Official Guide to Edinburgh

Celebrate Small Business Saturday with 3 of Edinburgh's Top Indie Retailers

03 December 2014

6th December is Small Business Saturday and Edinburgh is not short of successful independent businesses within the capital.

We were delighted to catch up with three of Edinburgh’s most flavoursome indie retailers and find out what inspired the ladies at the helm to take the plunge and set up their small businesses within the city’s Grassmarket.

Mademoiselle Macaron - Rachel Hanretty

“Mademoiselle Macaron was established after searching for the perfect French macarons in Scotland. After I lived in the French capital, I made it my mission to bring Paris to Edinburgh. I had worked for an organisation that promoted women in business and suddenly realised that it was ok to dream big. 

The shop on Grindlay Street has a perfect view of Edinburgh castle and is nestled in Edinburgh’s Theatre Land beside the Lyceum. I installed a three metre high Eiffel Tower coffee bar so if you’re not gazing at the castle, you can look at a version of France’s iconic building. 

Although I’m originally from Glasgow, Edinburgh is where I feel comfortable. I love that I can walk everywhere. It’s compact enough without compromising on having everything you want from a city - great restaurants, pubs and a vibrant cultural scene. 

You’ll find me in the Red Squirrel eating a burger or at Pickles on Broughton Street - one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems.”

Mademoiselle Macaron
22 Grindlay Street

Lovecrumbs - Rachel and Hollie

Love Crumbs Collage

Rachel & Hollie started lovecrumbs 3 years ago off the back of a whim and some relevant experience.

“We were both at loose ends and decided to start some kind of project. So after finding a warehouse space in Leith which we converted into a bakery, we started wholesaling cakes, brownies and other sweet stuff to the coffee shops of Edinburgh, whilst looking for a good spot for our own shop. 

We had expressed interest in a few places, but nothing had quite worked out.  We then got a phone call from David at Links property saying he had a premises on West Port that we should view. Immediately we loved it, despite having some reservations over the size, but decided to go with our gut instinct.

After much discussion, we agreed terms with our landlady and got the ball rolling, locals were fairly surprised to find out what our plans were regarding the space, especially as we were a new young business in the area.

We were swiftly followed by some great new businesses like Timberyard, The Hanging Bat, Mary's Milk Bar, Stag Barber Co and Mademoiselle Macaron. So our gut feeling on the area was obviously founded in something and has landed us in an area full of exciting independent businesses. 

Over the last three years of building the shop and bakery we have met some amazing people and made some great friends. We frequent our neighbours often but our favourite Edinburgh spots outside our immediate stomping ground are Blackfriars for chips and wine, Brew Lab for a coffee and Lucky Liquor for a post-work cocktail.”

155 West Port

Mary’s Milk Bar - Mary Hilliard

Marys Milk Bar Blog

“As far as the business goes - I opened with the Milk Bar without much thought of failure, just a blind belief that it would work. I had attempted to get a new job, failed, and thought I should just employ myself.

I love the production of gelato and chocolate - precise and scientific but endlessly creative and fun.

I went to the art school so I knew the Grassmarket really well and wanted a little nook in which to establish myself - number 19 was perfect.

There are lots of exciting places in the Old Town - Red Door Gallery and Hannah Zakari are very addictive.  Blackfriars is perfect for a beer and beautiful food and Herman Brown, Godiva and Armstrong's cater to every clothing need.”

Mary’s Milk Bar
19 Grassmarket

Triangle Map

Take time out and discover the hidden gems of Edinburgh’s Grassmarket . . .