The smallest bookshop in Sheffield closes as the owner juggles Crohn’s, teaching and being a businesswoman.

Kate Nixon, co-owner of Novel, has made the decision to close her business at Queen of the Suburbs Cafe in Crookes after the future of the venue became uncertain.

The decision also came after Elle, the owner of Queen of the Suburbs, said she had wanted to close the cafe.

She said: “We thought it was a good time to call it a day for both our health. It’s kind of bittersweet but I didn’t want to be sitting in a shop by myself.”

Kate explained in her recent Instagram post that the decision was a hard but necessary choice.

Kate added: “I feel like there’s a lot of conversations around burnout in small businesses. In big companies you have one person to do social media, and another selling and someone else doing taxes and other stuff; it was difficult keeping all my plates spinning.”

Novel opened just over a year ago intending to “Not make millions, but to serve the community.” 

Looking back on their time at Queens, Kate said: “It was the perfect incubator for Novel and came at the right time for us and the perfect choice; closing now is also the right call.

“There were lots of arms of the operation at Novel and the community built around Queens is so lovely, we’re sad to leave it behind now.”

Novel’s physical shop may be closed, however they are still accepting orders online.

“We opened our website for orders three months ago and saw major success, it’s great to get a steady amount of orders.”

Novel has received loads of support from the community and other booksellers in Sheffield in making this decision and has been very grateful for this chance as an independent business.

Katie also voiced her love for other independent stores, detailing that her Crohn’s has stopped her from going out into the community but she has been thankful to be able to ‘support them from a distance’ and happy to support the local economy.

Kate expressed she is still very hopeful about the future of Novel and that business operations can go back to normal once she’s adjusted to her new medication and focused on herself.