Martin (on left) receiving one of the Skye Farm Shop's many awards.
Saturday 28 May will be remembered in Sleat for the departure of the man who played such a big part in a fairytale national retail success story.
For today marks the end of award-winning Martin MacLure’s involvement with the Skye Farm Shop in Ardvasar which saw the tiny business take on some of Scotland’s biggest commercial concerns..and beat them hands down.
Against the odds Martin and his small team on Sleat, who only started up in December 2013, found themselves less than three months later winning a Scottish Variety Award for 'Best New Scottish Company/Product' in association with Capital FM. At the end of June 2014, it was also announced the shop was shortlisted for two further awards, in association with the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards in the categories of ' New Business Award' and 'Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year Award'. They were delighted to have won an Award for 'Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year 2014'.
That was followed a year later with a shortlisting for another two awards 'Healthier Food & Drink' and for the second time 'Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year Award in the same competition. Amazingly for the 2nd year in a row they took the top title of Independent Food & Drink Retailer.
However, winning awards was not the main driving force behind the Skye Farm Shop. Martin’s main passion was to allow others to enjoy the tastes of Scotland, brought to them right on their doorstep. In fact from the moment he opened the business the aim was to sell and promote Highland and Isle of Skye produce to everyone who called in. Just hours before his very last closing time on Sleat, he said: “I’m really proud of what we have achieved here not just in putting such a small place in the national retailing spotlight but also to have been able to serve local people and serve them well."
“I will miss what we have been doing here but now seem the right time for a change and to look to new challenges.”
However, while Martin may be gone all he has achieved will not be forgotten.
He added: “Sleat Community Trust will be taking over the space which means they will be retaining a valued local service and plan to re-open on Monday 30 May with a new look Shop & Cafè called Biadh & Blether.”