The Best Independent Shops in Oxford 2022
If you’re heading into Oxford to explore the city’s independents, or keen to find brilliant indie shops in Oxfordshire this December, then you’re in the right place! Here’s the Independent Oxford Guide to the Best Independent Shops in Oxford and Oxfordshire, including produce stores, jewellery shops, wine merchants, boutiques and gift shops.
Indie inspiration awaits….
Opened in September 2013, 2 North Parade is a neighbourhood produce store run by Peter Slade and Victoria Borondo. The couple work closely with local farmers, producers and suppliers, who focus on the quality, integrity and provenance of their produce.
Amy runs a lovely friendly store tucked at the top of Cowley Road selling a fantastic array of beads and jewellery making supplies. Alongside the shop, Amy runs the Amy Surman School of Jewellery teaching everything from silver smithing to beaded jewellery.
Babylon Trading is an independent retailer specialising in eclectic home interiors and giftware. Owners Miri and Mike have over 26 years of experience in buying and sourcing products from around the world and the UK. This year their focus is on increasing UK made ranges and environmentally friendly products.
Blue Blood is a teamwear, school wear and workwear specialist based in the centre of Oxford. Ben, Dale and Steli pride themselves upon their great customer care and quality of service using many years of experience to ensure complete customer satisfaction. They have a strong connection locally with grass roots organisations and colleges, providing sports and leisure wear.
Located on the historic High St amongst the University colleges, our shop is an indie business specialising in an eclectic mix of home interiors, giftware and lifestyle products. At the core of our business is the desire to create a different retail offer by cherry picking products we love for ourselves & our home, working together with our amazing small team where local customers & new faces are always welcome. Oxford has a great tradition of having a thriving independent retail & hospitality scene, which we are proud to be a part of, with so many hidden gems to discover.
– Miri Allen, Owner at Babylon Trading
Central Living is a family run interiors retailer and interior design studio on Little Clarendon Street in Jericho, founded by Geoff and Rosie Taylor in 1997. The store brings the very best in iconic, design-led furniture, lighting and home accessories to Oxford.
Elle’s Deli was opened in May 2022 by Ladd and Ru Thurston on Magdalen Road, on the former site of Oli’s Thai. The name is taken from the founders’ daughter Elle. The deli sells high quality produce from Britain, Europe and Asia. There is a weekly changing menu offering baked goods each morning such as iced buns, welsh cakes and custard tarts.
Fairtrade at St Michaels on Cornmarket Street in Oxford, was the first shop in the city to offer a high quality range of fairly traded goods from across the globe. The shop, organised as a co-operative, was started in October 2003, and at present has five people working as unpaid directors, four part-time members of staff and numerous fantastic volunteers.
Floor Street, on Abingdon Road, is a community powered flooring company focusing on customer service, sustainability, quality and design. Tony and the team provide all types of flooring such as Hardwood, Tiles, Laminate, LVT, as well as Carpets, Stair Runners and Rugs, and small eco-friendly lifestyle and home-ware products.
I love our business as it is made up of a wonderful set of people who have a heart for Fairtrade whilst having unique skill sets that help to make us who we are – a unique and colourful shop where you can almost always find that special something for yourself or for another, from an interesting part of the world, that comes with a great story. I am grateful for being in the heart of Oxford city centre where there is such a great community of independents. May this community grow!
– Daniella Cromwell, Fairtrade at St Michaels Shop Manager
Owned by Herve Gatineau, and situated in Summertown, Gatineau offers the finest artisan produce in the French/European patisserie and boulangerie tradition: premium cakes, chocolates, pastries, savouries and breads – all made in house with the highest quality ingredients, creative flair, taste combinations and attention to detail.
Summertown’s only independent wine merchant based on South Parade. Owners Graeme Woodward and Michael Jelley stock a fantastic range of wines from all over the world catering from entry level party wines to some of the worlds very finest, and also have a second shop in Wallingford.
Headington Fairtrade, on London Road in Headington, is run as a community co-operative gift shop specialising in fairly traded products from all over the world, as well as Ecover and Faith in Nature refills and other eco products. The team are passionate about the importance of fairly traded products and ethical ways of supporting craftspeople and producers in other parts of the world who are struggling with the double impact of COVID and of climate change.
We love our wine here at Grape Minds and whether it is £7 or £70 we put the same time, dedication and love into finding that perfect bottle for everyone. Come give us a go and let us show you that shopping indie is shopping best.
– Graeme Woodward, Co-Owner at Grape Minds
An independent, family-run games shop based on Oxford’s High Street since 1997, father and daughter team Phillip and Emily, sell traditional and vintage table-top games including chess, backgammon, mah jong and go, alongside a wide range of board games: family classics, newcomers, award-winners and hard-to-find independent, niche games.
Laird Hatters, on Cornmarket Street, is an independent British hat specialist, which hand-makes a wonderful selection of hats and caps for both men and women. The brand was founded in London with 4 stores and has now expanded into Cambridge and Oxford.
Oxford is a gorgeous city, full of history and tradition (just like our games!), and with such a wealth of great independent businesses to choose from. It’s a real pleasure to be here, sharing our knowledge and love of games.
– Emily Scaysbrook, Co-Owner at Hoyles of Oxford
Löfgrens Nordic Style, on Magdalen Road, is a Scandinavian inspired homeware shop, established in 2021 by its Swedish proprietor Elisabeth. Löfgrens provide products to enhance, inspire and create cosy and warm home environments. You will find lanterns, sheepskins and throws, linen items, vases, flowerpots, basketware, tableware, candles, and much more.
MINOX Boutique is an award winning independent multi-brand boutique on St Ebbes Street. Starting as a husband and wife venture, the boutique prides itself on creating a relaxed and friendly environment, as well as having an experienced buying team committed to bringing the best designs to the people of Oxford. Discover well-known labels and emerging designers too.
In the shop at Modern Art Oxford on St Ebbes Street, you’ll find an eclectic range of unique gifts for all the family, jewellery by independent makers, thought-provoking publications on a range of subjects and an enchanting selection of books for children, as well as exclusive exhibition catalogues, merchandise and artist’s editions.
Objects of Use is a source of enduring household tools and functional items, consciously sourced from around the globe, with a special focus on everyday archetypes and vernacular objects. Find Objects of Use in the heart of Oxford on Market Street.
Like an old-fashioned sweet shop, Oxford Yarn Store, on North Parade, is an explosion of colour and texture. The shelves are bursting with an eclectic mix of knitting paraphernalia, pattern books for all abilities and a carefully curated selection of mainly natural fibre yarns. Alongside yarns and notions, we offer a wide range of workshops, social gatherings, and special events with brilliant guest speakers – keep an eye out for our next newsletter with details.
James and I strive to be a welcoming sanctuary for all those who love yarn, knitting and crochet. We are always here to help so come along to chat, learn, and knit; we are here for everyone!
– Lizzie Webb, Owner of Oxford Yarn Store
Payne & Son is an historic family jewellers & silversmiths that specialises in selling gold, platinum & silver jewellery, gem set jewellery and silver items. The business was established in 1790 in Wallingford and has had a presence on Oxford’s High St. since 1889, run by the same family (currently 8th generation).
Uniquely located in a pretty flower filled courtyard just of Frideswide Square, Rainbow and Spoon Boutique was established in 1982 by Amanda Suliman Bell, and is one of Oxford’s most loved boutiques. Visit Amanda’s shop for stylish and individual clothing, gifts, jewellery, scarves and other fabulous accessories and lifestyle items.
Reginald Davis are an independent family jewellers in Oxford, specialising in antique, second-hand and modern jewellery. Established in 1904, they were originally based in London, but during the 1940s Reginald Davis moved his shop to the High Street, Oxford and five generations later the family is still trading in the same premises.
ronapainting gallery on Walton Street, is new space that exhibits a large selection of pieces from paintings and sculptures to prints, photography and illustration. All work displayed and sold is original, representing a few of Oxford’s talented artists. A selection of international artists will also be included.
Owned by Philip Marston and Sarah Boada-Momtahan, Sanders of Oxford, situated in the 17th century Salutation Inn on the High Street, is one of the largest printsellers in Britain. One of the few antiquarian print and map galleries left outside London, Sanders’ selection is extensive and varied, dating from the early 16th century to contemporary works, and encompassing a vast range of subjects, engravers, and prices.
Sarah Wiseman Gallery is an independent art gallery on South Parade, representing around fifty artists and makers who are UK based. The gallery is open six days a week, open to anyone who wants to come and see or buy the artworks. Sarah and the team represent artists on an ongoing basis, but also organise group, themed exhibitions and solo shows throughout the year.
The shop at The Folly on Folly Bridge, sells a fantastic range of gifts and produce from local artisans and Oxfordshire indie businesses. Check out their hampers brimming with indies favourites.
The Garden of Oxford was established in Oxford’s historic Covered Market in 1984 by Paul Birtles, and has gained an enviable reputation for being one of the region’s finest flower shops. Paul and the team have a particular passion for English-grown fresh flowers and are proud to offer their customers the finest seasonal flowers by personally selecting the very best available at London’s New Covent Garden Market.
The team at The Garden are passionate …..about our work, our shop, our customers , and The Covered Market! Our shop constantly evolves, both as the seasons change, but also as the fashion for flowers and plants changes, and we thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to exercise our creative ability on a daily basis. Oxford is a truly amazing city – the architecture of the numerous University buildings and the vibrancy that is created by the student population make it a unique place. The Covered Market is often lauded as “The Jewel In Oxford’s Crown – we agree, and for us, working here is very much like being part of a family.
– Paul Birtles, Owner of The Garden
The Market Cellar Door is a tiny ‘Hybrid’ wine shop and wine bar in Oxford’s Covered Market. They sell over 200 wines from around the world, including organic, low intervention and English wines, alongside the classics. They also have 6 wines available ‘on-tap’ for refilling your own bottles, or for enjoying a glass with food from around the market… Including Oysters from the neighbouring fishmonger!
The Oxford Soap Company is a local, family run business, run by Ervin & Emily Tomkys Valteri, that designs and creates handmade soaps and cosmetics in Oxford’s iconic Covered Market. They are best known for their popular zero waste items – soap bars and shampoo bars, as well as a range of reduced plastic options on cosmetics such as shaving soap, moisturising lotion, hand cream, face cream, bath salts and body butters. All their products are made locally by Ervin, who is committed to using natural and environmental recipes.
The Oxford Wine Company is a truly independent, family-run wine merchant with over 25 years’ experience. They have one shop in Standlake and three in Oxford – on Botley Road, Little Clarendon Street and Turl Street. They also have a concession shop at Millets Farm. They list over 2000 products, covering wines, spirits and beers – from inexpensive crowd-pleasers to hard-to-find, more specialist bottles.
Located in the historic Covered Market, The Woolhound is bringing British wool, yarn, and notions to central Oxford. Jess is passionate about offering supplies and support to every level of crafter at a wide range of price points. Along with Sirdar, Stylecraft, and Erika Knight yarns, you can find hand-dyed 100% wool and craft kits by lovely UK-based small businesses.
Truck Store is Oxford’s independent music hub, a proper record shop in the heart of the city’s music scene on Cowley Road, yet they’re so much more than just a record shop. They always strive to make the store a friendly, welcoming environment where their enthusiasm for new music can be shared with the local community and beyond: Gary, Carl and the team aim to be the place to come to pick up exciting recommendations and discover new music!
Vanilla is a luxury womenswear and lifestyle boutique on South Parade in Summertown, Oxford. Established 20 years ago by Renate Beaumont, Renate loves to champion young designers and believes in supporting small, independent labels. She has curated an exquisite collection of pieces from designer clothing to footwear, beauty and homeware.
Y.O.U underwear makes organic cotton underwear for men, women and girls that lets you look good, feel good and do good. Sarah opened a shop in The Covered Market in 2021, and has now moved to a larger shop within the market opposite The Garden.
I love my business. After 20 years I have come to know my loyal customer base and consider them when buying alongside my own aesthetic. I love fashion, homewares and travelling and it’s a joy to combine all these passions and to share it with my team and all our lovely clientele. Oxford has been my home for the past 48 years and this is where my family and my heart belongs. I love Oxford!
– Renate Beaumont, Owner at Vanilla
Awesome indie shops to check out across the Oxfordshire county. >>
Jessie and Olly, are the husband and wife duo behind Jessie’s Art Shed. They run an art shop in Eynsham, Oxfordshire where they host classes and workshops for all ages, stock a fantastic range of art products both in the shop and online, and sell amazing creations by local artists. They are passionate about art, and love that their little shop gives everyone, no matter what age or ability, the opportunity to create and grow in confidence. You can now also find Jessie’s Art Shed at Yarnton Garden Centre too.
We love our business and being in the Oxfordshire and Eynsham community because of our customers. We can’t tell you how grateful we are for our customers support, and we feel so lucky to have it and to have met so many wonderful people along the way. We are so humbled by the support we receive as it means we get to do the job we love on a daily basis!
– Jessie Whealy, Owner and Founder at Jessie’s Art Shed
An award-winning independent bookshop located in the heart of Abingdon. Mostly Books offers an excellent range of books, greeting cards, gifts and children’s toys. Sarah and the team can source most titles, and have been supporting their community by hand delivering books by bike within Abingdon. If you’re a bit further afield, check out their online shop.
Rapture is Oxfordshire’s longest running independent record store, right in the centre of Witney. Since owner Gary Smith first opened the doors in June 2004, they’ve always done their best to supply the people of Witney with the best and most exciting new music on various formats, the biggest blockbusters on DVD & blu-ray… and if they don’t have it, they’ll always try and order it in for you!
Being in the book trade is the most satisfying job in the world! We love meeting our customers and suggesting books for them that they may not have tried before. Being so involved in the local community is really important to us and the support we’ve received from customers all around Oxfordshire during the pandemic has been unbelievable.
– Sarah Dennis, Owner at Mostly Books
Steph recently created a successful Crowd Funder to take her pop up online zero waste to the high street! You can find So Sustainable on the High Street in Watlington, where you can refill with organic wholefoods, natural home & beauty products, and sustainable gifts.
The Maker Space is a modern craft venue based online and in a beautiful but abandoned 17th century pub building in Nuffield, near Henley-on-Thames where Kay and the team teach craft skills in their workrooms, stock gorgeous modern craft supplies and handmade goods in the store, and serve great food and drinks in their cosy cafe and garden.
Orange Bakery is a father and daughter bread bakery specialising in sourdough. Their mission is to make good bread available to the local community. Check out their shop on their local High Street in Watlington, and follow Kitty on Instagram for highly entertaining stop motion videos from the bakery!