Small business snapshots: Pride in London

With Pride events kicking off across the capital, we visited some of the small businesses around London who are celebrating the Pride Jubilee, to find out what it means to them.

5 July 2019

Pride in London is the non-profit organisation which runs the annual parade, supporting events and celebrations throughout June. This year's theme is the Pride Jubilee, marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York. We drop in at their pop-up in Covent Garden, where they're selling Pride merch to deck everyone out for the parade on July 6th.

Pride in London

“We’re really excited to have such a fantastic space for our pop-up once again,” says Kieron Yates, head of retail and merchandising at Pride in London. “We’re looking forward to helping kit everyone out for Pride this year – with a great range of clothing, flags, badges and more for every community.”

Pride in London signNeal St is this year's location for the Pride in London shop

“The store serves as an incredibly important space for community groups,” says Yates. “We’re working on a fantastic programme of events curated by a wide variety of organisations, meaning there will be something for everyone.”

Pride in London insideStepping inside Pride in London's Covent Garden HQ

Pride in London PopupPost-it notes with people's hopes for the next 50 years of Pride progress

Across town we drop in at the Notting Hill Bookshop, which found fame as a key location in the 1999 Richard Curtis film. Since then, it's diversified its offering from stocking mainly travel guides, to selling all genres of books.

DSC 0077-17The famed frontage of Notting Hill Bookshop

“We’ve always had LGBT people working at the shop, so we always do something for Pride,” says shop manager Olga Lewkowska. “Once you put these books in the window, and give them a special display, they sell. People become more aware of certain titles, they feel involved with the cause, and the visibility is really important. It’s really rewarding to see.”

DSC 0046-9Olga Lewkowska, manager of Notting Hill Bookshop

DSC 0028-6Some of the LGBT+ books on display at Notting Hill Bookshop

The House of MinaLima is a graphic design studio and exhibition space in Soho, founded by Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina. Their work includes graphic design for the Harry Potter film world. For Pride, MinaLima organised a project called We Accept!, which invites people from all backgrounds and sexualities to write their own letter of acceptance and support for the LGBT+ community. Lima, a proud member of the LGBT+ community, is hosting a We Accept! event on the day of the parade.

DSC 0290-79MinaLima's window featuring messages of support for the LGBT+ community

DSC 0227-69Magical realism – the world of Harry Potter meets London's Pride celebrations

DSC 0253-73Hand written messages of support at MinaLima

Rococo Chocolates on Seven Dials in Covent Garden was flying the Pride flag, and also asking customers to leave messages of love on a themed blackboard.

Rococo ChocolatesThe founder of Rococo Chocolates has an OBE for "services to chocolate making"

Brewer StreetSoho's Brewer Street will be a focal point of London Pride celebrations

Pride in London culminates with the Pride parade on Saturday 6th July.

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Vic Gawlik writes articles, tweets and the 9 to when? newsletter. 9 to when? brings news and views from the world of small business straight to your inbox.

Article updated on: 20 May 2020

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