After their events business came to a halt during the pandemic, Eleanor Whitby and Ed Murdoch decided to fill a gap in the Newport food scene with a new delicatessen.
Eleanor, 43, and Ed, 50, were one of the many couples affected by the inability to continue working in their joint events management business.
Following a disheartening year, the couple realised they would have to turn their attention to a new business venture if they wanted to continue living in Newport.
Noticing there was no real green grocer in their area, the pair decided to take on a shop on the High Street and opened their own venue, The Urban Grocery in December 2020.
Fig & Fromage
With more ideas under their belt and limited space in the first shop, they then opened their second shop, Fig & Fromage, a year later in December 2021.
With a mixture of local coffee from roasters including Brewery Lane and Empire State, cheeses that are imported from Italy France and Scotland, deli meats and bagels, Fig & Fromage brings an artisan offering to the Newport food scene.
Eleanor said one of the main reasons for launching a local shop was to provide something different to the Co-op and Spar.
“We filled the cabinet with what we thought was best based on research,” said Eleanor.
“Since then it has been from customer recommendations and we have also read lots of books.
“We are doing our best to give as much variety on types of cheeses, and also have a limited supply of vegan cheeses for customers to purchase.”
For Eleanor and Ed, supporting their local community has been the most rewarding part of their new hospitality ventures.
“Between us, the restaurants and other small businesses, over the last five years Newport has changed,” she added.
“We have so many conversations with locals telling us how great it is to have us on the local high street and it makes us feel so great.
“It’s really lovely and humbling to feel you have been part of that process, and not only benefit ours and our children’s lives, but also enrich the wider community.”
Expanding across Tayside and Fife
Despite not having any plans to open more shops in Newport area, the couple believes a similar concept would thrive across Tayside and Fife in other towns and villages.
The couple’s plan is to give Fig & Fromage a year in business before they think about any new ventures.
“It would be great to expand the combination of the two shops across Tayside and Fife in smaller places like Newport,” she said.
“I feel more people would shop local a lot more if they had the option to. We’ve proven that here.”
Address: 38 High Street, Newport on Tay, DD6 8AD