Three great independent businesses in Derby

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Derby is home to many brilliant independent businesses. In this blog I will talk about my personal favourite independent businesses in Derby city centre. I have picked the three businesses specifically as I think they add to the culture of Derby. 


1- The Blacksmiths Lounge

19-20 Sadler Gate, DE1 3NH

The award-winning Blacksmiths Lounge situated in the heart of Sadler Gate, is home to amazing cocktails and live music. From Thursday to Sunday, The Blacksmiths Lounge is the place to be for live music, delicious drinks, and time to create unforgettable memories.

Beth Eade, one of the managers at the Blacksmiths Lounge said, “I love working at The Blacksmith’s Lounge because there is a great sense of community both with customers and staff. The fact it is a local and independent business, allows for more freedom in making changes that are beneficial to the business and allow staff to be creative. It is a fun and fast paced job and is always open to new ideas and challenges.”

The Blacksmiths Lounge hosts a hilarious comedy night which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month and undoubtedly guarantees a night filled with laughter.

Notably, The Blacksmith’s Lounge has won Marketing Derby’s ‘Best for drinking’ in 2021 and ‘Best bar’ awards in 2022.


2- Threadz Preowned

Sadler Gate, DE1 3NF

Threadz, which is based on Sadler Gate, gives you the opportunity to buy and sell preloved retro and vintage clothing. From top designer brands, retro football shirts to stylish footwear, Threadz has everything you need to delve into the world of fashion.

Danny Drummond, the owner of Threadz said, “It’s great to be doing something that I love, meeting cool people along the way and providing a modern day take on a vintage shop. The business came about eight years ago when I started to resell some of my old clothes and thrifting other items to resell on eBay. Eventually, I needed storage for my stock, and realised it made more sense to get a storage space that people had access to and that’s how the shop all started.’’

He continued to say, “The rewarding part about my job is watching people being happy wearing the clothes they got from Threadz, meeting customers old and new, and knowing we are doing a small part to recycle and aid slow sustainable fashion.’’


3- RF Potts-

66-68 Babington Ln, DE1 1SX

R F Potts is an independent electrical and electronic component spares retailer in Derby. Bob Potts opened his first shop in Normanton in the early 1930’s, moving to Babington Lane around 1939. After the second world war, they sold a range of ex-government equipment. In the 1950s, DIY electronics became very popular and ‘build your own’ valve TV and radio kits were selling well.

Nowadays they stock an even more diverse range of products that is growing every week. Three generations on, R F Potts is still a family business, offering excellent customer service and advice from experienced and knowledgeable staff.

James Potts, the manager of R F Potts told me, “I like working at Potts because I have seen the generations of families pass through our shop. With our long-standing history on Babington Lane, we have seen many generations grow which is great to see.’’

He added, “It’s been interesting to see the way technology has transformed over time but overall, Potts as a company has stayed very much the same, which is important to us as we are a family run business. Last year was a very special year as we celebrated ninety years since my Grandad founded the business this is a huge milestone, and we are very proud of it.’’


Overall, I think that these specific independent businesses highlight the importance of community in Derby. Each of these independent businesses rely on the vast community of Derby and each is a credit to Derby City Centre.

To read more about Derby businesses – and especially how Nielsen McAllister is helping them – read our case study about PR for Business Improvement Districts in the city.

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