Speak­ing hon­estly? Busi­ness is boom­ing

More self-ser­vice busi­nesses are trust­ing cus­tomers to do the right thing... and they do

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Han­nah Rodger HRODGER@SUN­DAY­POST.COM

Anew gen­er­a­tion of en­ter­preneurs have re­vealed how they’ re cash­ing in on good, old­fash­ioned hon­esty.

Home bak­ing, ice cream, a warm bed and even a round of golf are on sale in some of the coun­try’s most out- ofthe-way lo­ca­tions, thanks to busi­ness own­ers putting their trust in the pub­lic to pay up at un­staffed venues.

In Bal­fron, near Glas­gow, Louise Pater­son makes a fresh batch of scones ev­ery morn­ing and brings them to her hon­esty hut.

The mum-of-three opened Lou’s Bake Stop six months ago as a way of help­ing her fam­ily earn ex­tra in­come along­side their farm­ing busi­ness.

Louise, 39, has been over­whelmed by the pub­lic sup­port and hon­esty of her cus­tomers, many of whom she has never met.

She said: “I have three kids and it’s tricky to jug­gle them, and run a busi­ness.

“I had al­ways wanted to have a café of my own but that’s a huge com­mit­ment as you’re open all the time.

“I saw the idea of the hon­esty box and thought I’d give it a try.

“I am chuffed with how hon­est peo­ple are and I think the hon­esty box idea is com­ing back round

“It isn’t just a tra­di­tional thing now, it’s be­com­ing more fash­ion­able. It is quirky and dif­fer­ent and peo­ple can come and go when they like.

“I don’t know who comes to the hut, and the only feed­back I get is from peo­ple who stop me in the street and say the cakes are lovely. I would def­i­nitely en­cour­age peo­ple to try it out as a busi­ness model.”

In Ayr­shire, dairy farm­ers Bryce Cun­ning­ham and his wife Amy have turned to an hon­esty box-based shop as a way of sup­ple­ment­ing their in­come due to the dwin­dling price of milk.

Bryce ,30, ex­plained: “We’ve got a lo­cal fol­low­ing and peo­ple seem to quite like it so they’ve just kept go­ing with it. We got hit re­ally hard when the dairy price col­lapsed and we started sell­ing the milk at the shop

“The bank closed down our ac­counts and we had noth­ing to run the busi­ness on. My wife was in the house a lot on ma­ter­nity leave with our son, so she would run the shop from there.

“When she went back to work we didn’t have the cash flow and foot fall to jus­tify the wage for a mem­ber of staff, so the hon­esty box scheme was per­fect.

“We sell a cou­ple of hun­dred litres of milk ev­ery week as well as cheese, and ice cream. It suits our needs.”

In the north of Scot­land, the re­mote K no yd art Bunkhouse re­lies on pa­trons to pay for their beds, tow­els and toi­letries in an hon­esty box if staff are else­where.

The venue, across the wa­ter from Mal­laig, is one of only a hand­ful of build­ings in the area and is a pop­u­lar re­treat with tourists, which has been run­ning suc­cess­fully with its hon­esty box for more than a decade.

In Bute, a 128- year- old golf course uses the same sys­tem to al­low peo­ple to pay their £ 15 green fees, while in Argyll two women in their early 20s, con­verted an old phone box into an hon­est bak­ery, Cakes in the Call Box, which opened in May.

Co- owner Holly Ford, 23, said: “I think more peo­ple should think about us­ing this as a busi­ness model. It’s been a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence for me and my busi­ness part­ner. We‘ ve been over­whelmed with the sup­port.

“I have a wee girl, and it means I can con­trib­ute to my fam­ily’s in­come as well as look af­ter her.”

The hon­est box plan is just per­fect

Sign inside the bak­ery hut thanks cus­tomers for leav­ing the right amount

Farmer Bryce

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