Tuesday 8 Dec 2015 12:00

Tennent Caledonian Brewery backs small Shawbost business

Remember the Shawbost shop that launched a crowdfunding campaign to help it take on the major superstores? It has seen its campaign reach new heights, as BQ reports.

Alastair Campbell, managing director at Tennent Caledonian with Shawbost owner Michael Fitzpatrick at Wellpark Brewery

Alastair Campbell, managing director at Tennent Caledonian with Shawbost owner Michael Fitzpatrick at Wellpark Brewery

As BQ’s Suzy Jackson previously reported, on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, one man and his local supply store decided to take his future into his own hands by launching a crowdfunding campaign so he could compete with the giants on his doorstep.

Michael Fitzpatrick, the owner of the Shawbost Shop, noticed an increase in the number of superstore delivery trucks visiting the area, which he felt put his small, independent, local business at a distinct disadvantage.

After launching a crowdfunding campaign to buy a van in order to provide a vital delivery service to the 20 mile stretch of coast between Lewis and Stornoway, including many communities with no local shop, he has seen his campaign flourish thanks to one major investor.

Fitzpatrick’s online campaign caught the eyes of members of staff at Tennent Caledonian Brewery who decided to help him achieve his goal with the donation of a brand new delivery van. The Renault Trafic Swb Diesel was fully stocked with Tennent’s Lager before the keys were handed over to Fitzpatrick at Wellpark Brewery on Friday morning (4 Dec).

He said: “We’re tremendously grateful to Tennent Caledonian for donating the van which we’ll have so many uses for.

“We’ll be setting up a delivery service covering the entire 20 mile stretch between here and Stornoway, with no set time slots and a very small minimum spend.

“Many of these communities don’t have a local shop, so with the van we can be really flexible and deliver to our customers up and down Lewis at any time of the day.

“They need only give us a ring and we’ll pop straight up. We’ll also be attending various community events acting as a mobile shop.

“I’ll even be able to take on two new members of staff to help with all the additional work.”

Alastair Campbell, managing director at Tennent Caledonian, added: “When we saw that Michael had launched a crowd funding campaign to buy the van we simply had to help.

“We work to support the licensed trade and communities across Scotland every day, and so were more than happy to lend Michael a hand.

“We’re delighted to support his efforts to serve the community and create valuable employment on the Isle of Lewis.”

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