~ We're Mum & Baby, Child and Wheelchair Friendly ~
Simply The Best Food Hall is now fully up and running...although there are still more foods and cleaning products to come....
In stock so far; Curry Sauces, Chutneys, Marmalades and Jams from Swaziland
Rice from Malawi
Oodles of different Pasta Sauces
Flour (Wholemeal, White, Plain & Self-Raising, Pasta/Pizza Flour)
Large range of Ella's Kitchen for the kiddies....
Earth Friendly Baby
Ecover Cleaning Products
Eco Force Scourers, Cloths and Clothes Pegs
Please visit our new Producers Page (go to the 'Fair Trade' page and follow the link)
This gives lots of info about some of our producers...it will list all of them, in time!
Please take a look at Simply The Best's Chosen Charity, SOS Children's Villages - more news to come as we finalise arrangements!
We have been listening to feedback regarding actually finding the shop and can now offer a map on the website! Along with a Pavement Swinger on Castle Street (again with a map), one at the entrance to Dornoch Business Park and one by the recycling area next to the shop, we feel we should now be able to attract those of you who haven't been able to find us as yet!
On the Marketing side of things, we have four major campaigns running this year;
1) A half page advert in the A5 North Highlands' Visitor Guide, which is available from all Tourist Information Centres and is sent out on request by Visit Scotland
2) A quarter page advert plus quarter page editorial in the A4 Highland & Moray Visitor Guide 2010 - being distributed as far down as Stirling, again in Visitor Information Centres and key tourist sites
3) Our brand new leaflet (Mar 2010 Brochure, downloadable from the Products page), which will be going into many Visitor Centres, attractions, hotels, restaurants and anywhere there is a leaflet display. Areas covered will be Easter Ross and Dornoch, Inverness & Loch Ness, North & North West Highlands and all Visitor Information Centres. 14,000 leaflets in all!
4) A double-sided A4 leaflet which is included in the Landmark Press Visitors' Welcome Pack - this is placed in 7,500 bedrooms in the Scottish Highlands
Plus we have taken an advert on VisitDornoch.com
Of course we will also be continuing to service local businesses who have been very supportive in our first days of trading. Thanks very much - you know who you are!
Latest...... We have opened an account with a new web host capable of running a full e-commerce site. The bare bones of the site have been uploaded; all that remains is for it to be configured to make it fully secure and for all our data to be uploaded. For total peace of mind we have purchased an SSL Certificate which effectively means the site will be as secure as it can be.
Sorry about the delay with this...."Next to come will be some up-to date photos of the shop, highlighting individual areas and product ranges."... We've actually been working on opening up more rooms to the shop floor. We now have the main shop floor of 600 square feet and another room of 125 square feet, which houses the rather nice basket ware made from the bark of the Nito vine, along with bags, cushions, handmade wrapping paper and other goodies. We've nearly finished work on this room, now.
After the first room's finished, we will be opening up our last room, another 125 square feet, in which we will be having not only more products to buy but, most importantly, an extensive Fair Trade Resource of leaflets, posters, etc.. All sorts of information about Fairtrade, Fair Trade, the producers whose goods we stock and much more.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes we are beavering away to populate a database so that you will be able to view our products in detail.
Hopefully not long after that we will be able to offer a fully functional e-commerce website, where you will be able to order and pay for products online and have them delivered to your door!
We have had so many new products since first opening it's hard to know where to start!
However, here goes;
Comments about Simply The Best
We hear so many lovely comments about the shop on an almost daily basis that we thought we should "Share the Love"!
**** And just a wee reminder - these are all REAL comments we've either heard or had said to us in the shop . Wow! ****
"Your shop's pretty awesome"
"Excellent shop! It's the BEST Fair Trade shop we've been in. It's much bigger than Aberdeen - we go in there regularly. Fantastic range!"
"Granny - look!" "I'm looking...I can't stop looking!...Every time I look I see something else! I'll be back!"
"Very very nice things you have in here...Beautiful things"
"It's a fascinating shop. So many lovely things"
"You have lots of lovely things in here. You could spend all day in here and still not see it all!"
"It goes on forever!"
I apologise in advance for this one, as it's a little Cheesey... "This shop is Brilliant! It's Simply The Best!" (sorry.....!)
"You've got loads! I've never seen so much Fair Trade!"
"It's a Really Nice Shop"
"They are stunning, aren't they?" - Hooligans Kids clothes
Another 'phone call, this time from a lady who was in Dornoch last week and paid us a visit - just to thank us for being here! We're really humbled by the support we get...it's just great to be able to make a difference, in our small way...
And we had a 'phone call from Wales recently - a tour guide wanted to make sure he knew where we were so he could bring his bus to visit when he came to Dornoch in a week's time. The word appears to be spreading...
Just back from the Sutherland County Show where we have a stall today - a visitor to the stall told us "It's a BRILLIANT shop!" How cool is that?!
Talking of Big Shops - we've been told that we're bigger and stock more lines than One World in Glasgow (They're also in Edinburgh). Which is very gratifying to hear, as they have been around much longer than we have. We haven't been able to visit (yet), but I do know we share the same views regarding Fair Trade and being Eco-Friendly. Why don't you give them a visit - One World Shop. Lorna from One World has asked me to mention Edinburgh stocks more lines than Glasgow....the more choice the merrier! The more products that are stocked from different producers around the World, the more choice you, the consumer, have. The more exposure these different cultures have, the more aware we all become of their individual problems. We all have different problems, but the problems of most people in the world are not of their own making. Everyone deserves the right to have a decent life. Trading Fairly is one way to make a real difference. Show You Care - Buy Fair Trade!
And again...."Are you part of a chain?" No, we just try to do what we do to the best of our abilities. We're the Big Shop in a Little Unit. The Tardis of the North!
"There's a lot more interesting stuff (in Simply The Best) than at a lot of (Fair Trade) places in London!"
"They're just so beautiful" - Coasters made of polished coconut in a weave pattern
"We were sent; 'It's wonderful', they said. 'Go and see it', they said. So we came. This is beautiful! We'll be back...."
"What a great shop!"
"We have been telling all our friends of the amazing shop you have, and we look forward to seeing you again there" - in a letter!
"Absolutely delighted to hear about your shop and can't wait to come visit. It looks amazing and what a wonderful variety of stock" - via email
"It's a lovely colour" - the Rose Pink Himalayan Rock Salt (for food)
"I could spend a day in here...."
"This is fantastic - it's like an Aladdin's cave - it's lovely!
"Gosh - you could spend hours here!"
"It looks super"
"There's just so much to see!"
"You've done a really good job" ...with product selection and layout of the shop...
"Oh! It's Beautiful! Wish we'd come here before!"
Another favourite, hot off the press - "It's a Proper Shop!"
Person 1; "They've got some lovely dragons(!) Person 2; "They're gorgeous, aren't they?"
"It's nice to know you're here"
This is a favourite of ours - "So are there Simply The Best shops all over the place?" Well, not yet, but.......!
"You have some amazing things in here. It's nice - I'm glad I found you!"
"Best of luck - it's a cracking wee shop!"
"There's some lovely things in this shop"
"(Simply The Best is...) A bit different to other Fair Trade Shops"
"You don't normally get so many musical instruments in one place!" (We do have quite a range.....)
"There's such a diversity of stuff"
"It's amazing what you've got in here"
"I'm so glad this shop exists"
"It's a lovely place"
"I'm gonna bring my granny here - she's gonna love it!"
"What a lovely shop!"
"You have a lovely variety here"
"I'm so glad to see a Fair Trade Shop - it's fabulous!"
"What a fabulous shop! I'll spread the word and I'll be back...."
"My friends have bought me a couple of presents from here, so I thought I'd come in and take a look - you have some lovely things!"
About some of our boxes - "Oh WOW!" So Pretty! Fabulous!"
"Lovely Smells" (that'll be the incense and the new range of Bath Melts)
"This is a fantastic shop!" (Well, thank you very much!)
About Visionary Lip Balm (just in, at the time) - "It's really great! Lasts a really long time and doesn't spill!"
"You have some lovely things. Different!"
"What a beautiful array of stuff you have here - it's lovely!"
"Absolutely Fab! Just loved it! I could have spent ages in there!"
About Lyme Regis Organic Marzipan bars - "You've made my day! I love marzipan and I've only ever seen these in Holland & Barrett's before..."
"I'll have to bring my daughter here - she'll love it! I'll be back....!"