Shop local - wherever you are

I recently had the interesting experience of interviewing one of the owners of a local bookstore and cafe in Southwark. My job gives me an insight into some fascinating businesses and this was no exception,

Woolfson & Tay reminded me of probably one of the first American sitcoms that gripped me. 'Ellen' starred Ellen Degeneres as the owner of 'Buy the Book' and I always wished I had a book shop like that near me. Back in the 80s, you couldn't imagine being allowed to even open the pages of a book before buying it. Let alone sitting with a cup of tea and sampling it. When I first experienced that concept in the States a few years later, It took more than a few visits for me to enjoy it without feeling I was somehow being disrespectful.

So, the new Woolfson & Tay bookstore in Bear Lane in London's SE1, just behind Tate Modern has a fantastic selection of books, alongside gorgeous tea, coffee, cakes and delicious lunches lovingly prepared by co-owner Frances Tay.

It was Shivaun Woolfson that I interviewed and she is clearly passionate about the experience she provides to all her customers. A couple of days later, I needed a present for my father's birthday and there was really only one place to go. Shivaun helped my find the perfect book for him and I found one for myself, too. Of course I did. It's a bookshop. I'm always going to find a book I want to read.

I'm passionate about the whole Shop Local concept, although I'm no saint. It's great when you find shops like Woolfson & Tay. Just because I don't live around the corner, doesn't make it any the less a local store worthy of frequenting.

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