STREET SIGN FIRST FOR FIFE VILLAGE

A local Fife community is celebrating the arrival of two significant additions to its street architecture. The Dunshalt Community Shop, which is a not-for-profit enterprise, recently welcomed the arrival of two VisitScotland-accredited tourist signs – the first ever to grace the village.

As the first community-owned food retailer in Fife, The Dunshalt Community Shop has been at the forefront of the developing trend for local buyouts. This latest initiative to put the Fife village on the map was most keenly welcomed by Dunshalt Community Shop committee member Alison Crook who spearheaded the drive to install the street signs.

“It is great to finally see them here,” she said. “Dunshalt Community Shop has become the cornerstone of the village. It’s where people meet, stock up on groceries or grab a bite to eat. We wanted to install the brown signs because the ethos behind the shop is to support the local community as well as catering for visitors. While we’re well known in the village, we wanted to broaden our reach and help visitors find us. That’s where the brown signs come in, but as importantly, they are also a mark of quality.”

Dunshalt Community Shop opened its doors in 2020 and started the application process for the signposts at the beginning of 2023. The first step towards brown-sign approval was applying for the VisitScotland “Taste our Best” accreditation scheme; the official system celebrating businesses serving quality food and drink using locally sourced produce. Following an inspection which resulted in an overall quality score of 83% and a Scottish provenance score of 93%, the shop was deemed eligible to apply for official brown-sign status.

“It was a thorough process,” admits Alison, “but it was worth it because we learned a lot about the shop and how to project the business to different audiences. The cherry on the cake is having the brown signs up and being noticed, which will hopefully attract even more visitors to Dunshalt and the shop.”

The VisitScotland accreditation scheme noted that upon entering the shop it was “excellent to be able to identify… a high percentage of Scottish and local businesses which supply your produce”. Indeed, the shop is proud to stock items from a range of much-loved local suppliers including Luvians Bottle Shop, Hunters of Kinross and Fisher and Donaldson.

Brian Lawrie, who is also a Dunshalt Community Shop Committee member, noted: “I think it is a great achievement to gain the necessary accreditation to enable the shop to apply for the brown signs. But it’s not just an accomplishment for the shop, these are also the first brown signs to point towards Dunshalt. For a small community like ours, that means something.”

Dunshalt Community Shop has been supported and funded by a range of stakeholders, including the local community who took out shares in the enterprise. This latest idea was supported by the Fife Rural Development Fund which provided grant funding for the signs.

Dunshalt Community Shop

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Notes to editors

1) Dunshalt Community Shop opened in 2020 and continues to place the local community at the heart of its endeavours.

2) Dunshalt Community Shop is the first community-owned food retailer in Fife.

3) Dunshalt Community Shop has been supported and funded by the Scottish Rural Development Programme, the National Lottery, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, The European Agricultural Fund and Leader Fife, not to mention the pivotal role played by the local community.

4) The objectives of Dunshalt Community Shop include supporting the community by supplying good quality local produce at a fair price.

5) In tune with the seasons, Dunshalt Community Shop aims to lower its customer’s carbon footprint by reducing car use, cutting food miles and promoting local sustainability.

6) Any profits accrued by Dunshalt Community Shop are invested back into the store or assigned to developing inclusive and progressive community projects.

7) For more information, visit www.dunshaltshop.co.uk