As a little girl, Cheryl Anderson loved ice lolly and ice cream treats. It’s a love she now shares with locals and visitors alike at her ice cream parlour in rural Aberdeenshire.
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Originally from Glasgow, she found herself in Ballater after her parents moved there for work while she was abroad travelling. She quickly felt a connection with the Royal Deeside village – so much so she decided to set up shop there instead of returning overseas.
Shorty’s opened in April 2017 and there’s been no looking back for Cheryl.
Close to the Royal family’s Balmoral estate, Shorty’s is one of the small independent businesses which makes the community such a special place in which to live and visit.
Cheryl says: “There was nothing like this here, so I decided to open an ice cream parlour. I’ve always loved the idea of cold deserts.
“I remember when I was four years old I said to my mum ‘can I have an ice lolly?’ It was November and it was raining, but I thought ‘why have them in the shop if you can’t buy them?’
“There was a lot of speculation when we first started as to how successful we could be because it’s quieter in the winter. But we’re very versatile and do different things then. It’s been a great success – loved by a lot of people, I’m pleased to say.”
Part of that success is thanks to people who live in and around Ballater choosing local and getting behind businesses in their community (as well as from Scots enjoying staycations and days out).
The importance of both is being highlighted as part of the Scotland Loves Local Week, which runs until Sunday 3 September. It’s highlighting the critical need for everyone to think local first and show loyalty to businesses close to home.
“If we didn’t have local support we wouldn’t survive,” adds Cheryl, who employs 15 people during her peak summer season.
Celebrity support for Scotland Loves Local Week 2023
Cheryl shared her story with STV weatherman Sean Batty, who called into Shorty’s in his role as an ambassador for Scotland Loves Local.
The presenter has been filming a series of promotional videos for the campaign, including those in places which are special to him – like Ballater, a place he has regularly visited.
Sean told us: “I just love it here. Speaking to businesses, we found out how community support is really vital. They wouldn’t survive if it were not for local people shopping locally.”
People across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Highlands and Islands are highlighting the huge difference that community support makes as part of Scotland Loves Local Week.
Part of the wider Scotland Loves Local campaign, initially established as the nation emerged from the first Covid-19 lockdown in summer 2020, it has evolved into a drive for longer-term good. It encourages people to make the places they live better by spending with the people and businesses around them.
Fantastic shopping, eating and leisure experiences
Aberdeen Inspired Business Improvement District has been a vocal supporter of the Choose Local message and the difference this simple decision makes.
Chief executive Adrian Watson said: “It’s never been more important for North East communities to get behind their local businesses.
“At Aberdeen Inspired, we are helping people to give local businesses a boost through a range of local initiatives including the Aberdeen Gift Card, which is locking spending into the city and supporting bricks and mortar businesses.
“In Aberdeen and across the wider region we have such a wealth of fantastic shopping, eating and leisure experiences.
“By loving local, people can discover all the amazing experiences that we have on our doorstep – while supporting local businesses that keep millions of pounds-worth of spending in local communities. That support will allow us to make the North East an even better place to live, work and visit.”
Spreading a vital message
Members of Visit Inverness Loch Ness Tourism Business Improvement District are also Scotland Loves Local champions. They are encouraging local enterprises to support each other, as well as attracting more people to the Highlands.
Sharon McKay from Visit Inverness Loch Ness told us: “Our Love Local lamppost banners are on display for a third year, by the river in Inverness, on Bank Street. This busy route through the city gives greater visibility to our many hidden gems, attractions and activity providers, showcased on 30 beautiful banners.
“A further 42 Love Local banners are now also on lampposts leading into six villages, as well as the main traffic route into the city centre from the A9.
“The year-round campaign not only beautifully illustrates the many wonderful things to see and do in our area, but encourages tourists and locals to explore and experience more, which is further supporting the local economy.”
Share photographs of your favourite local businesses – and why they’re so special – on social media using the hashtags #ScotlandLovesLocal and #ChooseLocal.