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Local produce the focus for new town centre shop

Shetland Fudge Company's Magnus and Nicola Johnston are behind the new venture. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

A NEW outlet on Lerwick’s Commercial Street focusing on local produce is preparing to open its doors.

Island Larder – which is run by Shetland Fudge Company’s Magnus and Nicola Johnston – will have a soft launch during the town centre’s upcoming Shopping Week, which starts on Saturday.

Downstairs in the former Beervana premises will be takeaway food with a sweet touch, with the likes of crepes, ice cream, coffee and hot chocolate on offer.

The upstairs area will allow the Fudge Company to expand its popular chocolate parties.

The shop will initially use local produce in its takeaway food, but the ultimate goal is to stock the source items too.

“What we wanted to do originally was get one big premises, and we wanted to do more larder stuff – fresh bread, eggs, fish,” Magnus said.

“But there’s just nowhere available that’s suitable for size, or anything that we would be able to take on and manage. We’re kind of starting small on the larder scale.

“We’ll be using local produce for everything we make, but we’ll not necessarily have it all available for sale. That’s something we’re looking at. But this is to get us going, to see what the kind of demand there is.”

Magnus added that the couple felt there wasn’t enough local produce on offer in the centre of Lerwick anymore.

“There’s so much produce in Shetland, it’s a shame for it not to be as easily readily available as it could be,” he said.

“When you go to the Food Fair and the Craft Fair and all that kind of thing, you can see what you can actually get in Shetland. It’s amazing. But when you go to try to buy it, you can struggle, especially on the street.

“The street used to be heaving with bakers, butchers, fishmongers and everything, but now there’s very few.”

The Johnstons took over Shetland Fudge Company in 2014 and they are based in its Esplanade premises.

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