What is our #ShopNorthEast campaign and what inspired us to organise it?
We are passionate about supporting local, independent businesses and always have been. Whether it's visiting local farmers markets or farm shops, or finding new local producers, offering new ideas for our home cooking, we have always tried to support local businesses, whenever we can, but we always still found ourselves buying the vast majority of our weekly shop from a supermarket.
During lockdown, our shopping habits have changed, for the better! How can we forget the panic buying that took over the supermarkets when lockdown rules were first introduced. A complete lack of toilet roll, hand wash and, for some strange reason, pasta and some types of meat.
When this happened, we decided to avoid supermarkets as much as possible and started looking to our smaller, local, independently owned businesses. The traditional businesses, which have seen a massive decline due to supermarkets and online shopping, such as butchers, green grocers, bakers and even restaurants, who could now offer a takeaway and delivery service.
We had always been aware of the difference between supermarkets and local suppliers, mainly in terms of quality and freshness, and while we did still source some of our produce from these suppliers, we just found it easier to get most items from a supermarket.
Not any more!
Supermarket trips became long, drawn out stressful experiences, which usually resulted in us having to visit smaller businesses to find products that supermarkets simply did not have in stock.
That was when we realised that we could actually source the majority of our weekly shop from these smaller businesses and that, in some cases the products were actually higher quality AND cheaper, not to mention the higher standard of service.
Yes, some products are slightly more expensive, but the difference in price is usually far outweighed by the difference in quality.
With all of this in mind, we started thinking about what else we could do to support these small businesses and others across our region
Shop North East
We came up with our #ShopNorthEast campaign. This would involve working with a wide range of North East based, independent businesses, reviewing their products (some of which are highly unique and cannot be found in supermarkets) and sharing these reviews across our social media platforms.
We decided that it would be best to offer this service with no fee being charged to the businesses we work with.
The idea of the campaign is to promote some of the awesome small businesses we have based right here, in the North East and the amazing, high quality products they offer. Most of the products are handmade, with more care and attention than mass manufactured products you will find in a supermarket.
We are also putting together a hamper, consisting of products from these businesses, which will be given away to one lucky person, as part of a social media promotion to highlight the campaign, so watch out for that on our Facebook page.
#ShopNorthEast will take place across a 2 week period in early July,
Fancy getting involved?
If you, or someone you know, own or work for an independently owned, North East based business, please feel free to get in touch for details of how you can be part of the campaign.
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org