Independent Birmingham: Putting Independent Businesses On The Map

The city centre of Birmingham is a haven with big brand shops drawing consumers in with the latest items in fashion, technology, and food; Apple, Superdry, Nandos, the list is endless.

Like many cities, the highly glamorous big street brands overshadow independent businesses and Birmingham is no exception. But there is one person who in August 2013 decided to breathe the life of independent businesses from across the city into the residents and workers of the UK’s second largest city.

Joe Schuppler set up Independent Birmingham with its aim to act “as a guide that enables those living and working in Birmingham to explore the city’s lesser-known aspects and unearth its best-kept secrets.”

After studying Law for three years at the University of Liverpool, Schuppler was unsure of the career he wanted to take and decided to relax and enjoy his summer after graduating.

Schuppler’s friends, however, were all finding work and boredom soon kicked in for the Solihull born male.

One of those friends, Oliver Press was the co-founder of the Independent Liverpool website.

Schuppler and Press met on the first day of university and quickly became best friends.

It was a phone call at the end of July in 2013 between Press and Schuppler, that the application for Independent Birmingham was submitted.

Just over four years later and the website now features 100 independent businesses from across the city varying from restaurants, cafés, and record shops.

As well as advertising businesses, Independent Birmingham promotes independent events taking place across the city.

One of those events is the Gin Battle event taking place in Digbeth at The Old Crown which sees four of the best gin distillers from the country battle it out to see who will be crowned gin champion.

The Gin Battle isn’t just to see which of the four distillers has the best gin, members of the public can purchase tickets from £15, where on arrival they will be given a complimentary double gin and tonic on entry with the gin being a choice of one of the four distillers competing.

Along with this, four gin cocktails made by Birmingham’s finest bartenders will be available to purchase.


Jack Williams

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