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Becky Fry, who runs the food and drink blog Eat Liverpool, has started the gift guide to give businesses an extra platform in the run-up to the biggest shopping few weeks of the year – and give shoppers a whole directory of ideas.
She decided to pull together a list of local, independent Liverpool businesses, makers, bakers and sellers to inspire people to support the local economy while they get something handmade, unique and personal.
“My blog is mostly food-focused, but I thought with Christmas coming up that I’d make it wider,” she says. “I had lots of people asking me where they could get something local to give as gifts so I thought I’d ask businesses to tell me what they were doing and I’d break them up into categories.
“So many people are doing more or doing things differently now and lots of businesses are being more creative with what they’re offering online especially.
“Lots of restaurants have done home kits and home dining packs which they didn’t have before and I think over the past few months there’s been a lot of businesses and ideas that have started from scratch. There’s one on the list called Boozy Pantry which is two guys who started up during lockdown and now it’s their main business.”
Becky says she’s been inundated with suggestions and recommendations across a whole range from handmade crafts, art and photography to locally-sourced food and drink gifts.
“There were loads of gift ideas like candles and jewellery, prints and photography, things that people have been making, as well as food and drink – there’s quite a lot of alcohol on there! But it’s not just products to buy, there’s a section as well for services so things like massages and nails and how to buy vouchers for those.
“By doing that it helps to keep a business going because they still have money coming in while they can’t operate and it also gives you or the person you’re buying for something to look forward to so everyone benefits.”
Becky says she’s noticed more and more people in Liverpool are keen to shop local and support the city’s independents, partly because they’ve seen first-hand what they’re going through.
“Business owners in Liverpool have been so honest throughout this whole time,” she explains. “They haven’t glossed over it, they’ve said very clearly they’re not going to make it through unless they have support. I think people appreciate that and have responded to it by helping and shopping local at the places they love.
“The focus has really shifted to shopping locally because we’ve all realised how awful it would be if we came out of lockdown and everything had shut down. We’ve got so many good things going on in Liverpool and it would be such a shame to lose any of those.”
The A to Z has been created while most businesses are physically closed, so as well as places which will hopefully soon be open to visit, she’s highlighted those selling online through websites and Instagram.
Becky is updating the list regularly to add more as new suggestions come in and she already has a complete alphabet of ideas to hopefully make everyone’s Christmas a little happier.
“When you buy something from someone who’s made it themselves, they put so much effort into it and they’ll often message you and say, ‘thank you’. It’s just more personal to think it’s come from a local maker or a local café and everything is sent with lots of love which really makes a difference.”
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