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Business / Change on the horizon for Faerdie Maet as business goes up for sale

Owner Brenda Westmoreland said she has been ‘very lucky’ to run the cafe and takeaway since 1985

Photo: Harper Macleod

A LERWICK cafe and takeaway which has a history spanning back to the 1930s has been put on the market.

Faerdie Maet – commonly known by its previous name Solotti’s – has an asking price of offers over £130,000.

It has been owned by Brenda Westmoreland since 1985, but the building has been run as a tearoom since the 1930s.

She said it was time to retire, with the hope that someone would take on the business and give it a new lease of life.

It was on the market ten years ago but there were issues with banks lending following a financial crash, and no buyer was found.

“We were also going to put it on [the market] in 2020 then Covid hit,” Westmoreland said.

With the business currently running as a takeaway, the cafe/tearoom is not presently used although all the furniture and equipment is still in place and will be included in the sale.

The tearoom has not been open for a number of years, with the business running a takeaway only. Photo: Harper Macleod

Westmoreland said it was maybe around 12 years ago that the sit-in cafe closed, with staff only running a takeaway service.

“I hope that somebody will open up the tearoom again, but I have no idea – it might sell for something completely different,” she said.

It is perhaps best known for its rolls, sandwiches and toasties, and at the moment three people are employed full-time.

Photo: Harper Macleod

Westmoreland said bacon, sassermaet and sausages are among the best-selling items from the takeaway.

“And the tuna salad – everybody pretty much goes for tuna salad,” she said.

“We have folk come in for lots and lots and years and they always have the same thing.”

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Westmoreland added that she was “very lucky” to get the chance to take on the business back in the 1980s, and has enjoyed the day-to-day interaction with the customers.

She said there are still even young ones, though, who call it Solotti’s – the name of the former tearoom.

The business owner said she it will be tough when the last day does come, both for herself and her friend Elizabeth who has been alongside her since the 1980s.

“It will be a hard day for us for sure when it changes,” Westmoreland said.

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