Arran's new shoe shop, The Shoe Bothy
The Old Byre Visitor Centre which hosts the Old Byre Showroom, Café Thyme and a large children's play area now has an exciting new shoe shop. Lorna and Hamza decided to expand the business in order to improve the visitor experience and offer more to see and do on the west side of the island. Why shoes? Well it seemed like the natural progression from the clothing side of the business. It can be a hassle going to the mainland for shoes, especially with children, and let's face it everyone needs shoes.
The Shoe Bothy is a completely new building, sitting where there once was a house and byre but which had been ruins for years. Hamza set to in 2018 and did the majority of the work himself, getting builders in to help with foundations and roofing.
Inside is large and spacious and offers ladies, gents and children's shoes and boots. They have brought brands in from Turkey, all ethically sourced with good working practises. There are also Start-Rite school shoes in different widths and Dubarry shoes and boots, together with some other British brands.
Covid-19 hit at the worst time preventing the opening of The Shoe Bothy at Easter, Lorna and Hamza were relying on Easter trade to move the business on and many of the shoe factories closed down. They managed to come through this however and have many more shoes and sandals on their way. They have also used this time to revamp the Old Byre Showroom which now has a new look. Back in 2013 Snowmaggedon prevented Café Thyme from opening at Easter, so it shows that no obstacle will stop this family business, their drive, passion and hard work shows.
A visit to the Old Byre Visitor Centre is a must both for locals and visitors, there's a wide range of clothing, homeware, handbags, shoes and slippers, good food from Café Thyme, a place for the kids to let off steam and amazing views.