The Independent Awards 2021

High Street Shop Award

This award was won by PRIOR SHOP who received a cash prize of £10,000, and the Runner-up was Moo Like a Monkey who received £5,000.

As a reminder, this award celebrates the independent businesses who are transforming our high streets. Those keeping our local communities ‘home towns’ not ‘clone towns’ and showcasing true innovation, uniqueness and bringing ‘less ordinary’ to our grey retail experiences through their creativity and passion. 

The Winner

Prior Shop

PRIOR SHOP is a not-for-profit independent shop, workshop space, gallery and community hub in Bristol’s City Centre. Committed to conscious shopping, they showcase design-led, handcrafted work, made responsibly and sustainably, while providing a welcoming place for locals to learn new skills.

The Runner-up

Moo Like a Monkey

This colourful children’s shop in Folkestone offers a range of toys, books and clothes that are planet-friendly and designed to help parents raise kind, empathetic, individuals. Products are sustainably and ethically made, representative and inclusive. Plus the physical space has a play area and snug for cartoon-watching.

Nominees and Finalists

Each of these independent business has been selected for being outstanding in this category. Which is your favourite?

Curated Makers

Curated Makers host ‘Made Local Pop-Ups’. Championing local talent in their hyper-localised, collaborative pop-ups, they are disrupting the mainstream physical retail sector for good.

visit website
Shortlisted stamp

La Fauxmagerie

La Fauxmagerie, based in Cheshire Street, London, are the UK’s first plant-based cheesemonger. They bring to their customers the UK’s most delicious, decadent and inspired plant-based cheeses fit for the finest cheese board.

visit website
Shortlisted stamp

Poetry Pharmacy

Welcome to the world’s first walk-in Poetry Pharmacy. Filled with poetry, philosophy and wellbeing books, ‘pills’ and other literary gifts to address your emotional needs. An independent bookshop, coffee shop, bibliotherapy, workshop & performance space.

visit website
Shortlisted stamp

Buy the Weigh

Buy the Weigh, Ticehurst’s zero waste refill shop, began supporting the local community at the height of the pandemic. The family run shop strives to eliminate single use plastics offering sustainable, organic and ethical goods.

visit website

Folk Like These

Folk Like These is a little slice of creativity on the high street providing everything needed for inspiration to spark. They host workshops and make curated art and craft kits to help bring out everyone’s inner artist!

visit website

Artisans and Adventurers

A treasure trove of colourful homeware and jewellery, designed by founders Amy and Bee in partnership with 32 artisan groups across Africa and India. They amplify authentic crafts to create sustainable livelihoods for their makers.

visit website

Forum Books

Forum Books, a beautiful independent bookshop in a listed chapel, opened two more original & exciting shops – the bound and The accidental Bookshop – extending their eclectic and enthusiastically curated range of books to eager readers.

visit website

Green Rooms Market

Green Rooms Market is a pop-up houseplant market that transforms high street venues into urban jungle shopping events. A true champion of the numerous indie botanical shops it brings together, they create a plant shopping heaven!

visit website

Hunter Paper Co.

A letterpress greetings and stationery brand run by a wife and husband team. Their retail space is the home of the brand as well as the best and most beautiful stationery from around the world.

visit website

Jessie’s Art Shed

Jessie’s Art Shed hosts art lessons, courses and workshops for all ages. They are passionate about art and love that their space gives everyone, no matter what age or ability, the opportunity to create and grow in confidence.

visit website


Lifestory is a home and lifestyle store and a destination for lovers of Scandinavian design and lifestyle. Founder Susan curates its range of considered products including from local makers, that share in the aesthetic of the brand.

visit website


MoonKo is at the very heart of the high street, a beautiful Bricks & Mortar store. Affectionately known as the ‘Yellow Shop’, community is at its centre, and they sell stunning, dried everlasting flower bouquets and gifts.

visit website


Situated in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Oklahoma is an Aladdins cave of the best handmade and colourful goods from the UK and around with the world, inspired by owner Nicola’s own travels.
visit website


OTHERLETTERS is a “non-naff” party shop offering the coolest and most stylish edit of partywares. Their mission is to help humanity celebrate their loves and lives.

visit website

Proven Goods Co

Proven Goods Co is a small batch bakery that makes traditional, hand rolled, slow proven doughnuts from scratch. Flavours are inspired by nostalgic puddings and favourite sweet treats (Sticky Toffee Pudding, Rhubarb & Custard!).

visit website

Shrubs & Dubs

Shrubs & Dubs, is there a better combination? Founders Faye & Kieran don’t think so! Throw into the mix products from independent makers and record labels, and you’ve got a unique concept store with community at its heart.

visit website

Thirty One Leeds Road

Thirty One Leeds Road is home to Little Beacon and Community Cutlery. The space functions as working studios: with knife and tool sharpening at Community Cutlery, and a hand block printing textile and design studio at Little Beacon.

visit website


Tori and Ana co-founded Waffle+Co back in 2018 with “Women Who Waffle” events. They have now transformed it into a mobile catering business, where they serve exquisite savoury and sweet waffles from their converted horse box.

visit website


Other Award Categories

Don't forget you can vote for one business in each category

Small Business of the Year

Exceptional all-round small business superstar

Vote Now

Business for Good Award

Purpose led business bringing positive change

Vote Now

Female Founder Award

Unstoppable spirit, brilliant business, paving the way

Vote Now

Modern Crafter Award

Pure creative crafter with skill, talent and technique

Vote Now


These awards would not be possible without our incredible small business supporters who truly believe in the power of small.


For weekly advice and inspiration you won't get elsewhere, sign up to our emails.