THIS week is Independents’ Week – a whole week dedicated to promoting independent retail businesses across the UK.

Last Friday, we launched our latest Best of 2022 search as part of these celebrations, which will run until Independents’ Day on Sunday, July 3, and we wanted to find the best independent shop or business in St Helens.

So far in our Best of 2022 competition we’ve looked at hair, nails, beauty and fitness as well as pies, pubs, fish chips and breakfast with voting taking place in the best afternoon tea category over the weekend.

Next up, we wanted to show small business owners at the heart of our local communities some love and celebrate the best the town has to offer as they juggle increasing overheads, competition from big brand companies and the ever-increasing trend for online shopping.

With independent businesses accounting for around 65% of retail outlets in the UK, it’s a sector that has been hit hard with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

We asked you to make your favourite’s day by nominating them for our Best Independent Shop award and joining the #ukindieday promotional campaign.

After reading all of your nominations, we’ve shortlisted the top seven, who will battle it out to be named Best Independent Shop in St Helens.

Now we need your help to choose an overall winner from our shortlist.

There are three ways to vote:

1. Search for the Best Of post on our St Helens Star Facebook or Instagram pages and comment under the post with the name of your winner = 1 vote

2. Name your favourite in the comments section on this article via our website = 2 votes

3. Purchase a copy of this week’s St Helens Star (June 30 edition) and fill in the entry form = 5 votes

(*NB For newspaper entries, email a screenshot of the completed entry form to – please note that only original copies will be accepted. More than one entry can be submitted per person but you will be asked to provide your own unique reference code for each entry to avoid duplication eg if your name is Smith you may wish to write Smith123 or HS21! as your code. You will need to provide a different code for each entry submitted. For full terms and conditions go to

Voting officially opens today, Thursday, and closes at midnight on Monday and we will be announcing the winner next week.

Keep an eye out for our next Best Of appeal on our social media pages on Friday.


Mirror, Mirror, Nutgrove Road, St Helens

Mirror, Mirror is the place to go for women’s fashion and accessories.

With “a lovely atmosphere” and “amazing staff”, this is a hit with many people in the town.

One happy customer said she loved reading all about the owners on Facebook during lockdown when the shop was closed and customers weren’t allowed inside as she felt like she was seeing them every day.

For more details go to

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

The French Dresser, Kiln Lane, St Helens

This clothing and accessories boutique was a popular choice with loyal customers nominating them to make the shortlist.

With “lovely clothes” and “fabulous service” they ticked the boxes and one customer said it’s like having a personal shopper whenever she visits the Kiln Lane shop.

For more details go to

The French Dress

The French Dress

Antonia’s Cakes, Duke Street, St Helens

Making award-winning wedding cakes and luxury special occasion cakes, this small business also cooks up freshly made brownies, cookies and cupcakes that all taste as good as they look.

One happy customer said: “The cakes are unbelievable and the shop is very modern with friendly staff.

“It’s ideal for adding a little something special to a party or get together and I’m in danger of becoming the size of a house as the cakes are that good!”

For more details go to

Antonias Cakes

Antonia's Cakes

Paisley’s Boutique, Dunriding Lane, St Helens

Selling children’s clothes, shoes and accessories this is no doubt a popular destination for the younger generation of St Helens.

With clothes for boys and girls, whatever the weather and whatever the occasion, they promise to have “the cutest outfits for your little ones”.

For more details go to

Paisleys Boutique

Paisley's Boutique

Wizzard, Ormskirk Street, St Helens

This independent shop has a huge selection of cards, balloons and gifts as well as fancy dress items.

With “creative staff” who are “helpful and friendly” it’s easy to see why customers wanted this to make our shortlist.

For more details go to



The Dog Den, Grange Park Road

This small business promises to be a one stop shop for all your pet needs.

Selling raw dog meats and treats as well as pet supplies and accessories, the shop also offers a kennel and garden cleaning service as well as microchipping and ultrasound.

One happy customer said: “The staff microchipped my three cats even though it’s The Dog Den and they did it with less than a day’s notice.

“They made it very easy with minimal stress.”

For more details go to

The Dog Den

The Dog Den

The Book Stop, Bridge Street, St Helens

The Book Stop says it’s a book shop at the heart of the local community where people can go and browse before buying and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

They welcome children so they can too can be shown how to appreciate books, offering fun activities to develop a love of reading.

“A place where the community can come together.”

One review on their Facebook page said: “This is a brilliant resource to have in St Helens as they regularly hold activity workshops for children, the staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the café has delicious cakes.”

Another said: “What a wonderful atmosphere with fabulously friendly staff, a fascinating selection of books and excellent coffee!”

For more details go to

The Book Shop

The Book Shop