A weekly spotlight on the fabulous Nottingham Independents, who make our city unique.
Approach Sneinton Market from the city and you are bound to notice MinorOak. As you inquisitively look up and through the windows, you will likely see Dee, MinorOak’s Owner, Director, Receptionist, and self -confessed cleaner. In a nutshell, MinorOak host flexible coworking, events, and business mailboxes. The space is used for coworking during the week, but on weekends Dee hosts (or co-hosts) pop-up makers markets, workshops, lectures, arts events, and even restaurants.
MinorOak has played host to a variety of events over the years, from workshops to burlesque evenings serving cocktails. Dee says that cultural events with food and live music have been really popular and when we ask her to name one of her favourite restaurant pop-ups she exclaims “I freaking love Caribbean food!”
Minor Oak often acts as a pop- up Gallery and there have been several arts and crafts markets, yet there continues to be variety and opportunities for new designer- makers who want to get involved with the Sneinton Market buzz. Dee is active in the local community and when there is a citywide event on, MinorOak is always part of the fun.
Dee is great at building community. During lockdown when her regulars could not make it into the space, she created care packages and delivered them to their homes. She popped some beer in there from Neon Raptor, smoked almonds from Murats and some chocolates from Luisa’s Vegan Chocolates who are MinorOak neighbours.
MinorOak has a meeting room for 8, with stained glass windows, a wall-sized whiteboard, and a presentation monitor available for rent. It is suitable for meetings and small workshops, and as a venue for training videos and webinars. They have all the extra things you need to get work done, including desks, monitors, printers, a meeting room and free coffee, tea, and snacks. There is a secluded mezzanine and the front room on Gedling Street is twenty feet high and flooded with natural light. Colourful artwork adorns the walls and there is some fabulous bespoke lighting made from tree stumps and modern filaments.
Did you know?
Dee is a qualified architect and civil engineer! Dee attended the noted Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, where she obtained a Science and Architecture degree. After graduating, Dee became a drafter at a structural engineering firm where she would draw up construction plans using computer-aided design (CAD). Later, whilst working full time, Dee studied at night and obtained a second degree in civil structural engineering. As if that was not enough studying for one, Dee craved a change of scene and ended up studying for her master’s degree in civil engineering in Toronto! Within a month Dee met her husband, a Scotsman! They decided to set up a pub social group and found that they were often the only two to attend, which they did not mind at all! They later moved to Glasgow and it was here that Dee experienced coworking spaces for the first time. When the pair relocated to Nottingham in 2015 Dee decided to set up her own coworking space, open to all.
Dee and her partner still love to spot interesting pubs to visit but their favourites include the local Fox and Grapes, and Neon Raptor. According to Dee, they were spoiled in Michigan where the craft beer culture is huge and, whilst other places have not compared, they are really happy to have found that Nottingham satisfies their love of craft beer. We recommend Brew Cavern, found in Flying Horse Walk for all the latest craft beer action and news.
The name MinorOak is a play on the Major Oak that is rooted in nearby Sherwood Forest. Being from Michigan, which Dee says is “basically a huge forest with lakes” she adores the legends about the Major Oak, Sherwood Forest, and Robin Hood. “The space is a meeting place for entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers and other business outlaws”. Dee cannot quite believe she has ended up living in the infamous Nottingham, but we are glad she did.