Support Small Business – 8 Of The Best Independent Businesses In Southsea
If you have been following me for a while, you will know that I LOVE supporting small independent businesses. It’s one of Inka’s main brand values, you can read more about them here. I am really lucky to live in Southsea which is an area full of cool & creative independent businesses which I visit as often as possible. I thought I would pull together a list eight of the best independent businesses in Southsea to visit when you’re here. I won’t lie it’s pretty food & drink heavy but that is because I don’t do a huge amount of shopping and I do A LOT of eating and drinking, don’t judge me!
This list is not extensive, but it is pretty great!
1. Pigeon Books
Southsea’s only independent bookshop is a must visit. Run by my friend Mel, her husband Phil & their bookshop dog Bear it’s a brilliant space to find something you wouldn’t see on the high street. They specialise in new fiction, queer lit & diverse children’s books.
This duo started small with appearances at market’s around town which is where I met and fell in love with their business and now they have a physical shop in Albert Road, the perfect Southsea location. I highly recommend a visit to their shop, I can guarantee you’ll leave with something you didn’t think you would and you’ll LOVE it!
2. Bread Addiction
Saturday’s don’t work if I don’t start them with a morning mooch to Bread Addiction to pick up a vegan cinnamon bun and spiced oat milk chai latte! If you love sourdough loaves and pastries then add this bakery to your list immediately. Bread Addiction is an artisan bakery on Elm Grove with a belief in the traditional way of making bread. They use only organic flour, pure water, sea salt, natural levain & good old hand power to make their delicious loaves. The perfect treat for my weekends!
My recommendation is to get there early, there is usually a queue and the pastries sell quickly & trust me you don’t want to miss out.
3. Hotwalls Studios
This unique and creative space in Old Portsmouth (technically not Southsea but very close!) is the perfect place to take a wander, enjoy the historic Point Battery and see plenty of designers & artists work in one place. The arches of this historic space were converted into artist studios in 2014 and are now tenanted by an array of seriously creative makers.
You can be sure to find something you like whether it’s acrylics, jewellery, macramé or ceramics there is something for everyone. Especially if you’re looking for something that no one else has! It’s also home to our wonderful creator Laura Bennett Jewellery, she makes all her jewellery in her studio at the Hotwalls and I love popping in to visit her & see her work when I’m taking a wander at the weekend.
4. Little Coffee Southsea
If you ever visit Southsea and wonder if you might bump into me, head to Little Coffee and you probably will! I’m a regular, so much so I help myself to my brownies (yes, they do insane brownies) and I know how the till works!
Little Coffee is literally a little coffee van owned by my friend Liv and it’s where I recommend everyone visit for the best coffee in town, although I also rate it for a delicious oat milk hot chocolate! This cute and quirky van is pitched just on the edge of the Pier Road Roundabout and although it’s little you won’t miss it because there is always a gathering of people enjoying their morning or afternoon brews. LC has recently added a lunchtime offering in the form of a daily sandwich selection which I’ve tried and tested and can confirm I would recommend!
5. Broken & Repaired
Looking for a bit of an experience on a night out, something to add to your insta to share with all your friends who have FOMO? Put this bar on your list, it is a members bar but they accept walk-ins you just might have to wait to be called when they have a slot. It’s at least worth a try as once you’re inside the cocktails are really innovative and creatively presented. Each one is worth an insta pic I can tell you!
6. Package Free Larder
This is one of my favourite places to buy my larder bits, funnily enough! The Package Free Larder is Portsmouth’s first plastic free supermarket so a massive box ticket for me, they are also a social enterprise meaning all the profits are put back into the shop & community. The shop is run by a team of dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers who do a fantastic job running the place. I love visiting, it’s really easy to get help and find what you need, you just need to remember to be organised and take plenty of your own empties so you can fill up on all the goodies.
I’d highly recommend shopping here and even if you’re just in town for a few days it’s a great place to get some food for cooking while you’re visiting.
7. Rose Clover
Fan of a plant? Well Southsea is the place for you as it’s home to Rose Clover, an independent plant shop on Elm Grove. I’m a total sucker for a house plant, if I had more shelf space I’m sure my living room would look like a jungle.
Owner Liz and her team member Kelly are always on hand in store, on email or over the phone to give you great advice about what your perfect plant will be. It’s a great shop to pop into to find a plant that your friend’s won’t have and a quirky pot to go with it. Also if you’re looking for a bigger installation in your home they can get super creative and help you transform your space!
8. Garage Lounge
Until the pandemic hit and ruined everyone’s fun Garage Lounge was the BEST place to go and curl up with a book in the evening, they now close at 5 but I’m hoping the evening opening returns. This cool and comfortable café is situated on Albert Road and was transformed from an old tyre workshop into this space that I love visiting.
The menu has plenty to choose from and lots of sweet options which as a major sweet tooth is always a hit with me. I love visiting this café as the staff are always really friendly and attentive, nothing is too much trouble which for me is half the experience. There are so many dishes I can recommend from the menu but my absolute favourite is the Marmite Mushrooms. I became so obsessed with this dish my housemate asked the chef for the recipe and she wrote it out and framed it for my birthday….it now hangs proudly on my kitchen wall!
I’d highly recommend checking out their cake counter and having a chill on their iconic red sofas.
So, which one of the best independent businesses in Southsea have you got on your list to visit first?
There are honestly so many great places to visit and support in Southsea, this is just a quick run down of the best independent businesses in Southsea, in my opinion anyway. All of the owners & staff make the experience even better and that’s why I love supporting small businesses. I’ve made so many great connections through these businesses and I hope that continues.
The links to everyone’s websites mentioned are below and if you didn’t already know much about my obsession for supporting small at Inka then take a read here