. Rather than money going back into big international companies, spending money locally puts your pounds right back into our local economy - which helps all of us.

"This Small Business Saturday I'd also like to say a big thank you to all our brilliant small businesses across Oldham, who bring us great food and drink, creative gifts and crafts, and a whole lot more - not just on Small Business Saturday but all year round."

One of the first stops for shoppers on Small Business Saturday might be Tommyfield Market, where traders are getting ready for Christmas.

Nikki Fairchild, from Meat in the Middle, said: "Every year we do a capon, which is an extremely large chicken and cheaper than a turkey, saving about a tenner,” she says. “They’re very popular with large families because they can feed seven or eight with leftovers.”

Nikki began working on the stall when it was Ashworth’s Butchers - a regular pitstop for locals since 1974.

“It’s just the name that’s changed. We still sell the same good products; we always sell local, English, and fresh. And we try to keep the costs down - if it comes to us cheaper, that saving goes to the customer. If we can do a deal, we will do it.”

She’s also a big believer in the market’s commitment to selling products that are not just affordable but good value too.

“Shopping here is cheaper than going to the supermarket and you get a lot more for your money - not just meat, but for anything. It’s a friendly place and it’s reasonable. And there’s a really good atmosphere at Christmas, it’s bustling.”

Next door, Kelly Bentley is taking orders for the Hen House’s cooked Christmas hampers, each one containing meat, sauces, and pigs in blankets.

We cook them so people don’t have to cook themselves - it takes the pressure off Christmas Day cause all you end up doing is staying in the kitchen,” she says. “It gives back family time because some only get Christmas Day off, so you can spend it with your kids and playing with toys, you don’t have to worry about the food burning or cooking all night.”

The Hen House started selling its hampers about five years ago and with every Christmas, that’s come since they’ve been snapped up by local families and businesses. Demand has previously caused such “bedlam” that this year the range has been narrowed down so staff can cope.

Meanwhile, Mark Crossley has been selling fish from his unit for 35 years and has seen people experiment with their main courses on 25 December. But he thinks this year might be different, with customers spending more cautiously.

“Over the years customers have looked for an alternative Christmas dinner and fish has become an alternative. We’re a diverse town with a widespread customer base so families want something else, it’s not just about traditional turkey or a sit-down dinner, it might be salmon or a buffet,” he explains.

“But it might be different this year with the cost of living. People are diversifying and having cheaper fish: maybe not salmon, maybe redfish instead. Products are dearer than they have been and it’s a different time for all of us. But in the run-up to Christmas, we’ll be here for them and we’ll have plenty of fish products.”

Over in Saddleworth, at Weaver and Wilde’s Groceries and Provisions, Cal Rowson-Codd and his husband Thomas are also getting ready for Christmas.

Their veg boxes start at £20 and have everything you need for a traditional roast plus optional add-ons.

“It has everything you need from a veg aspect then we have a massive range of really cool little bits that are special and make a difference to your dish and your party,” says Cal. “We do pickled pears, and wild garlic bulbs, and we’ve got all your cured meats, cheeses, and chutneys - everything you want.”

The pair have become Greenfield’s go-to spot for fruit and veg since opening in June and have also once a week carried on their predecessor’s tradition of selling fish. Cal says expanding was the “next natural step” after their success selling produce from their coffee shop in nearby Uppermill during the pandemic.

“It kept the doors open and people needed it, plus they didn’t have to queue for an hour to get into Tesco - and the more we did it, the more we realised the demand in Greenfield was buoyant.”

As well as providing a local service, Cal and Thomas pride themselves on supporting homegrown brands. In the Uppermill shop, they stock Saddleworth Honey and loose-leaf teas from Oldham-based The Tea Keepers, while in Greenfield, they stock and support small businesses from as far away as Cheshire and North Yorkshire.

To find out about even more local businesses right here in Oldham that would love to see you this Small Business Saturday, visit our website here - and take the opportunity to shop local tomorrow.

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