If you’ve been down Sunderland high street recently we’re sure you’ll have spotted the smiling sunshine windowed building that simply reads Little Shop. So, what’s it all about?
Despite looking so unassuming, the aptly named Little Shop is home to an amazing range of lush beers, wines, baked goods, delicious coffees and more.
We caught up with shop manager Sophie Wearmouth to find out all you need to know about this little gem of a shop…
photo by Cal Cowie
What’s the story behind Little Shop coming to be?
We’ve had the space for about 3 years now, initially it was an extension of Holmeside Coffee which was our other coffee shop in the Winter Gardens. It was called Holmeside Takeout, we sold specialty coffees and sandwiches. When Covid hit, the owners rebranded as The Little Shop. With the rebrand we decided we wanted to sell craft beer and natural wines – areas that have always interested us.
How would you describe the shop to someone that hasn’t visited?
We are a very small cooperative that sells specialty coffee, craft beer, natural wines and baked goodies. Including freshly made artisan donuts and brownies.
Photo by Kate Borrill
What’s your go to beer/cider when you reach into the Little Shop fridge?
I absolutely love sour beers, so anything by Vault City Brewery. They are based in Edinburgh and specialise in sours. I know anything they produce will be delicious!
Are there any underrated beers/ciders that people should try more often?
We stock quite a lot of American Breweries, they may be less familiar to some. These include Equilibrium, KCBC and Barrier Brewery. They are all really good breweries, we try to get something for everyone.
You stock lush baked goods too right?
Yeah we try to keep our baked goods fully stocked throughout the week. We had a couple of Holmeside customers reach out and tell us how much they missed the brownies and flapjacks, so we brought them back.
Joe (the owner) decided in the first lockdown he wanted to try and make donuts, which was a big success and we now have them every weekend. The flavours vary every week, but we often have pistachio and white chocolate, lemon curd and salted caramel.
What’s your favourite thing about having a shop in the city centre?
We get such a wide variety of customers coming in, it’s been lovely to see people return to work and popping in for a lunch coffee and brownie or grabbing beers after work on a Friday. The town has really picked up in the past few months and the city feels like it has a real buzz about it again.
Photo by Kate Borrill
What’s your favourite thing about Sunderland in general?
The sense of community, we’ve received so much support from our customers and other small businesses. There’s a real hub of small independent businesses, it’s been great to be a part of. Sunderland has so much to offer now, there’s a lot of good stuff happening.
Are there any other shops in town that you’d like to give a shoutout to?
Oh there’s so many! Fat Unicorn, Master Debonair and Grinder Coffee to name a few! There are so many great independent businesses popping up in Sunderland.