The owners of an Arrochar craft gallery showcasing the work of independent designers have been thrilled by the response to their new venture which offers customers the very best of Scottish food and drink.
Mansefield Studios, run by Fiona Campbell and her husband Ali, has been operating for 15 years selling a range of lambswool accessories, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, Harris Tweed homeware and other traditional crafts.
Earlier this year, with support from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute, Fiona decided to expand their offer and open The Larder; selling high quality Scottish produce including artisan chocolate, condiments, smoked salmon, meats and gin.
Based in a former storeroom for the gallery, The Larder has proved a hit with regulars as well as visitors to the area since it opened its doors in May.
Fiona said: “The gallery presents the work of independent, Scottish craftspeople and makers and we have carried that ethos across to The Larder. We promote local and independent producers as much as possible, benefiting from the exceptional food in Argyll and letting others know all about it. We came up with the idea for The Larder as we felt the area needed a food and drink offer not just for the tourists but the local community also.
“Business Gateway has been a big help to us as we sought to expand the business. We were given growth grant support which allowed us to invest in equipment such as our coffee machine and we received one-to-one advice which helped us with a number of areas including digital and online marketing.”
As well as the gallery and The Larder, Fiona has added in a children’s play area, an ice cream bike and exterior seating. She has also seen an increase in online sales of the soft furnishings and accessories which she hopes will continue over the long term.
Fiona added: “Our aim is to become a destination for all the family and given the response we’ve had this summer, I think we’re well on our way to achieving this. In addition, we want to ensure our online shop continues to do well and increase our customer base from out with the local area.”
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