When Olly Walker was made redundant during the first lockdown he and his partner, Naomi Flaherty decided to launch a Crowdfunder with the aim of raising £10,000 that would allow them to start their own rum brand.

 

After smashing their target within the first week they launched The Public Spirit, a purpose-led drinks startup with local community spirit at its heart.

Read their story

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Watch: The Day Will Come

It seems like things are finally starting to look up. We're edging closer to some sense of normality. Matt Concannon aka The Thirsty Poet captures the national mood perfectly.
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Startup stories: Florence in Flowers

Following a successful career as a visual merchandiser, Amelia Florence Ellerby moved to Canada and discovered a love for floristry. Now she’s back in the UK and runs Florence in Flowers, a full service florist that’s inspired by wild English meadows.
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Startup stories: Hot wheels

Ancoats locals Scandivans transform ordinary working vans into luxury bespoke campers that give you the freedom to travel in style. Think double beds, DJ decks and showers.
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Introducing Blackjack

Local microbrewery Blackjack beers offers an excellent selection of traditional ales and lagers and runs some of the best bars around.
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The Manchester makers' store

Manchester Stories is proud to showcase the rich creative community on our doorstep and support the talented makers who live and work here by opening our very own Manchester makers' online store.
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10 minute Pilates for home workers

Liz Wright has put together this simple Pilates session to help those working from home, for mind and body.
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Stratup Stories: Is the UK's best ice cream made in Manchester?

Manchester's Ruben Porto is kind of a big deal when it comes to the cold stuff and his ice cream subscription business, Rogue Artisan Ice Cream, delivers across Manchester. We think it might just be the best ice cream we’ve ever tasted.
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Startup stories: Bondi Bowls

Inspired by the vibrant Australian healthy fast food scene, Jamie Tones has brought suburban beach vibes back with him to Manchester with his plant-based bowls.
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Introducing Bad Toys

Josh Felton creates brilliantly gruesome felt toys. You could say they're the perfect Halloween gift. Buy them now from the Ancoats stories store.
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Taking notice

If you walk along the Ashton Canal you may see some of the tiny and adorable signage that Eleanor Sofia Walker has erected next to plants and wildflowers. We spoke to her about why it matters.
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Startup stories: Super noodles!

Alex Markham decided to follow his passion and create a range of fresh and convenient noodle pots which have won prestigious awards and are now sold all over the country.
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Startup stories: Sofa so good

Jenna Bainbridge is a fashion graduate that fell out of love with the industry. After spending almost six years travelling she’s back in Manchester and running her own upholstery business. Because why not?
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Watch: Cold water therapy

We made a film with Kevin O’Neill about how he overcame personal loss to start Breatheolution, through which he’s helping dozens of people using holotropic breathwork and cold water therapy.
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Introducing: Mr Soap

Charlie Bolton aka Mr Soap has been making his own unique soaps since he was 16 and he's just fulfilled a single order of 900 bars for Christian Aid. His spectacular designs are available to buy from our store now.
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Startup stories: Sole trader

Startup stories with Marv Vaghetti,  founder of Lanx shoes which make the gorgeous Ancoats and Sankey sneakers.
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Introducing Le Social

Le Social is an online wine shop with a personal service. Specialising in organic and natural wine.
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Life on the canal

Ever wondered what it's like living on a canal boat in New Islington Marina? Look no further.
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Shop smarter, reduce plastic, save the environment

Environmentalist Zofia Martin shares her advice on how to easily make more eco-friendly choices.
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Manchester Stories was developed by Blossom at the start of the pandemic.

 

We're a creative studio that's on the side of the little guy. That’s why we created this platform, to support and celebrate local, independent businesses and to tell the inspiring stories of the people behind them.

Visit www.blossommanchester.co.uk

Subscribe to Manchester Stories

Kevin O’Neill is rapidly building a loyal following for his unorthodox methods for helping people suffering with physical and mental health issues including trauma, anxiety and addiction.

Manchester Stories spoke to him about how he overcame personal loss to start Breatheolution, through which he’s helping dozens of people using holotropic breathwork and cold water therapy.

Follow Kevin here @breatheolution

It seems like things are finally starting to look up. We're edging closer to some sense of normality. Matt Concannon aka The Thirsty Poet captures the national mood perfectly.

Follow Matt here @thethirstypoet_co