40 incredible independent Gloucestershire businesses

Gloucestershire has so many incredible independent businesses, from trusted estate agents like Naylor Powell to artisan food and drink providers through to unique retail stores – with SoGlos celebrating 40 of them.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
From big firms with a global impact to small businesses doing great things in the local community, Gloucestershire is home to some incredible independent businesses.
From big firms with a global impact to small businesses doing great things in the local community, Gloucestershire is home to some incredible independent businesses.
In partnership with Naylor Powell  |  naylorpowell.com
Naylor Powell

Independent estate agent, Naylor Powell, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022. With a highly professional team, expert local knowledge and six branches across the county, it has been trusted by Gloucestershire homeowners for its sales, lettings and property management services since 1982.

Naylor Powell

Business is booming in Gloucestershire, with a diverse range of impressive independent organisations, from organic farms to beauty brands, representing the county on a local and international level.

In this hot list, in partnership with Naylor Powell, SoGlos highlights 40 independent businesses in Gloucestershire, to help the estate agent celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2022.

Independent Gloucestershire Property & Interiors businesses

Naylor Powell

Established in 1982, Gloucestershire independent estate agent, Naylor Powell, celebrates 40 years of business in 2022. With a reputation for its unrivalled local knowledge and expert staff at its branches in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stonehouse, Newent, and Cam, Naylor Powell finds generations of families return again and again for its trusted and professional service.

It’s also well-known for going above and beyond for the community, from dropping everything to help a stranded vendor on moving day to raising money throughout the year for various good causes.

The Fairview Gardener

Loved by green-fingered gardeners, The Fairview Gardener in Birdwood near Gloucester is known as ‘a centre for gardeners, not a garden centre.’

With a layout that’s designed to inspire, the centre has everything from plants and flowers to landscaping equipment, tools and gifts – not to mention the expert advice from its passionate staff and its popular tearoom.

Bedfolk

Trading internationally, Bedfolk is based in Cheltenham and was featured in J.P. Morgan’s top 200 female-powered UK businesses list, with co-founder Jo James being named as a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year at #SGGBA in 2021, too.

Its mission to disrupt the uninspiring bed linen market has seen demand for its products grow massively, with its turnover growing by 500 per cent. The business also won a £1 million investment in 2021.

Bailey Paints

Stroud-based Bailey Paints has been producing paint since 1896, working with a spectrum of customers from interior designers to engineering firms.

Manufacturing British Standard and RAL paint colours, as well as creating bespoke tints, its showroom in Thrupp has over 100 real paint colours – ideal for interior enthusiasts and trades too.

Cotswood Fine Furniture

Bespoke furniture maker, Cotswood Fine Furniture, has been making and installing bespoke wooden cabinets and furniture in Gloucestershire for over 30 years.

It creates all of its own timber components in its workshop before using them to create beautiful bespoke pieces in any size for any room of the house, using only solid wood and wood veneer with no chipboard in sight.

The Boys Who Sew

The Boys Who Sew is a Berkeley based curtain and upholstery business run by, you guessed it, two boys who sew.

Creating made-to-measure curtains and blinds for everything from Cotswold cottages to theatre backdrops, the company prides itself on making everything by hand in its Gloucestershire workshop using the finest materials and expert techniques. It’s also able to supply and fit curtain tracks and poles, too.

Thea’s Room

Cheltenham-based Thea’s Room creates colourful block printed lampshades and homewares, using reclaimed fabrics to save them from landfill.

With all components made in the UK and all designs hand printed to order, it can craft lampshades, cushions, tea towels and aprons in a range of sizes, designs, colours and fittings with personalisation options, too. It also runs craft workshops to teach people how to make their own lampshades.

Independent Gloucestershire Food & Drink businesses

Wholly Gelato

#SGGLA Food / Drink Producer of the Year 2021, Wholly Gelato is known across the county for its incredible gelato, made with milk from its own herd of cows which you can meet on its farm, just outside Gloucester.

With an ever-changing weekly gelato menu including flavours like Biscoff, chocolate orange and seasonal specials, it also has an innovative milk vending machine for customers to fill up reusable glass bottles with its farm fresh milk, too.

Dunkertons Organic Cider

Started by Ivor and Susie Dunkerton, Dunkertons Organic Cider has been making traditional, organic cider and perry from home-grown apples and pears since the 1980s.

The business has a state-of-the-art cidery near Charlton Kings and continues to make a range of incredible organic ciders – many of which are multi-award-winning – not to mention operating cider tours and running its very own taproom.

Tubby Tom’s

Tubby Tom’s has somewhat of a cult following in Gloucestershire, with its hot sauces, rubs and seasonings loved by customers and restaurants all over the UK and beyond.

With famous classics including maple bacon dust, smoky Szechuan glaze and buffalo hot sauce; innovative flavour combinations like burnt peach and bourbon barbecue glaze, pickle dust popcorn seasoning and watermelon hot sauce; as well as collaborations with the likes of DEYA Brewery.

Gloucester Brewery

Gloucester Brewery creates award-winning sustainable beer, as well as distilling its very own Fox’s Kiln Distillery gin and vodka, at its home at Gloucester Docks.

After reaching a £500,000 crowdfunding milestone in December 2021, Gloucester Brewery has ambitious plans to expand its already popular Warehouse 4 taproom and bar in Gloucester, with a mezzanine floor and a new event space in 2022.

Hetty’s Kitchen

Gloucester-based brownie business and #SGGLA Food/Drink Producer of the Year 2022, Hetty’s Kitchen, is known all over the county for its delicious bakes, including seasonal specials like brownie scotch eggs.

Hetty’s took business online during lockdown with mail-order brownie boxes and, when restrictions lifted, opened a brownie bar in Stroud’s Five Valleys. Hetty’s ambitious expansion plans also involved moving from its original Cake Hatch to a brand new café and brownie bar in Gloucester in June 2022. 

Favourite Beers

When it opened in 2010, Cheltenham’s Favourite Beers was the only specialist beer and cider shop in Gloucestershire – and it remains a firm favourite with beer and cider fans from Gloucestershire and beyond.

As well as stocking a range of over 500 beers in the shop, it also runs a Friday Beer Club showcasing 10 different breweries at a time – with previous names including DEYA, Tiny Rebel and Siren – and offers a beer subscription box with up to 12 beers delivered to your door each month.

The Beeswax Wrap Co.

Run by Gloucestershire entrepreneur, Fran Beer, #SGGBA award-winning The Beeswax Wrap Co. aims to help households go plastic free with its reusable, eco-friendly beeswax food wraps.

Made from washable, wax-coated fabric, the wraps can be used to replace single-use cling film, keeping food fresh in a more sustainable way. It also offers vegan wraps, with all of its products coming in a range of patterns – including some limited-edition collaborations with big name designers like Cath Kidston and Liberty of London.

The Coconut Tree

Having been started by four friends in Cheltenham in 2016, the vibrant, independent Sri Lankan restaurant chain now has venues across the country.

Its unique mix of shareable, authentic Sri Lankan street food, tasty Cocotails and laid back vibes make it a popular choice, with even notoriously hard to please Observer food critic, Jay Rayner, singing its praises!

Sibling Distillery

Family-run Sibling Distillery creates handcrafted artisan gins from its base in Cheltenham, offering everything from classic original gin, to cocktail inspired infusions and a selection of seasonal gins. It has one of the youngest distilling teams in the world – at its launch, one of the siblings wasn’t even legally old enough to drink!

Everything is done on-site by hand, from mashing in the cane sugar base with a canoe paddle, preparing the fruits and botanicals, to bottling – and the siblings’ hard work all pays off, as the brand has several awards under its belt, including a prestigious three-star Great Taste Award.

Cotteswold Dairy

As one of Gloucestershire’s oldest and most successful family businesses, Cotteswold Dairy is also one of the county’s biggest employers. Serving a broad range of customers from wholesale retailers to independent milkmen, it offers a traditional doorstep milk delivery service, too.

Its Tewkesbury depot is undergoing an ambitious upgrade after obtaining planning permission to add an extra 8,000 square metres to the space in 2021, to modernise and transform it into a state-of-the-art operation.

Woodchester Valley Vineyard

The family-run Woodchester Valley Vineyard, near Stroud, produces award-winning wines from grapes grown in Gloucestershire – with fruity reds and refreshing whites to English sparkling wines on offer.

The vineyard also offers tours and tastings as well as short breaks, not to mention fun events throughout the year, from fish, chips and fizz nights to dog walks.

DEYA Brewing Company

DEYA is one of Gloucestershire’s (and the UK’s) coolest breweries, with colourfully branded cans; innovative, hoppy craft beers; not to mention its incredible taproom and event space in Cheltenham.

From a homebrew recipe for its now signature Steady Rolling Man, the company has grown into a 25,000 square foot brewery and developed a strong reputation with craft beer lovers. Sustainability is important to DEYA too, with the company working hard to negate some of the environmental impacts of the brewing process and online customers can also choose to donate 1p per can to offset the carbon emissions of their purchase.

Salt Bakehouse

Stonehouse-based artisan bakery, Salt Bakehouse, supplies its award-winning bread to pubs, restaurants and cafés all over Gloucestershire and sells to the public from its kiosk in Stroud and its travelling white van.

Famous for its incredible sourdough loaves and baguettes, it also creates seasonal speciality bakes like nettle and onion or wild garlic bread, as well as croissants, scruffins and bear claws.

Daylesford

Daylesford Organic has become a household name, with its flagship destination farm based in Moreton-in-Marsh.

With a farm shop stocking fruit, vegetables and herbs all picked fresh from the garden each morning; its own bakery and creamery; a zero-waste pantry; cookery school; wellness spa; and plenty of options for in and outdoor dining, Daylesford is one of Gloucestershire’s success stories, attracting visitors from all over the UK.

Bespoke Brewery

With a purpose-built brewery in the heart of the Forest of Dean, Bespoke Brewery produces award-winning beers using spring water from its own farm and 90 per cent British hops – with its brews being recognised by the Great Taste Awards, CAMRA and the Society of Independent Brewers.

It also offers a unique personalisation service, so any of its beers can be personalised with a bespoke label, whether it’s for a one-off gift, commemorating an event, or creating a corporate branded beer.

FoodLoose

Plastic-free grocery shop, FoodLoose in Cheltenham, aims to revolutionise the way we shop by inviting customers to bring in their own containers to refill, instead of using disposable packaging.

With everything from pasta and rice to shampoo available to buy in store, staff will weigh customers’ containers so people only pay for what they need, helping to reduce household food waste too.

Rave Coffee

With a company vision to ‘serve you the best coffee you’ve ever had’, Cirencester-based Rave Coffee sources and roasts its own coffee beans. It aims to create and nurture a coffee community with happy staff and personable service at its popular café next door to the roastery, as well as offering its coffee for mail order via its online shop.

Rave sources the best quality raw product it can from across the globe, while still keeping its prices as accessible as possible. It’s also proud of its sustainability credentials, being a member of 1 per cent for the planet – meaning it will donate 1 per cent of all its proceeds to environmental causes, whether it makes a profit or not.

La Boulangerie Artisan

French-style bakery, La Boulangerie Artisan, has achieved cult stats in its hometown of Cheltenham, with locals queuing around the block for its sourdough loaves, all-butter croissants and traditional baguettes.

Passionate about being a part of the slow food revolution, Boulangerie Artisan uses only organic French flour, water, and salt in its bread and uses a slow fermentation process for the purest results.

Independent Gloucestershire Shopping & Beauty businesses

Sara Da Silva Brazilian Sportswear

Established by Gloucester-based entrepreneur, Sara Da Silva, the eponymous sportswear brand is inspired by Da Silva’s Brazilian roots and creates high-quality workout clothing for every woman of every size.

With products in a range of colours and patterns, Sara Da Silva sportswear is designed to be stylish and supportive, flexing with the body during exercise, as well as making women look and feel fantastic.

Soup Cans

Soup Cans is a unique gender-neutral clothing brand based in Gloucestershire. Encouraging people to wear whatever they want because ‘labels are for soup cans’, the brand aims to stop perpetuating gender stereotypes in both adults and kids clothing.

All Soup Cans clothing is made from organic, fair trade cotton. It also creates custom designs and has a special Pride range celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. On top of that, Soup Cans donates 10 per cent of each customer’s first order to a local food charity when they sign up for its email newsletter.

Made In Stroud

Three-time #SGGLA Independent Shop of the Year winner in 2021, Made in Stroud is a treasure trove of fashion, beauty, homeware and artisan food and drink from designer-makers in Stroud and the surrounding areas.

From its origins as a maker’s market, fashion royalty Isabella Blow and Jasper Conran took it to Stroud Farmer’s Market in 1999 before opening a permanent venue in 2000 – with the shop remaining a firm favourite with locals and visitors to this day.

&Sons

Inspired by classic films, iconic actors like James Dean and vintage designs, &Sons stocks a range of stylish men’s clothing, from carver jackets and British wool cardigans to baker boy hats.

The company saw its turnover grow by 300 per cent in 2021, after it opened its first experiential store in Cheltenham and an American distribution depot, with growth on track to continue into 2022 too.

Willowberry Skincare

Age positive skincare brand, Willowberry, is based in Cheltenham, but has gained a great reputation with women all over the country – and has been featured in the likes of Vogue, Stylist Magazine and Glamour. Its range uses the highest quality natural ingredients and has a spa-inspired scent, as well as being sustainable and cruelty-free.

Willowberry encourages women to ‘age without apology’ and is working hard to change the narrative around ageing in the beauty industry, as well as making sure older women are represented and celebrated.

Orange Tree Toys

With famous fans including none other than Prince George, Toddington-based Orange Tree Toys designs and makes a range of traditional wooden toys for babies and children.

Alongside the little royal’s favourite pull-along toy train, the company makes alphabet letters, puzzles, musical instruments, skittles and even dolls – including a fully sustainable range of toys, too.

5 On The Square

Formerly known as the Stuart Holmes Salon, Cheltenham’s destination hair salon, 5 On The Square, is one of only a few salons in the UK to have won the prestigious Salon of the Year title from the British Hairdressing Business Awards.

With service inspired by owner Sara Rigby-Holmes’ background in five-star hotels, the salon offers an unrivalled experience and a luxurious feel.

Domestic Science

With stores in Nailsworth, Stow-on-the-Wold and Tetbury, Domestic Science sells an eclectic mix of homeware, clothing, stationary, cosmetics and gifts, all handpicked by owner, Libs Lewis.

New items are coupled with vintage treasures, with Lewis selecting items based on nostalgia, joyfulness and aesthetics, making it a truly unique shopping experience on every visit.

Independent Gloucestershire attractions

Cotswold Farm Park

Started by his father in 1971, famous farmer Adam Henson now runs Cotswold Farm Park, with a mission to protect rare-breed animals and help people connect with farming.

The popular attraction is full of family fun, from meeting and feeding baby animals to energetic outdoor play, as well as plenty of opportunities to learn all about the animals that call the park home. Its farm park shop sells eggs and meat from the farm, alongside products from local suppliers. The park also has luxury lodges and glamping tents, ideal for staycations.

Giffords Circus

The magical Giffords Circus is known and loved all over the country, transporting guests into a world of childlike wonder every summer, when it departs from its home near Stroud on its annual tour of the UK.

With spectacular aerial acts, hilarious antics from the much-loved Tweedy the Clown, live music and breath-taking equestrian stunts, Giffords is an annual tradition for many Gloucestershire families. It embodies a DIY spirit, too, with handmade costumes, hand painted sets and animals trained by the Giffords team. Its travelling restaurant, Circus Sauce, is also an unmissable experience, with circus-inspired menus crafted with what’s available locally and seasonally.

Sherborne Cinema

Sherborne Cinema in Gloucester is an independent cinema housed within a beautiful Art Deco building in Kingsholm. The auditorium was recently refurbished, creating more legroom and better sightlines from every seat, as well as making the experience more luxurious overall.

With a great selection of movies – including family favourites and big screen blockbusters – which change every week, Sherborne Cinema has no ads, no trailers and tickets cost just £7 per adult, with discounted prices at weekends and during school holidays before 5pm, too.

Over Farm

As well as being a working farm, Over Farm near Gloucester is a popular attraction with a host of seasonal events taking place throughout the year – from picking your own fruit in summer to its Halloween spectacular, Frightmare, with live scare mazes, circus performers and the scariest tractor ride you’ll ever experience.

There’s a farm shop selling seasonal produce grown on the farm, locally produced beef, chicken, lamb, pork and game, a bakery and a deli too. It’s also home to one of Gloucestershire’s most popular music festivals, Barn on the Farm.

Independent Gloucestershire arts businesses

Octavia’s Bookshop

Octavia’s Bookshop is an award-winning bookshop in Cirencester, with more than half of the stock dedicated to children’s literature, from baby books to young adult fiction.

As well as regularly hosting book signings and meet and greets with authors like Ben Miller, Octavia’s offers a unique Book Spa experience where for £10, children can get personalised book recommendations from Octavia’s friendly team, a bag of treats from next door neighbour, The Candy Man, and a hot chocolate, while parents can enjoy coffee and cake from Jack’s Café. Book-loving little ones can also enjoy birthday parties at Octavia’s, where instead of party bags, guests get a book to take home.

Paragon Gallery

Cheltenham’s Paragon Gallery exhibits and sells a diverse range of art from local, UK and international artists. Art lovers can relax with a coffee as they browse the range, with expert advice on choosing the right piece from its knowledgeable team. It will even bring pieces to customers’ home or office to view.

While artists benefit from the gallery actively promoting their work, as well as offering signed and authenticated originals for sale.

Cat’s Eye Carving

With a studio based at Taurus Crafts on the edge of the Forest of Dean, Cat’s Eye Carving is run by traditional stone carver, Carrie Horwood.

Horwood designs and creates hand-carved sculptures made from Forest of Dean sandstone; Tetbury, Portland and Lepine limestone; and Welsh slate, offering items to buy off the shelf, as well as taking on bespoke commissions.

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