An award-winning Aberdeenshire farm shop has been forced to close due to “challenging trading conditions”.
The Store at Foveran, near Ellon, yesterday announced that it had closed with immediate effect after 17 years of trading.
Andrew Booth who runs the enterprise with his wife Debbie said the decision to close the farm shop, with the loss of nine full-time jobs, had not been easy.
He blamed a “change in circumstances and difficult trading conditions” for the closure.
The future of the company’s online retail business and catering division is undecided.
“It was not an easy decision to make. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, suppliers and staff past and present for making The Store and helping enforce the message that shopping local is the best way to live,” he said.
Roadworks on the nearby A90 had not helped, but were not the blame for the shop’s closure, he added.
Mr Booth said the family would now focus on its core farming and renewable energy businesses – this includes an extensive arable enterprise and a fattening cattle business.
A new anaerobic digestion plant is also being built by the Booths and they hope to have it up and running by March.
News of the shop’s closure was met with sadness.
SNP councillor Richard Thomson said: “The Store has a well-deserved local and national reputation for high quality produce and service. It will certainly be missed.”