Our story so far.....
The Knoydart Foundation Shop is one of the activities that allows the community-run Knoydart Foundation to earn a secondary income to reinvest in the people and the place. We are a small community-owned enterprise still in its early years and have yet to reach the same enviable position as our sister enterprise, the Knoydart Bunkhouse, which has 'gifted back' over £70k surplus income to the Foundation in the last few years. This new website is part of that plan!
The Shop has existed in its current location since 2012. Before that, starting right back at the start of the buyout in 1999, we made use of the walls and ceiling of the Foundation display room next door to where we are now, displaying a very limited array of stock!
Knoydart T-shirts have always been our best seller. Designs have been varied over the years and they have all come from the minds of local folk. The 10th anniversary of the community buyout launched the Foundation’s first ‘brand’ - K10 - and new products were created and designed, including our first children’s Ts and our perpetual calendar featuring specially chosen images. By then, Steve, a professional graphic designer, was living on Knoydart and he helped us create the K10 moniker. Steve has been involved with the creative development of various products ever since, designing the Na Garbh Chriachan T-shirts, the Knoydart venison recipe tea towels and the food labels for the wild venison itself (although the venison is not currently available for delivery outwith Knoydart).
In 2014 the Shop was transformed. Using the outstanding skills of a Knoydart craftsman, Johann, our shop furniture was commissioned. Johann carefully selected each individual piece of timber that were used for all the furniture he produced for us. The result was a breath-taking collection of unique, sustainable and organic pieces that are admired as much as the stock displayed on them! While Johann was busy in his workshop, new stock ideas were being explored and suppliers specially selected to expand the range of products we could offer visitors and locals. An exciting development is that we now also stock items skilfully made by locally-based crafts people, providing them with a ‘front-of-house’ platform to promote their crafts, and providing us with the opportunity to offer unique, hand-crafted goods, produced right here on the Knoydart peninsula. A selection of these will be available to see on our website later in 2018.
Until Spring 2015, the Shop had no dedicated staff and was solely serviced by Knoydart Foundation office and Ranger staff members. The Shop now employs Kim as a part-time dedicated shop assistant who can spend more time helping customers and visitors, whether it’s about buying gifts and souvenirs, or information on local walks and facilities.
Exciting news for 2017! The Foundation Shop now sells a range of specially selected alcohol (not available by mail order) including Scottish craft bottled beers, gins & whiskies, and quality wines. This new venture has been a tremendous success for the Shop, Knoydart visitors and the local community. We are thrilled that it has helped dramatically increase this community-owned Shop's income.
And of course there's our new website - we hope you like it! We are doing our first baby web-steps, starting with offline payments, although you can send us your shopping list online for us to check availability and postage rates. We hope to set up online shopping once we are in a position to reach those dizzy heights!
Keep up with our latest news on Facebook and Twitter and please give a shout if there is anything you’d like to know!