End of an era as head of family firm KK’s retires
IT’S the end of an era for a family business after 140 years of service.
KK Cameron, or KK’s as it’s often referred to, was established in 1874 by Walter Cameron.
Originally a bakers, the business has changed focus and premises over the years, most recently operating in Caol under the watchful eye of Kenneth (Kim) Cameron.
Now, after 50 years at the helm, Kim who is Walter’s great grandson, has decided to sell up shop, working his last shift on Monday.
As Mr Cameron approached the deadline, he told The Oban
Times he believes it is the ability to change with the times which helped the family stay in business so long. He added: ‘I suppose KK’s will mean a lot of things to a lot of people. I’m not sure where the original shop was, but 141 High Street is where many people will remember us from. That shop was a bakers and grocer. In 1953 it turned into a restaurant and in 1984 it was a coffee shop. It sort of transformed with the trends of that era.’
In 1966 Kim started helping his father out with the business as a driver at the age of 17. He helped out with the delivery van which was also known as the High School Tuck Shop. In 1986 the premises in Caol was purchased but he remembers some other dramatic changes.
He said: ‘ The introduction of scanning was a big thing and during the 1970s there were shortages sometimes. It’s a very different operation nowadays.’
The shop in Caol will remain open having been bought by the owners of RS McColl.
Many of the current staff also plan to continue working there, but Kim is looking forward to seeing more of the world.
The father of four said: ‘My sons are all doing very well. They got jobs outside the family business and I couldn’t be happier for them.
‘The first grandchild has been born now so I plan to spend a month in the US visiting. I’ll be joining my wife out there – we would have travelled together but we weren’t expecting the shop to sell so quickly.’
Mr Cameron added: ‘I’m a firm believer that the ‘ West is best’ but after this trip I look forward to travelling more around Scotland and dong all things I didn’t really have time for before.’
The Cameron family is also looking to gather items of memorabilia related to the shops and business. To contribute, email your picture or story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, drop it into one of the KK memory boxes around Lochaber, including in the former shop in Caol, West Highland Museum, Fort William Library, The Granite House and Ben Nevis Book Library.
Kim Cameron outside the store in Caol as he retires after 50 years at the helm.