Small Business Saturday Blog

Interview with Paul Gardner founder of the East End Trades Guild

Tuesday, November 01 at 10:00


Paul Gardner is the founder of the East End Trades Guild, he was our first member and part of the quorum of businesses who worked together to establish our unique organisation in 2012, to protect and promote the common interests of our diverse community of small enterprises.

In true East End fashion we wanted our Small Business Saturday to be a bit different. So Paul and the 130 other members have been busy with making preparations to launch our own, self styled East End Independents’ Day on the 3rd December.

Founded in 1870, Gardners’ Bags is Spitalfields oldest family business specialising in selling a range of paper and plastic bags. In his own words Paul Gardner has said; “It’s nice to have been put forward as one of the Small Business 100, I want to promote little businesses. It’s an honour to have achieved this, and for us to have been going as long as we have, and we want to promote the positive stories for all the Guild members.

We want to get people to shop locally, because the independents are the heart and soul of the area. Visitors come to the East End for the small businesses, for the individuality and customers know that people put themselves out when they have their own businesses.

I will be open for a change on the Saturday for East End Independents Day, I’ll be telling a few stories to people on the Alternative London walking tour of when I started 44 years ago and be giving out some goodie bags”.

Our members Splice Post have made a digital invitation to the Mayor of London to celebrate Small Business Saturday with us and to launch East End Independents Day over breakfast at world famous E. Pellicci! We have not had a response yet but we’re sure we’ll hear from him soon.

Our members Alternative London will be running 5 tours on Small Business Saturday. Their Hackney Food Tour will include The Broadway Bookshop where celebrated chef Oliver Rowe will be cooking up tasters outside the shop with mulled cider. 4COSE will be sampling the highest quality produce from 27 countries to mark European fellowship. The Five Points Brewing Company will talk about their indie brewery with slurpings of beer for thirsty walkers. Participants will stop at the historic F.Cooke for East End delicacy jellied eels! And get the insider's history of Pie & Mash from Bob Cooke himself. Lucky travelers will also dazzle their taste buds at The Deli Downstairs Christmas Food Fair!

Alternative London will also operate two tours that will cross from Shoreditch and Spitalfields featuring talks from Paul in his shop.

Participants will get to meet the inimitable Carol Burns from legendary C E Burns & Sons to discover the secret history of the East End. Lunch will be taken at Warren’s gaff - Cafe Caribbean in Spitalfields market, where the last few independents of the market are our members InSpitalfields, Source and A.Gold. They will experience a jaunt through ancient Artillery Passage taking in the heady scents of Angela Flanders Perfumery and on through to GH Cityprint to be serenaded by a London Symphony Orchestra Cellist, before our final destination at Leyden Gallery for their latest exhibition and some fine wines!

There will be gift bags for all tour participants!

More to be announced soon! Check our website and Facebook page for further details and read more about Paul's important business on Spitalfields Life.

Blog by EETG founding Organiser Krissie Nicolson.

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