In collaboration with
- Words Notion Staff
- Photography and videography Fifi Newbury
In a year of unprecedented change, the local shop has provided a comforting constant. Havana Club and Notion teamed up to shine a light on the unsung heroes of the high street.
Over the past few months, the nation has been staying at home. Each of our respective worlds has become smaller as we’ve adapted to a life lived locally.
This reflective period has shown us the importance of our communities and our neighbourhoods; whilst we may be far away from the ones we love, this time has brought us closer together.
As we’ve become even more familiar with our local areas this year, we’ve come to rely on the people and shops that share these areas with us. Over time, we’ve become even more familiar with them too. But there’s one local stalwart has proven more indispensable than ever – the local shop.
Throughout lockdown, the owners of local shops and off-licenses have provided not only an essential service but a sanctuary. A space outside of our homes where we can safely exist in a public space.
The reassuring smile of the local shopkeeper was once taken for granted but has become a symbol of humanity in a dark time. While many of these community lifelines appear similar, each shop has its own unique quirks and stories.
Neighbourhoods all over the UK have been given a semblance of normality thanks to the kindness and hard work of these local heroes. Whether you call them corner shops, newsagents, locals, offies or even just ‘shop’, everyone in Britain has one just at the end of their fingertips.
For some, the owners of the local shop were the only people they would speak to all day during the height of lockdown. The freedom to pop out for drinks, snacks or even some loo roll from the corner shop used to be taken for granted, but this year, we have all come to appreciate the service they provide in a way we never thought possible. That’s why it’s so important to not only remember them after we come out of this strange period of our lives but to celebrate them.
While we haven’t been able to party like we usually would, we’ve found ways to overcome and adapt. From Zoom cocktail nights to DJ livestreams, we’ve always been able to rely on Havana Club to keep the good times pouring.
Notion and Havana Club took some time to meet and get an insight into one of the community’s unsung heroes. Check out the video below!