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How to shop local this Christmas

Updated: Nov 23, 2018

We’ve rounded up the best small businesses close to the cafe in Waltham Forest and Redbridge to do your Christmas shopping…

Every time you buy from a small business a real person does a happy dance. This is often said, but it really is true (although, thankfully, there is no photographic evidence of either me or Tim doing this. It's for the best).

This week is Just A Card Week – a fantastic campaign to encourage everyone to shop small this Christmas and make as many local purchases as you can from independent shops and galleries. It’s tough on the high street at the moment and if you want to make sure you keep those little shops you love they need your support. They also often have unique presents that you won’t find anywhere else (not to mention you don’t have to pay postage or £9 to park at Westfield!).

We’ve done our best to round up all our favourite local shops in the areas that surround the café so you can find some hidden gems and get everyone – including the shop owners – rocking around the Christmas tree….

Designer/Makers at Creative Biscuit
Designer/Makers at Creative Biscuit


The queues out the front of M&S Food in the week before Christmas are legendary and you can’t beat Waitrose for some posh festive grub, but there are lots of small businesses in South Woodford that can help make your Christmas a little bit more special...

Creative Biscuit

Yes that’s us! As well as popping in to paint some ceramics as perfectly personalised presents – I mean who doesn’t love a baby’s footprint on a bauble? – we also sell lots of giftable loveliness from designer / makers. From gorgeous ceramic necklaces by And Mary to cute and quirky soft toys by Noo Doll. As well as jewellery and prints we’ve got lots of great stocking fillers from pins celebrating your love of gin to kawaii hair clips and loads of fab craft kits by The Make Arcade. And we also sell gift vouchers, which we believe make the perfect present for someone who has everything (or you simply can’t fit any more plastic toys in your home).

Friandise Chocolate

For all chocolate lovers Friandise Chocolate is a cute little shop in The Galleria offering more chocolate treats than you can shake a chocolate covered wafer at. Make up your own bags of luxury chocolates or opt for one of their hampers. They also have lots of handmade gifts on offer too for a real personal touch.

Sid and Evie’s

If the idea of trekking Westfield makes you want to hide behind the sofa, head to Sid and Evie’s to grab presents for the younger members of your family. As well as clothes and their fab range of shoes, the shop is packed with gifts and pocket money toys.

Source Lifestyle

For everything from candles to neon signs and cushions to quirky jewellery, Source has a fantastic selections of gifts. Buy the teenager in your life something that that will genuinely appreciate (even if they don’t act like it) or get Granny ‘Twerk Pong’ and brighten up Christmas dinner. Well maybe not, but it’s definitely worth a trip.


You’re spoilt for choice for independent shops in Walthamstow, especially in The Village and on Hoe Street…

E17 Art House

Looking for a quirky print for any room of your home? Then head to E17 Art House who have an amazing range of prints from artists like A Two Pipe Problem, Stacie Swift and Katie Broughton. With onsite framing, they can also pop it behind some glass for you too!

SAW Chocolate

White chocolate, dark chocolate, ginger chocolate, honeycomb, salted caramels and truffles can all be found in this small, but perfectly formed, chocolate shop. SAW Chocolate's bars make perfect stocking stuffers, while the boxes of treats are a great gift for chocolate lovers.

No. 70. Hoe Street

For the animal lover in your life head to No. 70 Hoe Street, which is packed with wildlife themed gifts and homewares not to mention upcycled furniture too.

Debbie Bliss Home

While the legendary knitter is best known for her super squishable wool, her homewares shop in the Village, Debbie Bliss Home, is packed full of cute and stylish gifts for kids as well as stationary, plant pots and even furniture. There’s also a fab selection of books for kids and several place nearby to grab a coffee to keep you going.

In Vino Veritas

Christian Laboutain says In Vino Veritas is his “favourite London discovery” and as well as being a rather lovely wine bar that also serves damn fine nibbles, you can grab a special bottle of wine either as a present or just to spoil yourself when you’re doing the wrapping. If you’re after booze as a gift we can also highly recommend heading over to Mother’s Ruin a five-minute walk away to grab some of their amazing gins.

Craft Guerrilla pop up at Finamore

The awesome Craft Guerrilla are back in the run up to Christmas with one of their excellent pop-up shops this time in quirky second hand retailer Finamore in Walthamstow Village. With gorgeous gifts from local crafters it’s the perfect stop to get a gift that you probably won’t find anywhere else.

William Morris Gallery

Not only is the William Morris Gallery worth a visit all year round (and the Rob Ryan exhibition they have on at the moment is worth the trip alone), but their perfectly curated shop is worth a visit. Grab everything from scarves to gardening gear with unmistakable Morris prints on them, which never go out of fashion.


Francis Road seems to be where it’s at these days in Leytonstone…


It’s a struggle to stop ourselves buying absolutely everything when we go to Venner in Leyton because of the beautifully curated selection of modern designers. Artist Tiff Howick and jeweller Lucie Beeston are the creative women behind the shop, packing it full of handmade goodness.

Edie Rose

We’ve been huge fans of Edie Rose ever since she hosted a fantastic wreath workshop at the cafe last year and her floristry business hasx blossomed even further with shop after shop in east London. Head to her Leyton store where you can not only pick up a Christmas wreath, but pick up some great gifts for the green-fingered too such as plant stands and pots.

Perky Blenders

The awesomely named mini chain of coffee shops can be found all around the area. Perky Blender's Leyton shop is the perfect place to stop for a coffee and also pick up a caffeine themed gift from coffee subscriptions to reusable glass Keep Cups.


If it’s food and drink you’re after there are tons of lovely places from Bare Brew to the Ginger Pig. And if you’re after a festive drink The Wanstead Tap and The Duke are great to go to, but here’s a few small shops you can support too…

The Art Shop

As well as framing that print your purchased for Christmas, The Art Shop also has gifts galore including Yankee Candles, Bath bombs, baby gifts and, of course, Thornton’s Chocolates. It's liking stepping back to the 90s, in a good way

Oxfam Book Shop

This is no ordinary charity shop. The Oxfam Book Shop in Wanstead not only has a great selection of books, often in perfect condition, but a great selection of vinyl as well. Absolutely worth a browse to find a few books for half the price of Amazon

Lillies of Wanstead

For all your festive floral needs head to Lillies where not only can you pick up a pretty wreath for your door or a centrepiece for your Christmas table, but they have mistletoe too, so you can snatch a festive smooch!


Head to Stones Throw Market this Saturday (24 November) at St Johns Church Hall for lots of handmade gifts, then check out these local shops too…

Laura Lea Design

From works of art to avocado shaped teething toys, Laura Lea Design has gifts for even the most stylish shopper. The shop, which doubles as a gallery, is packed with jewellery, ceramics, prints and ever beard balm. Well, it is east London.


The tiny shop is packed full of local makers. We’re particular fans of the Frida Kahlo and geometric cushions Jo&Kesi have on offer, but you’re sure to find something for even the most awkward to buy for relative.

If we’ve missed any local gems please do let us know and we’ll add them to the list!

Oh, and if you’re over on Instagram follow the hashtag #justacard as well as #campaignshopindependent set up by Holly & Co to find unique gifts!

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