The Laggan Stores Coffee Bothy and Wayfarer’s Rest is an attractive property in a prominent roadside location offering something quite unique. Considerable investment has created this modern and cosy property from subjects dating back to 1870. Situated in an exceptional area of natural beauty with a high level of passing trade on the A86, Newtonmore to Spean Bridge Road, this is a truly lifestyle operation. The current owners are keen to provide a level of food offering and service which reflects their passion for this business. Ice Cream is homemade on the premises, everything is cooked fresh and served in a most attractive manner. The business caters year-round to local residents with the addition of strong tourist trade which peaks between Easter and October. The business also serves the community by providing the only convenience store within several miles and is well-utilised providing a wide selection of essentials to local inhabitants. Sales items include fresh produce, greeting cards, homemade bakery items, soft drinks, Calor gas, wood, coal, kindling plus some gift items. A charming aspect of the business is the cosy snug area with a wood-burning stove and tiled floors providing a pleasing ambience. For many people they will recall this well-known property from the BBC hit series “Monarch of the Glen,” and will recognise it as “MacKechnies”, the Glenbogle village shop.
Internally the ground floor sales area and café are arranged in a ‘U’ shape and offer spacious trading space extending to around 70m2. The shop element has a well-appointed kitchen and service area producing a range of freshly prepared items which are sold from the café. There is seating immediately outside the store for walkers and cyclists to take a well-earned rest and some sustenance. The business benefits from a separate building which sits across from the main premises, this flexible asset currently provides a spacious storage facility. Adjacent to this property is a lock-up compound which is currently used for storage however has plenty of development potential subject to planning.
An attractive feature of this substantial property is the accommodation which is located on the first and second floors. This spacious 3-bedroom apartment is well-presented currently being offered as letting accommodation. New owners may wish to utilise this accommodation for their own private use.
The present owners trade the café and shop elements from 9 am – 5 pm opening Tuesday to Saturday only. There is scope to extend the opening hours to drive turnover to a higher level. There is no doubt that Sunday opening would generate a good increase in turnover as the weekends are undoubtedly the busiest times. Evening opening would also increase business and the present owners acknowledge this, as there is a demand especially locally. However with a large young family their time is limited and they fully acknowledge that new owners would be able to take this business to the next level. The letting accommodation is available year round.
REASON FOR SELLING
The vendors purchased the property in early 2014 and it is their requirement to relocate that has brought this property to the market prematurely.
Laggan is situated approximately a 45 minute drive from Fort William one way and a 30 minute drive from Aviemore in the other direction. Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is only 56 miles away making it an ideal location for anyone wishing to be centrally located to the 3 main tourism areas and being on a main route connecting them all. The business also benefits from the local trade and from services of Newtonmore and Kingussie only 8 and 11 miles up the Strath Spey area as well as its countryside location with rugged mountains on the doorstep, boasting some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery and natural history. The region has a host of bird and wildlife which attracts a great many visitors.
Miles of unspoilt countryside provides terrain to please walkers and climbers of all aptitudes. Sailing, water sports, and fishing are all available locally. Field sports and mountain biking are other popular pursuits within the immediate environs. Indeed, the Laggan Wolftrax mountain bike trails enjoy nearly 35km of year-round single-track just two miles away. The business takes advantage of high levels of passing trade and walkers who are undertaking popular routes including Corrieyairack Pass, The East Highland Way and The Scottish National Trail. The proximity to Ben Nevis and Cairngorm adds skiing and downhill biking to the list of pastimes to be enjoyed. The popularity of the area for winter sports complements summer tourism to drive solid year-round trade. The region is also famous for its castles and distilleries.
Laggan enjoys a beneficial geographic location as a base from which visitors can continue their odyssey of both the Highland, West Coast and Grampian regions. Additionally, in the vicinity there are many self-catering accommodation providers, hotels and guest houses whose patrons in turn generated trade for the Stores and Coffee Bothy.
The main property is of traditional construction under a pitched slate roof with accommodation arranged over the two upper levels. A separate building of block construction beneath a pitched roof with secure outside facilities is situated across the road to the main building.
From a prominent roadside location in the village, the premises have a well-signed frontage and easy access. The shop has recently undergone an extensive interior restoration and refurbishment with tiled flooring and new lighting fitted throughout. The trading area has a good range of flexible fixtures and fittings including free-standing tables and chairs. The shop and café benefits from under-floor heating. The main sales counter is on the right, immediately inside the main entry, providing sensible control of the sales area and facilitating good customer service. To the right of the sales counter is a display freezer selling homemade ice-cream and other frozen goods. Further into the store is a wide range of shelving and merchandise racking. The café element has an attractive wood-burning stove and this coupled with the sensitive renovation makes this a most pleasant and relaxing area. There is a unisex customer W/C with baby changing facilities located towards the rear of the building.
The premises are well laid out to support the trading aspects of the business. There is a well-equipped kitchen area with floor and wall-mounted storage cupboards plus a pot-wash area. There is a separate utility room with a large sink mainly used for cleaning equipment etc. To the side of the building is a lean-to storage facility and another storage area located within the outbuilding across the road, (both with electrics) providing considerable utility space. The outbuilding, itself, has great potential to be developed into an office space or possibly into new business uses. In addition, secure outside storage is available adjacent to this building and is currently used to stock gas, coal, wood, kindling etc.
LETTING / OWNERS ACCOMMODATION
An attractive feature of the sale is the letting accommodation or owner’s accommodation. Set within the main building, access is gained from a wooden vestibule and stairs lead to the first and second floors. There are two double bedrooms on the second floor which look out toward the Monadhliath Mountains under pitched ceilings and have built in storage facilities. Situated on the first floor is the largest bedroom which is currently used as an office, this is a bright and spacious room which also features an original and working fireplace.
The first floor also is the location of a full-sized family bathroom with bath and over-bath electric shower with wooden panel finish throughout. An attractive and well-appointed country style kitchen with dishwasher, breakfast bar, stylish extractor fan, fridge and freezer units, washing machine / dryer plus wood work surfaces provide generous cooking and preparation space. The bright lounge features a wood burning stove and dining area, located on the first floor this room benefits from breath-taking views of the surrounding area. This accommodation has been successfully let out to holiday makers utilising Airbnb as well as other web sites generating a quarter of the business' income with more room for growth.
The present owners rent a four bedroomed property close to the business and should new owners wish to continue to rent the holiday flat above the shop on a weekly basis to maximise income this property currently rented monthly could be available.
There is a separate property located opposite Laggan Stores which was initially used by the owners as the shop during the period of renovation. The owner has mentioned that this deceptively spacious property could be suitable for a number of uses, this might include a take away business such as a chip shop, or possibly as a retail unit, subject to the necessary planning consents.
The business is a substantial property with a large footprint and prominent roadside frontage. Unrestricted roadside parking provides for patrons needs but there is also a car park just along the village road. The business benefits from a supplementary block constructed building with a pitched roof. This detached building has been used as a community facility but could be used for a wide range of business uses subject to consents. This property has power but no water or drainage facilities at present. There is a small steep garden to the rear of the premises.
Mains electricity, water and drainage. Heating is provided by a mix of electric panel heaters and storage heaters. The property is partially double glazed. The Store has an alarm system.
The business trades from 9 am to 5 pm opening from Tuesday to Saturday only. The current trading pattern allows new owners the opportunity to increase trade. Trading figures will be made available to seriously interested parties post viewing.