St Albans Independent Businesses

by / Friday, 13 July 2018 / Published in News

St Albans – flying the flag for independents

Everyone knows that while there’s something to be said for the familiarity that comes with a chain store or restaurant, if you’re looking for a dining or shopping experience that offers quality, individuality, and that spark of innovation, it’s all about the independents.   They count on every single customer, repeat business and word of mouth.  The love, care and attention to detail is of paramount importance to the success of their business in the short, medium and longer term.

Nowhere is this more evident than St Albans, where there is a wealth of both new and long-standing high-quality restaurants.  Residents are positively spoilt for choice with a diverse range of eateries catering to every taste, budget and occasion, where big brand names stand alongside the independents.

Why we should all be supporting independent businesses

  1. No one likes to see a dearth of empty store fronts on their High Street. If you’re lucky enough to have good quality local businesses on your doorstep, the only way to keep them there is to give them your business.
  2. Local businesses are run by local people, employing other local people, so rather than lining the pockets of CEOs and stockholders hundreds of miles away, you’re investing in your community by giving them your custom.
  3. It means more. This business is the livelihood of a real person, and often, considering the wealth of challenges and risks that they will have had to overcome to get this far, it’s likely to be more of a passion than a business. So, it means more to them to get everything just right – the service, the quality of the ingredients, the décor – and this attention to detail is what creates the best consumer experience.
  4. Unlike franchises and chains that, by design, work within an established model which dictates everything from the décor to the menu and where the ingredients are sourced, independent businesses have the freedom to be innovative; to try something new, to be quirky, to choose their suppliers, and to create an experience that offers something just that little bit different.
  5. Independents care about the smallest details and offering the personal touch, your repeat business and word of mouth is vital to their success.

St Albans independent businesses the locals are raving about…

THOMPSONs foodAt THOMPSON St Albans, owner and Head Chef Phil Thompson prides himself on offering a relaxed fine dining experience.  His menus change seasonally to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients, combining unique flavour combinations with creativity and flair. The team is passionate about providing a warm, friendly and personal service to every guest, taking great pride in serving returning diners. If you haven’t visited us yet, now is a great time to take advantage of our current offer of 20/30% off our à la carte and tasting menus, alongside our standard Midweek Dining options. Book your table, come and enjoy.

Lussmanns Restaurant, through the vision and direction of Managing Director Andrei Lussmann, is a contemporary, light and airy glass-panelled space set against the backdrop of magnificent St Albans Cathedral.  Andrei’s aim for Lussmanns is to offer good quality, ethically sourced local food at affordable prices with three courses available for £17.50, 12pm – 7pm daily.

Lussmanns’ menus have been a celebration of seasonality and all about provenance well before these became the restaurant marketing buzz words du jour. Strict on traceability, unwavering on a commitment to sustainability and truly vocal about local – Lussmanns offers a menu with nothing to hide and absolutely everything to deliver.

Oxscale Tapas Steak and Fish owner Richard Cramer has creativity and culture at the heart of his restaurant.  The menus offer the best quality steak and fish, alongside a varied tapas selection. His tapas menu features mouth-watering classics like Patatas Bravas alongside innovative dishes such as Mejillas de Cerdo (8-hour slow braised pig cheeks with apple puree). The fresh, modern décor and menu, against the charming backdrop of the Grade II listed building in which it’s found in the peaceful village of Wheathampstead, is what gives Oxscale its uniqueness.

‘Sam The Barber’ as the locals know him is St Albans born & bred. The Alternative Barbering Co. offers old fashioned barbering in a modern setting and attention to detail.  The driving force in establishing the business was to create a modern men’s grooming space which offered more than a quick 10-minute trim, which at the time of opening, was the only men’s hairdressers offering more than just a basic haircut.  They offer traditional men’s haircuts, beard trims etc., as well as gift cards and a wet shave experience. You can book online and there’s even an app. A tailored, personal service to cater for all ages and lifestyles.

So, when you’re next choosing a service, doing your shopping, or deciding on where to eat, consider the benefits of spending your money with an independent business near you.  The independents are able to change and adapt quickly according to customers’ needs.  There is no overriding autonomy, and of course they love contributing to a thriving local business community.  They want to get to know you and your preferences, make you feel welcome and are very much be out to impress, as they will be hoping to see you again very soon!


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