Glorious garden centre blossoms with four stars

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Glenbarr garden centre is blooming excellent and that is official.

Proprietor, Zofia Sloan, and staff at Glenbarr garden centre, stores and café are ecstatic after the Scottish Tourist Board (STB) recently awarded the business four stars allowing Glenbarr stores to apply for official brown tourist signage.

Speaking about the award Zofia said: ‘It is the first award of any kind that we have achieved, we are all delighted, it is a great team and a reflection of all the staff’s hard work.’

The Stores, Garden Centre and Cafe was inspected by an undercover Visit Scotland inspector and the staff have been on tenterhooks for weeks.

‘We were all on high alert waiting for the inspection,’ added Zofia.

Staff member Eleanor Sloan added: ‘The inspector had lunch at the café and when he paid he revealed his identity.

‘He remarked on the achievements made in the two years since the business has changed hands’, remarking particularly on the friendly greetings with smiles, eye contact and hellos from the first moment he entered the shop and all the way through his visit.

‘He was also impressed by all the local ingredients including Highland Beef from North Beachmore farm, Kintyre cheese, High Bellochantuy farm eggs and the Wee Isle Dairy milk.

‘As the café uses a lot of local produce on the menu he encouraged us to have more prominent signage reflecting this.’

The existing signage, on the A83, has been refused advertising consent by Argyll and Bute council under the recommendation of one of the consultees; Transport Scotland which manages trunk roads.

Paul and Zofia feel that good signage is important on the A83, directing customers and will apply for brown tourist signs.

Glenbarr garden centre, stores and café staff are from left: Joyce Andrews, Liz Anderson, Inga Long, Erin McSporran, Eleanor Sloan, Lesley Barker and Zofia Sloan. Six staff were not present: Eilidh Johnstone, Emma Johnstone, Niamh Middleton, Alison Armour, Suzanna Kane and Nicola Wareham.