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Business / M&Co to close and big change at Peerie Shop Cafe

The M&Co building in Lerwick before it closed. Photo: Jim Mullay

THERE is more change coming to Lerwick’s Commercial Street – with one clothes shop set to close and the chef at a cafe calling time on his 14 years as manager.

M&Co stores across the country are set to close after the fashion retailer went into administration – and this includes the Lerwick branch.

The closing down process at the Shetland store will begin after Easter.

A buyer has been found for the M&Co brand but the deal does not include the shops. Across the business nearly 2,000 jobs will be lost.

Living Lerwick manager Emma Miller said the shop was a “really important part of our town centre”.

She added: “We’re really disappointed that there hasn’t been a different outcome for the M&Co stores.

“It’s a real shame for the staff who will lose their jobs and also a big loss for our town centre as there is no comparable shop with the wide range and quantity of goods offered.”

A Facebook post made by the Lerwick branch said: “We hope you will appreciate this is also a very difficult time for staff working in the stores and we ask for respect and understanding when raising an issue.

“We thank you all for your continuous support, and we hope to see you all over the next couple of months.”

Meanwhile chef and manager James Martin is set to leave the Peerie Shop Cafe to seek pastures new.

As a result the cafe will close on 4 March, with the hope being that new management will take on the business.

The cafe said on Facebook that Martin has run the cafe with “dedication, energy and integrity” and made the business “what it is today”.

One of the many regular customers who have spoken about the news was Tom Morton, who said Martin’s scones were “the best”.

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“Over the weekend of this devastating announcement I have eaten James’s scones in cheese, fruit and plain varieties and am more than ever saddened that one of the great cultural and culinary aspects of Shetland life is tragically set to become unavailable to the public,” he said.

“However I know where he lives and will be pleading for the recipe…also that brilliant Cullen Skunk…”

The cafe has been on the go since 1999, and Martin has managed it since 2009. 

The impending changes at Da Street come after long-standing shop Bayes closed its doors on Christmas Eve after decades in trade.

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