Village shop closure fears
Lack of support raises doubts about business
The shop and sub- post office in Auchencairn is in danger of closing.
The future had seemed bright after a tearoom opened in the premises in March.
It was hoped the new venture would bring a boost in trade for the business under sub–postmistress Alison Parker.
But ongoing lack of custom and staff changes have cast doubts over whether it can continue.
Alison said: “We have been struggling for years and are still struggling. It is really difficult and sometimes you get to the stage of asking why are we here.
“A lot of folk don’t use the shop. That’s up to them. We can’t make them use it. But if it’s not supported we just can’t go on. I don’t know what the future holds.”
The tearoom is now under new management after the previous occupant gave up. The disruption did the business no favours.
Alison said: “After the lassie left a lot of folk stopped coming for a while. We lost the workmen and the hoildaymakers who we really relied on.
“Now we need a bit more support and more customers coming through the door. We are not asking folk to do all their shopping here – just to buy a few more items.”
She added: “The way its going we’ll end up like Rhonehouse and Gelston which have nothing. People just jump in their cars and go to Tesco.”
Kelton woman Lindsy Bruce has stepped in to run the tearoom for a trial period.
She pays a small rent to the shop for leasing the space and offers breakfasts, home-baking and hot beverages.
Current demand means opening hours are restricted to Wednesday to Saturday, 8am to 2pm.
Mrs Bruce also has to juggle the tearoom with her other job as a support worker.
She said: “I only took over five weeks ago and it has its ups and downs. I said I’d do it for three months and see how it goes.
“After that point I will make a decision on whether or not to continue.”
She added: “We do advertise but have no signage. Maybe people don’t know we’re here because we are part of the shop.”
Idea Alison Parker at the opening of the tearoom