Happy International Women’s Day!


We’re celebrating this day by showcasing some of Leeds’ much loved indies run by women. Whether it’s plants, pottery, prints, or cakes, candles and curry, here’s your guide to support the business women on the high street! 


Joining Otley’s thriving independent scene back in 2017, Sift, a cafe, bakery and gallery is owned and run by Rosie Crabbe. Known for its astounding array of colourful and delicate bakes, Sift proves to be a hit, drawing loyal customers from near and far to pick from their gorgeous array of sweet treats and relax, socialise, study, and even knit in the magnificent minty building on Manor Street. Currently closed, but getting ready to give a warm (and sweet) welcome to customers very soon! 

11 Manor Square, Otley LS21 3AP


The Bookish Type 

Joining Leeds’ independent scene in the challenging year of 2020, The Bookish Type has been defying the odds in more ways than one. Owned by partners Nicola Hargrave and Ray Larman, the Bookish Type is an independent queer bookshop, championing LGBTIQA+ literature, themes and authors. The pair recognised the importance of “seeing yourself represented” after growing up in the 80’s and not having the opportunity to do the same. Although still in its infancy, the Bookish Type has proved to be a huge success, largely due to Nicola and Ray’s genuine care for customers; the shop champions a ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme, encouraging people to donate any money they may be able to offer to pay for a book for someone who may not have the funds to do so. Anyone who wishes to buy a book but doesn’t have the funds is welcomed to take a tag from a noticeboard, and the book will be paid for through the scheme! Although its doors may be closed for now, you can shop the collection of queer books on their website! 

58, Merrion Shopping Centre, Leeds LS2 8NG


Manjit’s Kitchen 

Originally starting as a home delivery service in 2010, Manjit’s Kitchen quickly became a hit, with their menu of delicious vegetarian Punjabi street food. Named after co-owner Manjit kaur, Manjit’s Kitchen began life as a festival food cart, but it wasn’t long until Manjit and her husband Michael began trading from a cafe space in Kirkstall market, where it soon became one of the most popular food retailers in the whole market. With a menu boasting mouth-watering dishes such as chilli paneer wraps, Vada Pau, salt and pepper chickpea fries and more, it’s no wonder Manjit’s Kitchen is such a success story! Order online to get a taste of Manjit’s Kitchen! 

Leeds Kirkgate Market, George St, Leeds LS2 7HY



Jo McBeath has been the owner of the much-loved shop and workshop space, Chirpy since 2016. Stocking stylish and design-led gifts, the Chirpy space in Chapel Allerton runs as a shop downstairs, selling unique homewares and accessories, ceramics, cards, prints and much more; downstairs, the Chirpy space becomes a workshop space for varied programmes of arts and crafts, as well as a gallery space for ‘meet the artist’ events. Although the shop may be closed for now, you can still order online for local delivery and click & collect!

148 Harrogate Rd, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 4NZ


Courtyard Planters

Otley’s Courtyard Planters does exactly what it says on the tin; the plant shop originally began selling ready-made planters for the residents in Otley, whose garden space was limited, and they’re based in, you guessed it… a courtyard! Owner, Katie Burnett has lived in the beautiful courtyard which houses the boutique garden centre and nursery since the age of 1! Katie and the team grow their own supply of plants for the courtyard nursery, and for others, as a way to stop out-sourcing stock, and to reduce the plants’ air-miles. In the courtyard, you’ll find seasonal herbs, lavenders, wildflowers, bedding plants, vegetables, as well as potted planters, hanging baskets, and more! Although the courtyard’s gates may be closed for now, you can shop on their website, or simply hang tight to see the wonderful cobbled courtyard in all its summertime glory! 

9 Westgate, Otley LS21 3AT