Shetland Produce All Under One Roof 1 May 2018

In just three short weeks we turned an empty room into a food and drink emporium - here's our story

The idea of having a pop-up promoting our members and their products came to us in the Spring. It took us a while to find the right place, but when we saw the space at Harry's in Lerwick, we knew it was the right venue. The team at Harry's were as excited as we were about having a food and drink showcase on Commercial Street and, after a couple of meetings, the work began!

A blank canvas is great, but when you have a vision and only three weeks to deliver it, that really puts the pressure on. The project was lead by our Manager Jill Franklin, with the support of Kellie Naulls and Selina-May Miller who job-share the role of Co-ordinator. They started the project with nothing - no furniture, no fridges, no anything! As a not-for-profit organisation, Shetland Food and Drink doesn't have funds to invest in equipment, so what to do? Once our members and the Shetland community heard about the project, then things all fitted into place!

Celebrating Shetland heritage was really important to us, so we knew we had a lot to do to make our idea work. We've had sideboards given to us on loan from Unst, kishies left in bus-stops, tables manhandled down tight Lerwick staircases, fridges travelling across Shetland, and heritage items even sent up on the boat from the mainland. Everything was offered to us on loan - and we were supported by a brilliant band of volunteers.

As well as many individuals who have donated both furniture and smaller items and our volunteers, we had a lot of support from businesses across Shetland: NorthLink who transported items to Shetland for us; JW Gray who moved things around Shetland for us; Cope Ltd who sourced furniture and the all-important till; and The Noost who let us borrow their wonderful vintage Shetland photos, to name just a few. It was a brilliant, Shetland-wide effort. And, of course, none of this would be possible without our sponsors. We thank everyone who helped us in any way - large or small - we couldn't have done it without you.

Once we had everything in place, we began to source product from all our member producers right across Shetland and promotional material from all members who sell and showcase Shetland produce. It was a very exciting time. We hope you will come and see what we have on offer. It's wonderful that we are now open for business and will be open until the end of September. Come and see us - a warm welcome awaits!

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