So this morning I woke up to a tweet which was featuring Glasgow's Independent shops by our cities marketing bureau 'People Make Glasgow', so I of course excitedly click into the link and scrolled straight to the East End section to be met with this.
To say I was disappointed is an absolute understatement not only because the West End and Finneston sections have a combined word count of 386 and the East End is 83 words. To be fair the Southside comes off even worse with 63! But because over the past couple of years I've sat with the team at People Make Glasgow on a couple of occasions to highlight the fact that the East End is often overlooked when it comes to these articles and websites. The most recent meeting that involved at least half a dozen local businesses and organisations was just in September, speaking about all the great things in the East End. To make it even worse it is factually incorrect - BAaD doesn't have a dedicated record shop - it has a record company, and we sell a mix of records & gifts but it is also open 7 days a week!
So rather than send another email to the team at the exact time of year when it is so important to be spreading the word that there are loads of fantastic local businesses in the East End that need the customers support, here is my version of what they could have included, it was written in 30 minutes and doesn't even start to cover it! (Please note this comes to 394 words - so a little over the west end coverage).
The East End of Glasgow has always been home to an amazing array of Glasgow’s creative community, one of it’s most famous residents was Charles Rennie Macintosh, Dovehill Studios on East Campbell Street was opened over 30 years ago as one of the first mass studios to open their doors to provide spaces for the city's visual arts scene. So it is only natural that in recent years, the area has welcomed more creative businesses to the area.
It is home to one of Scotland’s oldest and most famous markets, The Barras, which encompasses a range of stalls and shops, new and old all in one area. Start at Many Studios, home to the monthly Ross Street Market as part of a new East End First Saturdays initiative and home to Tuck and Rip It Up Vintage Clothes shop on Kent Street. Wander through the original McIver’s market for everything from your knitting supplies, bric a’ brac, sweetie stalls and more. Right in the middle of the Barras, you’ll find Barras Art and Design, home to a variety of small independent businesses including Braw Wee Emporium, Glasgow Furniture Collective, Primo Barbers, Crossbill Gin, fashion designers studio, and The Glasgow Market’s bi-monthly markets with a range of stall holders. To top it all off they have a fantastic Restaurant and Bar, opened just a year ago A’Challtainn. Just on the otherside of BAaD you have Randall’s Antiques with over 15 stall holders, all unique and full of character!
Walk down to London Road and you’ll find Glasgow’s oldest sweetie shop, Glickman’s, with freshly made Tablet, Candy Balls and Macaroons!
Head towards Bridgeton, and you’ll find the Glasgow’s Women’s Library gift shop – filled with fantastic gifts and treats sales of which go to supporting their work as the only Accredited Museum in the UK dedicated to women’s lives, histories and achievements. Just round the corner at Bridgeton Cross you will find Bizzie Bees Florist, who can help with all your floral needs.
Walk up to Dennistoun and you’ll find Duke Street, filled with amazing independent businesses including Florresters another fantastic local florist, Coia’s Café Deli, Drygate Brewery even has their own bottle shop with 100’s of guest beers!
Now this is just really the start of the East End, dive deeper into Parkhead and Shettleston to find even more fantastic small businesses all contributing to their own creative communities.