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Shop small with American Express to make a big difference to your local community

Don't live life without it.

American Express understands that we can all achieve more – in life and business – if someone has our back. 


That’s why for many years, American Express has been actively encouraging people to shop small, alongside its role as founder and principal supporter of Small Business Saturday in the UK – now in its seventh year.

 

For many of us our local high street is more than just bricks and mortar.  It is the place we go to seek out experiences, to gather expertise from local small business owners and to meet our friends.  It is our community.  So, it’s not surprising that when people feel part of, and get involved in their local community, everyone thrives.

 

From spending in your local shop, to telling friends and family about that new-found neighbourhood gem, it’s easy to show your support.

 

So next time you’re shopping in and around your neighbourhood, make sure to use your American Express Card.   Packed with ways to get more from your everyday spending, our range of Cards have various loyalty schemes such as Membership Rewards® points (that never expire) which can be used to treat yourself to almost anything, to money back on your everyday purchases or Avios points to help you get closer to your next adventure.

 

Not only will you be making the everyday more rewarding, but you’ll be making a big difference to your local community at the same time.

 

Get inspired with our online map.

 

The American Express map is full of small shops across the UK, perfect for when you’re looking for some inspiration about where to go when you are out and about.


All the shops featured accept American Express, which means every time you use your Card to shop small, you'll be rewarded on your everday spend but also helping your local small businesses to thrive so that your community does too.

 

The map is best viewed in Google Chrome.

 

Shop Small Spring Edit.

 

For more inspiration on where to shop small we have created our very own Shop Small magazine in partnership with Courier, a leading voice in the sector and champion of small businesses.  For us, it was a natural collaboration due to our shared passion for backing small business; helping consumers to discover them and shining a light on the people behind them. 


We’ve selected some of our favourite articles from the magazine, including editorial content from the Courier team about insightful shopping trends, the up and coming small businesses to watch out for, as well as a handy guide of the shops and places to visit on Bellenden Road in Peckham. We hope you enjoy!  

Trends for Spring 2019

 

From the rise of mezcal to the popularity of recipe boxes, big businesses often find inspiration for new products from the independents.  In fact, most main-stream retail trends, if you look closely, begin small – it’s the kind of trickle-up effect we all benefit from.  And it’s easy to get excited about shopping small when the UK’s independent food, drink and retail scene is this impressive.   Head over to our merchant page for more 2019 trends.

Spice up your life

Rooted Spices

Chefs don’t bank on flavour from discoloured spices dating back to the early 2000s, so why should home cooks?  Step forward Rooted Spices, a range of tin caddies filled with single-origin spices and blends like urfa pul biber (a Turkish aromatic everyday table spice) and Amchur dried mango.

 

Founded by Clara Glass and Rachel Walker, Rooted Spices are super fresh and sourced from single suppliers, and refills are available when you run out.  The kind of kitchen ammunition that looks good on your shelf and tastes even better in your dishes.

 

rootedspices.com

 

To give a little something back, we encourage our Cardmembers to Shop Small with local businesses each year.  When they spend £10 or more at a participating small business from 1-16 December 2018, they get a £5 credit.
Best of all, it costs nothing for you to take part.  If your business is eligible, you will have been contacted by us and automatically enrolled.  Your business will be displayed on the Shop Small map and Cardmembers will be able to redeem their offer when they spend £10 or more in your store from 1-16 December 2016 (at no cost to you).

(Misshapen) fruit of fortune

Oddbox

2018 was the summer of wonky fruit and veg.  Sales of misshapen produce soared as ranges expanded at many of the major supermarkets, but the trend has long been ripe among the independents.  Launched in 2011, Rubies in the Rubble rescues fruit in a pickle to make award-winning condiments like spicy banana ketchup and chipotle mayo, while Oddbox delivers a selection of ugly (but delicious) perishables to Londoners’ doorsteps.

 

Zero waste dining and drinking is sprouting slower, but head to Cub restaurant in London, Doug McMaster’s collaboration with ‘the world’s best bartender’ Ryan Chetiyawardana (otherwise known as Mr Lyan) - for a cocktail led six-dish set menu. A champagne coupe of ‘ugly’ peaches, Bruichladdich whiskey and Islay seaweed, anyone? 

 

To give a little something back, we encourage our Cardmembers to Shop Small with local businesses each year.  When they spend £10 or more at a participating small business from 1-16 December 2018, they get a £5 credit.
Best of all, it costs nothing for you to take part.  If your business is eligible, you will have been contacted by us and automatically enrolled.  Your business will be displayed on the Shop Small map and Cardmembers will be able to redeem their offer when they spend £10 or more in your store from 1-16 December 2016 (at no cost to you).

Meat free market

What the Pitta!

January 2019 was the month that ‘Veganuary’ seemed to propel veganism from a niche campaign to a mainstream movement.  According to data from market expert Mintel, Britain has now overtaken Germany with the most vegan brand launches in the world and London has dozens of specialist vegan joints, with a buzzing junk food scene that’s worth trekking across the city to sample.

 

Many are so successful, they’re opening multiple sites: Temple of Seitan’s finger-lickin’ fried ‘chicken,’  What the Pitta’s vegan doner kebabs and fried jackfruit patties at Biff ’s Jack Shack, to name but a few.  2019 is the year of the vegan burger though, with plant-based burger brands that “bleed” now available on many supermarket shelves.  Pure meat-free magic.

 

Follow the paper trail

Papier

The success of stationery start-up Papier is a sure sign that tangible, personalised paper products are back on the cards.  Aiming to ‘inspire people to connect with each other in a more thoughtful way and more often,'

 

Papier is set to take a significant chunk of the UK’s £2.5 billion stationery market and has collaborated on ranges with the likes of interiors darling Luke Edward Hall and writer Dolly Alderton, to engage millennial consumers.  If browsing IRL is more your thing, Papersmiths in Brighton is a scribbler’s Shangri-La. 

 

To give a little something back, we encourage our Cardmembers to Shop Small with local businesses each year.  When they spend £10 or more at a participating small business from 1-16 December 2018, they get a £5 credit.
Best of all, it costs nothing for you to take part.  If your business is eligible, you will have been contacted by us and automatically enrolled.  Your business will be displayed on the Shop Small map and Cardmembers will be able to redeem their offer when they spend £10 or more in your store from 1-16 December 2016 (at no cost to you).

Sarah Willingham, interior inspiration

 

If you’re looking to inject some fresh style into your home then have you thought about visiting the local small businesses in your area?  Packed full of unique, one of a kind items, you’ll also benefit from the expertise and passion of the people who run them.

 

We sent our Shop Small Ambassador, Sarah Willingham out and about to see first hand how shopping small can fuel your interior inspiration.

 

 

Growing up

 

Forest, Arch 133 Deptford Market Yard, London

Forest, London
Forest, London

A visit to Forest, where the shelves of its East Dulwich and Deptford stores spill over with exotic ferns, ivy and jungle climbers, shows how indoor plants have become big business.  Forest is owned and operated by mother-and-daughter team Fran and Alice Bailey, who started the company in 2013 as a spin-off from Fran’s original floristry business, The Fresh Flower Company.‘I opened Forest just one street down from our East Dulwich flower shop,’ says Fran. ‘Originally the space was used as a combined flower workshop and plant shop. I had noticed that the popularity of houseplants was on the rise again, and soon the plants took over and the florist had to move out!’


The selection at Forest has since grown beyond plants to include homeware, beauty and lifestyle products – Aesop and Nkuku among them – along with craft classes in candle-making, flower arranging, macramé, terrarium building and calligraphy.  Fran’s passion and DNA runs through the business. ‘I grew up on a cut-flower nursery where, as a child, I often worked with my brothers, helping out in the greenhouses,’ she explains. ‘My parents encouraged my love of horticulture, but I never expected my daughters to join my business. I am so glad of our collaboration – they’ve brought a fresh perspective to the business and been instrumental in our expansion, finding unusual plants, sourcing new brands and spotting trends.'


The success of Forest tallies with that of other thriving plant shops in London and other cities, as a new generation of urban dwellers seek a green fix, possibly as an antidote to living among concrete and the pressures of the digital age.  ‘Houseplants make us happier and healthier,’ affirms Fran.  ‘Science shows they purify the air in our homes, lift our mood and reduce stress levels.’ 

 

A visit to the Forest stores feels serene, and is as much about getting design and lifestyle inspiration as it is a retail experience, with staff on hand to give advice and many customers converting to workshop attendees.  ‘People want to learn how to display and care for their plants, how to propagate to increase their stock and watch them thrive,’ says Fran. ‘Knowing about our plants increases our enjoyment of them.'

 

forest.london


Forest's top 3 tips for potting a plant

Top 3 tips for potting a plant

1. Buy a potting mix. You can get a soil mixture from a store which should include fertiliser, peat moss and organic soil. 

Top 3 tips for potting a plant

2. Assign one plant per pot to avoid overcrowding.  Make sure you choose a plant that doesn’t need too much sunshine. 

Top 3 tips for potting a plant

3. Fill the pot to about an inch from the top, and lightly press down the soil to eliminate any air pockets. Water regularly. 

Food Fast

 

  27.Elliott's, 27 Sciennes Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1NX

Roast Tomato Orzo

A fresh and simple recipe for spring, packed with Mediterranean flavours for that first al fresco meal of the season.

 

Healthy eating is often one of the first things to go when you’re pulling the kind of hours that setting up a new business demands.  Jessica Elliott Dennison, founder of 27.Elliott’s, a neighbourhood café and supper club space in the heart of Edinburgh, has proven that healthy eating doesn’t have to be overly time consuming.

 

She took some time out of prepping fresh pasta for the evening’s service to give Shop Small an exclusive recipe for roast tomato orzo from her book Salad Feasts. ‘Your oven does all the hard work here, turning the tomatoes all burnished, sticky and intensely sweet,’ says Jessica of the dish. ‘And like most roast tomato dishes, the flavours get even better with time, o this is a nice option if you need to make something hearty in advance.’

 

A scattering of dukkah brings a smoky, spiced crunch to the silky orzo pasta. Check out Dennison’s book for a homemade version of this versatile spice and nut-based condiment, which you can make and store in bulk to use for future feasts.

 

27elliotts.com

The Pilgrim

Roast tomato orzo

Serves 4 (Prep time 25 minutes)

 

  • 600g ripe cherry tomatoes
  • Small bunch thyme, leaves only
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes(optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 300g orzo
  • large bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp dukkah (optional)

1 — Preheat oven to 220C and bring a medium pan of water to the boil. 

 

2 — Slice the tomatoes, some in halves, some in quarters, then add to a large roasting tray in a single layer. Scatter over the thyme leaves and add the oil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes (if using), cumin and garlic cloves. Gently toss and roast for 15 mins. Remove and reserve the garlic, then roast the tomatoes for a further 5 minutes.

 

3 — Meanwhile, add the orzo to the boiling water (according to the packet instructions, 8-10 minutes for al dente). Refresh under cold water, then drain.

 

 4 — Squeeze the roasted garlic flesh into the roasting tray. Using a fork, mash the garlic and half the tomatoes into a chunky pulp. Add the cooked orzo to the tray, then peel in all the zest and squeeze in the juice of half the lemon; add more to taste. Scatter over the parsley, then stir everything together. Transfer to a large platter, scatter over the dukkah, and serve.

 

Recipe extracted from Salad Feasts by Jessica Elliott Dennison (Hardie Grant, £16.99).

The round up.

 

 A selection of favourite stockists, curated by Courier.

Allpress Café

Allpress Café

58 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP

 

Diogenes the Dog

Diogenes the Dog

96 Rodney Road, EC2A 3QE

 

Huckle the Barber

Huckle the Barber

55 Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB

 

Brickwood and Bread

Brickwood and Bread

21-23 Tooting High Street, SW17 0SN

 

Franklins Farm Shop

Franklins Farm Shop

155 Lordship lane, SE22 8HX

 

Labour and Wait

Labour and Wait

85 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ

 

Couverture and Garbstore

Couverture and Garbstore

188 Kensington Park Road, W11 2ES

 

Goodhood Store

Goodhood Store

151 Curtain Road, EC2A 3QE

 

Rough Trade West

Rough Trade West

130 Talbot Road, W11 1JA

 

Dawson Flowers

Dawson Flowers

43 Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1N 3NG

 

Hoxton Holborn

Hoxton Holborn

199-206 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD

 

Town Hall Hotel

Town Hall Hotel

Patriot Square, E2 9NF

 

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