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• Profitable purpose built, café and shop.
• Opportunity to convert non-trading area of over 800 sq ft. to potential owner’s accommodation.
• Growth potential from situation on North Coast 500 route.
• Immaculately presented lifestyle opportunity.
• Exceptional coastal setting enjoying spectacular seaward views.
The Aroma Café and Gift Shop is well-signed, also benefiting from brown tourist signs and markings on OS maps. The business is located adjacent to the North Coast 500 tourist route which is growing the tourist trade throughout the area.
The West Coast of Scotland is famous for its micro-climate, spectacular countryside and rugged mountains which in turn meets the stunning coastline and beautiful beaches. Adding the climatic effects of the Gulf Stream to this wonderful scenery and the welcoming community spirit, the business certainly has a prime trading base.
Mellon Charles is a sprawling hamlet and the nearest major community is Aultbea. The village has a well-stocked village shop, post office, doctors’ surgery, garage, nursery and pre-school facility. There is a primary school in Aultbea and another in Poolewe (15 minutes drive away). Gairloch (20 minutes drive away) has a secondary school as well as pre and primary schooling. There is a strong local community with many local events from cinema to live music. Within 20 minutes drive there are the famous National Trust for Scotland Inverewe Garden, Art Galleries and a Museum Centre all of which are growing in tourist numbers. There is a leisure centre in Gairloch with a large number of fitness classes locally including Pilates, Zumba, and Yoga. Further shops and amenities are available in Gairloch, Ullapool and Dingwall. Inverness, the Highlands capital (90 minutes drive away) has all the facilities of a major city, including its airport and mainline rail services.
The Aroma Café and Gift Shop is a modern purpose built property, which commenced trading in 2006. The business has two income streams; the sale of refreshments and retail sales through the gift shop. The building features an open-plan café, to seat around 32 covers internally and 20 externally. Currently trading seven months a year, six-days a week, from 10am to 5pm, there is scope to increase profits, including opening seven days a week, providing an evening meal service and extending the season.
The property is presented to a high standard throughout. The cafe is furnished to give a bistro-style atmosphere, with Italian floor tiles, modern pendant lights and quality spotlighting. A freestanding wood-burning stove with bespoke Caithness stone hearth and exposed flue further adds to the character. The Aroma Café provides a range of home-made baking, snacks, sandwiches, light lunches and homemade soups, complemented by a full range of beverages. The business has previously held a liquor license and a reinstatement of the licence is entirely possible subject to application.
The shop has a wonderful ambience with high quality display units supplemented by charming and subtle lighting. The shop is renowned for the sale of soaps, toiletries, skincare crèmes and fragrances that are produced locally. This significantly differentiates it from other tourist gift shops in the Highlands. There is also a good range of quality gift items, many being of Scottish origin or relevant to the culture and environment of the local area.
The business trades profitably from a seasonal trading model of approximately seven months, April to October, generating strong, consistent turnover. The current owners choose not to have a hands-on role and employ full-time staff for the day-to-day management and operation of the shop and café, which opens Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. New owners may wish to manage the business themselves, supplemented with temporary staff at peak times. The building is presently known as the Perfume Studio and at present the sale of soaps crèmes and fragrances is a key feature of this profitable business. If the new owners require, the supply of these locally made products will continue, and the Perfume Studio name can be retained if required. The business has established a strong client base and a high level of repeat trade.
LIFESTYLE – QUOTE FROM OWNER
“The possibility of creating owners accommodation on the premises provides a wonderful lifestyle opportunity; live in a beautiful area in a friendly community, earn a good income from running the business for only seven months a year (as at present), and live in an amazing building where you can easily use the cafe, with its stunning panoramic views as an addition to your living space in the atmospheric winter months.”
DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY/OWNERS ACCOMMODATION
At the rear of the property there is an open plan studio that is currently unused for trading. It covers approx. 830 sq ft. over two floors. This could readily be converted into living accommodation for owners who would like to live on the premises, and the Highland Council have given pre-planning advice stating “there are no other material planning considerations identified at this time that would prevent the granting of permission” (full document available from agent). Alternatively, this space could be utilised to extend the shop or used as a workshop, gallery or studio etc.
Largely block built under a pitched slate roof, the premises has accommodation arranged over 2 levels. The building is cleverly designed and sympathetically built around an old croft house, with a significant local provenance.
The café has an excellent, well-equipped open-plan kitchen which has a preparation area and separate adjacent storeroom which accommodates fridges / freezer, vegetable store, dry goods store etc.
The premises have restrooms suitable for ladies / gents and disabled patrons together with a separate W.C. for staff.
The building sits within a circa 0.5 acre site benefitting from stunning views. Parking which is laid to gravel, accommodates up to 2 full sized coaches and 40 cars. From the car park customers have access to a charming nature trail that winds down from the cafe to the foreshore; the trail has informative notices regarding the flora, fauna and geological aspects of the area. On the seaward side of the café is bench table seating which is popular during the summer months. To the rear of the building is a Portakabin which can be used for storage etc.
The property benefits from mains electricity, water and drainage, and high speed broadband. The building has oil-fired central heating and double-glazing. Heating is supplemented with a freestanding wood-burning stove within the café area.
The present owners purchased the business in 2010 and it is being sold due to a desire to retire and focus on other interests. The vendors will be happy to provide support and training to new owners should this be required.
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