The owner of an Aberdeenshire coastal village’s only shop has made a plea to keep it open after a two-year trial.
Ice cream and sweetie shop Smuggler’s Cone at Collieston is the only amenity in the community after the village shop closed several years ago.
Nicole Barravecchio was granted planning permission by Aberdeenshire Council to turn the beach shelter into a building for retail use in 2013 – on the condition it be reviewed after two years.
Locals had raised initial concerns around car parking and her intentions for the building.
But the shop has proved to be so popular with both residents and visitors – with queues frequently “out the door” on summer days – that Mrs Barravecchio has applied to keep it open for another five years.
The building is leased to her by the council, and she is now hoping they will approve her request.
The mother-of-two, who stays in the village, said: “When the change of use went through the first time a few people were concerned about how the shop would operate. That is why the council then gave it two years just to see how it went, to see there was no concerns, no worries.
“It seems to be a really, really good venture. I would say the majority of the community really like it.
“It is a good point of reference for them, a meeting place for the kids, it is really nice to be able to have something like that in the village.
“I am so lucky with the position (of the kiosk). When the sun shines or even just when it is warm I have queues out my door. It is absolutely fantastic.”
The 39-year-old added she was considering getting a helper in the shop, and has notified the council of a change to its potential operating times to improve “flexibility”.
She added she wants to increase the products offered at the beach front store.
Mrs Barravecchio said: “I’d consider in the near future seeing what other things I can help out with, getting in things like milk and bread.”