Pop-up shop bringing more custom and culture to the high street

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Artist Rosie Balyuzi puts her mark on the street in the town square outside 86 High Street. Pic: Marc Hindley
Artist Rosie Balyuzi puts her mark on the street in the town square outside 86 High Street. Pic: Marc Hindley

A pop-up shop that created a buzz in the town square during its three-week trial was so successful it will stay for the summer. And it will add a new day to its weekly opening times.

The collaboration between Findhorn Bay Arts and The Bakehouse at Findhorn is seen as complementing other and local businesses with many reporting an increase in their own sales.

Organic fruit and veg
Organic fruit and veg will be available Wednesday to Friday throughout summer. Pic: Marc Hindley

Food, culture and creative regeneration have always been an integral element of Findhorn Bay Arts’ work. Starting in June, The Bakehouse started selling local homegrown produce including fruit and vegetables and freshly baked bread along with face-masks made by local growers and makers on a Thursday and Friday.

The demand has been so great that the partnership has agreed to an extension over the summer and to confirm that the Bakehouse will now open on a Wednesday as well as a Thursday and Friday from next week (8 July).

Kevin Riddoch, owner of The Bike Bothy said: “We definitely sold more coffee and had people coming into our shop to browse bikes on the days the pop-up opened. The pop-up brings life into the town and is good for business”. 

With no other shop selling local organic produce and bread on the High Street, the pop-up is a welcome addition, which includes award-winning butchers, bakers, hardware stores, cafes, pet shops, health shops and more.

It is recognised that the wider variety of shops, the more likely people will come into the centre of the town for their shopping.

High street regeneration

The pop-up shop is helping to create a more enjoyable and creative shopping experience for the local community by having local artists playing and engaging with the public. More importantly, it is playing its part in the regeneration of the High Street. This is in addition of supporting ten local producers and makers and creating employment for two people.

And it’s also livening things up for shop staff in the centre of town.

Forres Loves Local

Karen Stuart, store manager at Boots the Chemist said: “Our staff love it and bought things during their lunch break! Its nice to have something different in the town that cheers people up and that’s good for everyone”. 

Carrie Custodio from Cafe 1496 added: “The pop-up shop and the street art combined brought people into town and it was lively, people were cheerful and as a result we sold more on these days too–- whatever it is you are doing – keep doing it”. 

Promoting local businesses

Kresanna Aigner, CEO and Creative Director of Findhorn Bay Arts said: “Creativity and food are at the heart of our collaboration. This new partnership aligns with the aims of both organisations of promoting local businesses, supporting the communities we work in, and will contribute to the creative regeneration right in the heart of Forres’ High Street. Some of the total turnover will go directly towards our charitable aims.”                                                    

David Hoyle, owner of The Bakehouse Café added: “We closed the cafe in Findhorn at the start of lockdown and re-opened the following day as The Bakehouse Market in the village. Many of our customers are in Forres so in these challenging times, it felt right to come a little bit closer to them.

“It has been great to collaborate with Findhorn Bay Arts, as we share the same values around good local food and culture. We are delighted by everyone’s support during our 3-week trial period and look forward to working on the High Street over the summer.”

Shop with a smile – entertainers add some colour to the day in Forres. Organic fruit and veg as well as fresh bakery products are on sale every Thursday and Friday at the pop-up shop in Forres high Street, a collaboration between The Bakehouse and Findhorn Bay Arts. Open every Thursday and Friday 11am to 3pm. Picture: Marc Hindley
Marc Hindley
Author: Marc Hindley

Marc has worked as journalist and photographer all over Scotland. He also runs a PR and digital marketing agency Canary Dwarf. He has lived in Forres with his wife and three children since 2001.