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About Us

Indie York’s (York Independent Business Association) is a not-for-profit association. Its inception came about after York was seriously affected by floods on Boxing Day, 2015. Instigated by our first chairman, Johnny Hayes, it was an initial reaction to support York’s huge variety of independent businesses through a difficult time; the aim being to raise awareness of the wealth of wonderful independents in our city. Established in 2016, Indie York started with 30 businesses, has now grown to over 200 and we’re very happy to say that we’re still growing. It’s these shops, restaurants, stalls, cafes and other businesses mixed with the city’s historic sights and quirky streets that make York such a unique place to live, work and visit.

Indie York brings these businesses together to support them and help them grow and thrive. Our website, social media and paper map provide a useful guide for residents, tourists and students; showcasing York’s unique alternatives to the usual high street names. Every business is a star in its own right.

York is also known for its indie ‘quarters’ such as the Fossgate, Swinegate Latin quarter, The Shambles, Micklegate and Bishy Road as well as the ‘Fifth Quarter’ which includes Bootham and Gillygate businesses. We hope the Indie York map and website will be a great starting point to help you discover and share the huge range of extraordinary businesses; from specialist shops and cosy cafés, to eclectic galleries and world-class restaurants in York.

Our association is run by our volunteer Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and a team of volunteers who make up our Steering Committee as well as our paid part-time Administrator who oversees the day to day running of Indie York. The Steering Committee are all members of Indie York, some long standing and some new, they cover all sectors and locations in the city.    

Rebecca Hill Committee Member Chairperson

Rebecca Hill

My name is Rebecca and my partner and I own Galtres Lodge and its Forest restaurant on Low Petergate.  We have been Indie York members since we took on the business in October 2018, and I joined the steering committee over a year ago after helping develop the new Indie York website.  I was voted in as the new Chairperson in February 2021, after founding Chairman, Johnny Hayes stepped down.  They were very big shoes to fill, but the support for independent businesses is huge, and as a steering committee we are a strong and diverse group of volunteers who are all dedicated to promoting Indie York and its member businesses. 

Andy Masheder Committee Member

Andy Masheder

My name is Andy Masheder and I am the Indie York Treasurer. I am the owner of Monk Bar Model Shop, a family-owned independent model shop established in 1963 and still trading from the same location just inside Monk Bar. We are a founding member of Indie York and proud to be one of the many independent businesses trading in York.

David Skaith Committee Member

David Skaith

I am the owner of Winston’s, a clothing shop in the heart of York and the Secretary for Indie York. I’ve spent the past 10 years working in the retail sector and am incredibly passionate about small and local business.

Andrew Lowson Committee Member

Andrew Lowson

Andrew began his career undertaking commercial master planning and project management within the aviation and rail sectors. From this he worked in the area of economic development for a government agency before becoming Managing Director of a York based events company, where he helped double turnover and expanded operations into the south of the UK. Andrew was appointed as Executive Director of the York BID due to his experience of running a small business alongside his understanding of working with multiple stakeholders on economic improvement programmes; not to mention his passion for York. Andrew has been a member of the Indie York Steering Committee since our inception in 2016.

Polly Bennet

Polly Bennett runs Little Vikings, an independent, influential print and online guide to the best of York (and beyond) for kids. A mother of three, Polly founded the business in 2013 to help local and visiting families discover the best of family-friendly York through the Little Vikings print guides, website, newsletter, annual awards and social media channels. Polly is the Indie York Services Sector Champion and shares the marketing coordinator role with Rebecca. 

June Tranmer

June Tranmer - My role is Director and senior practitioner at Wellbeing in York CIC. We are an integrative health and wellbeing centre which offers space for groups for wellbeing courses and classes, as well as practitioners offering one-to-one treatments. I have been a member of IY for a number of years. First, with my previous business, and with Wellbeing in York for the past 2 years. I've been on the Steering Group for three years now and I'm proud to be the new Environment Champion and the Health and Wellbeing Champion. 

Kim Oldfield Committee Member

Kim Oldfield

I am Kim Oldfield and I have owned and run Blossom Street Gallery, an independent art gallery, for the past eight years.  I've been an IY member from the very beginning - being one of the first batch of independent traders that were dragooned in by Johnny Hayes, our Founder.

Jonathan Burgoyne Committee Member

Jonathan Burgoyne

I am Jonathan and I am the Fundraising/Sponsorship Champion as well as the Stay Champion for Indie York. 

Alongside my husband, Anthony, we own a small boutique hotel here in York called The Bishop & The Bison. It is our interpretation of the quintessential English B&B. We aim to be a refreshing new addition to the York hospitality market.

Janette Ray Committee Member

Janette Ray

Janette runs a bookshop on Bootham which has been open for over 20 years as a destination for those interested in the visual arts.  She has been on the Committee of Indie York for several years. She is also part of Team York for the York National Book Fair held annually, which is the largest book fair in Europe and a major cultural event for the city. Furthermore, she is also active in  projects that help profile York as a destination for anyone interested in the arts, architecture, design and gardens. She has a personal interest in most music genres. 

Rupert Harrison Committee Member

Rupert Harrison

Rupert Harrison is the hairy one behind the York based Black Yak brand.  After a career in agriculture and computers he finally saw the light and started Black Yak as a Fair-Trade clothing and accessories business importing hand knitted woollens from Nepal.  He is a proudly independent York retailer and wholesaler and has been trading at York market and St Nicholas Christmas fair for the past 25 years.  Rupert uses his experience of fairs, markets and exhibitions to work on events with Indie York. 

Sarah Czarnecki Committee Member

Sarah Czarnecki

Sarah has been involved in Indie York as a Steering Group Committee Member since 2018. Due to other work commitments Sarah is now representing Indie York as an Associate Member and will continue to lobby and act as Ambassador for the organisation. Sarah is Deputy Chair of the Hospitality Association York (HAY) and a Director on York BID. A member of York Retail Forum and newly appointed Director of the CIC York Retail Forward, Sarah’s involvement in city-wide organisations and initiatives see her ideally placed to champion the causes important to Indie York going forward.

Our Journey

Indie York’s (York Independent Business Association) inception came about after York was seriously affected by floods on Boxing Day, 2015. Instigated by our chairman, Johnny Hayes, it was an initial reaction to support York’s huge variety of independent businesses through a difficult time; the aim being to raise awareness of the wealth of wonderful independents in our city. Established in 2016, Indie York started with 30 businesses, has now grown to 200 and we’re very happy to say that we’re still growing. It’s these shops, restaurants, stalls, cafes and other businesses mixed with the city’s historic sights and quirky streets that make York such a unique place to live, work and visit.

Indie York brings these businesses together to support them and help them grow and thrive. Our website, social media and paper map provide a useful guide for residents and tourists alike; showcasing York’s wonderful alternatives to the usual high street names. Every business is a star in its own right.

York is also known for its indie ‘quarters’ such as the Fossgate, Swinegate Latin quarter, The Shambles, Micklegate and Bishy Road as well as the ‘Fifth Quarter’ which includes Bootham and Gillygate businesses. We hope the Indie York map and website will be a great starting point to help you discover and share, the huge range of extraordinary businesses from specialist shops and brilliant cafés, to intriguing galleries and top restaurants in York.

 

 

 

Acomb

Acomb is a vibrant local shopping area with a really varied mix of excellent Independents. A great place for all your shopping needs in a well-loved local shopping centre.

Bishy Road

Bishy Road is a traditional local parade with a very strong Independent mix of shops, restaurants and other businesses. In 2015 Bishy Road was awarded the GB High Street of the Year Award.

Fifth Quarter

Gillygate and Bootham is known as the Fifth Quarter. It has a fantastic range of independents; a fascinating mix of unique businesses.

Fishergate & Fulford

Fishergate & Fulford has some outstanding shops, restaurants and businesses. This local area has an array of unusual independent businesses.

Fossgate

Fossgate is one of the most unique shopping and drinking experiences in York and beyond. A real Independent stronghold.

Goodramgate

Goodramgate has been a street for shopping eating and drinking that’s history goes back to its Viking origins. A great Independent street with a real mix of Indie shops restaurants and other businesses.

Micklegate

The main entrance into the City from the south through Micklegate Bar. Superb, independently run restaurants, bars and shops line an interesting and eclectic thoroughfare into the city.

The Shambles

The world renowned historic street that has Independents in abundance. Shops, restaurants and businesses packed into this vibrant street.

Shambles Market

This lively city centre market is open seven days a week with a great mixture of traditional and contemporary shops and stalls and some exceptional street food.

Spark: York

This repurposed collection of colourful shipping containers hosts an eclectic collection of independent businesses. With street food, bars, retail and community events taking place from day to night.

Stonegate

One of York’s most popular historic streets. On this architecturally varied street there are many boutiques, shops, restaurants and bars to visit. A dizzying array of great Indie businesses to visit sitting side by side with the city’s history.

Walmgate

There is probably the highest percentage of independent businesses on this thoroughfare into the city. Wonderful niche shops, restaurants, pubs and unusual businesses are all there to be discovered.