Sunderland’s independent shopping scene has come alive!


After an extensive renovation, Mackies Corner in Sunderland is now welcoming brand new independent businesses to the city as fashion stores, cafés, delicatessen and beauty parlours gear up for a summer to remember.


Get to know the new independent businesses that call Mackies Corner home with our in-depth guide…




Fat Unicorn Kitchen, Mackies Corner, Sunderland


The guys and girls at Fat Unicorn Kitchen have been a breath of fresh air since arriving into Mackie’s Corner and they’ve kept us looking forward to mealtime thanks to their beautiful selection of artisanal ingredients. 

They’ve quickly become one of the city’s best spots to shop local since opening in Mackie’s Corner and this is in part to their fantastic service and wonderful deli. 

A space that’s packed full of regional goodies that you could spend hours here and still uncover new delights to dive into. 

Organic fruit and veg? Check. Beers from the likes of Full Circle Brew Co. and Almasty? Sure. A cheese counter chock full of fabulous cheese? You betcha!

They’re open most days, they have wonderful staff and they’re one of Sunderland’s best-kept secrets – although we expect that to change pretty quickly.


CAFE 1851

Cafe 1851 is a cool contemporary cafe that recently joined the other independent businesses at Mackies Corner.

A wonderful addition to the city’s bustling coffee-shop scene, Harry Collinson and the team have created a stylish, contemporary space that welcomes Mackems from across Wearside for a delicious bite to eat, somewhere different to chill and watch the world go by with a lush flat white. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Take a visit and you’ll soon be greeted with an uber-sleek interior matched with low-lighting, quaint bar stools and cool, traditional signage that serves up the perfect homely atmosphere.




The Sweet Petite, Mackies Corner, Sunderland


Founded way back in 2014, The Sweet Petite is a wonderful example of local people dreaming large and turning their passion into a wonderful business idea and their very first premise right here at Mackies Corner has gone down a treat. 

Their story starts with humble beginnings; husband and wife duo, Tommy and Laura began their journey armed full of gorgeous goodies and a bakery trailer that travelled across the North East serving up coffee and cake to beach walkers, woodland ramblers and so on.

Their sweet sensations became so sought after, that the pair then began baking custom orders for weddings and events as thousands of people across the North East looked to get their hands on The Sweet Petite treats!

They’ve kept us fuelled as we explore the top picturesque walks in Sunderland, and their beautiful Victorian wall, ceiling mouldings, opulent chandeliers and ornate cabinetry decorations have had us drooling at the thought of being able to enjoy a sit-in experience. 

Boasting two beautiful counters full to the brim with delicious treats – The Sweet Petite is the place to visit when it comes to delicious brownies and sumptuous cakes.


Sunderland Vibe is an award-winning publication that celebrates the very best of Sunderland and its communities.

Check out our recent video where we showcase our magazine, visit Wearside’s most loved businesses and celebrate the local people behind them. Created by Allies Group.



They may be a small business in the city, but this mighty independent business is offering up big things to the North East, especially when it comes to a place in Sunderland to shop quality womenswear.

This bijou boutique is a celebration of understated luxury and comfort at an affordable price. Whether it’s niche jewellery pieces or luxurious, under-the-radar collections, you’re certain to find that next statement piece as beer garden season arrives.




The Black Door Hairdressing, Mackies Corner, Sunderland


One of the hottest names in Sunderland for hairdressing, The Black Door Hairdressing team over by Mackies Corner have built up quite the following for their beautifully structured haircuts, range of fabulous beauty products and super friendly service since opening. 

The Insta-worthy boutique salon has a fresh vibe-complete with a sleek interior that celebrates the heritage of Mackies Corner, with cool brick walls, lush wood flooring and ambient lighting – perfect for new-look selfie.

Handy, as you’ll want to capture your post-lockdown cut on camera immediately! Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page below for appointments – they’re like gold dust!




Photography: Isaac Johnson


Arriving into the city with a global reputation, a raft of retailer awards and an abundance of style, Master Debonair is a huge addition to Sunderland’s cultural and shopping offering once they’re up and running at Mackies Corner. 

A small idea from local lad Simon Whitaker that’s blossomed into something truly wonderful, Master Debonair’s whole ethos is simple but beautifully effective; a family ran independent that places classic values, outstanding services and quality clothing at the heart of their entire operation. 

It all sounds excellent, but what type of clothing do they actually sell? Well, whether you’re after statement tailoring for a big event, or you’re searching for crisp, casual gear to turn heads when out and about in the city, Master Debonair has everything you need to look effortlessly stylish this summer. 

They’re busy renovating the namesake unit at Mackies Corner with the aim of opening this June, so keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page below –  what a game-changer for the city!


What do you think of the Mackies Corner independents? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe

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