IAN Wooff opened his Memory Lane Sweet Shop in Stornoway last week, bringing sweeties from all over the UK to his traditional store on Cromwell Street.
It’s a big venture but with plenty enquiries from the public as he was getting ready for opening, along with an abundance of stock requests from passers by, Ian is hopeful that his shop will take off.
Meeting with him just before he was due to open for the first time, and with people peering in the window in anticipation of all the sweet treats that were soon to line the shelves, Ian explained how he came up with the idea.
“My pension was not doing anything,” he said. “I’d just finished work at the car wash and I was wondering what to do. At my age it’s difficult to find full time employment so I thought I’d open up my own business.”
Choosing to opt for a traditional sweet shop, specialising in the old classics and the best produce he can source Ian renovated the old Bethesda shop. With shelves surrounding the shop, and scales set up, he has definitely got the atmosphere right for the type of shops that will bring childhood memories back.
He has also ordered thousands of pounds worth of sweets which include one of his favourites, Uncle Joes’s Mint Ball’s made by a company from Wigan and a one called Coal Dust, because it make your mouth go black - “The kids love that one.”
But Ian is also keep to stock local specialities too. He is hoping to soon stock toffee made on Barra and chocolate sweets from the Stornoway factory.
And it’s not just people popping into to see him who are talking about the new shop. Ian explained: “I had a Friday off, and I went down to Stag Bakery for a full cooked breakfast. One woman started talking about sweets and the whole shop started talking about them.
“There been interest from the police, the local traffic warden and councillors,” he laughed. “The woman next door even wanted me to knock a hatch through to hand her sweets. It’s been amazing.”