The Wild Hearth Bakery is to open a long-awaited shop in Comrie.
The company currently runs as a successful wholesaler at the Cultybraggan Camp two miles south of the Perthshire village.
But after numerous requests from villagers it will now have a retail presence in Comrie Buildings East, Drummond Street by the end of the year.
Wild Hearth Bakery has Michelin clients
John Castley has been running the enterprise for six years at the former prisoner of war camp.
It does home deliveries, sells at farmers’ markets and supplies wholesale to shops, restaurants, cafes and caterers.
“When we are at farmers’ markets and on social media we have people asking us all the time if we have a shop,” John said.
“It’s something we have wanted to do for quite a while.”
New shop project stalled by tradesmen shortage
The new shop in Comrie will replace a unit that has been empty for around one year.
It will set up in the former home of the LesleyMacMakes gift shop.
In the past the site has also been occupied by a florist, bike shop and bookshop.
The original target was for the bakery shop to have become established in the premises by spring this year.
But it can only be launched once Wild Hearth completes the planned expansion of its wholesale business.
This was put on hold due to a shortage of tradesmen.
“We are doubling the size of the bakery at Cultybraggan but it has been very hard to gain traction with builders,” John said.
“We are finally getting traction now.
“That is the number one priority.
“Then we will sort the shop out.”
It could be open as early as October this year.
Retail bakery may be open six days a week
The shop will sell bread, baking and pastries produced at the Cultybraggan Camp.
There will also be coffee and hot drinks to take away.
Internally, the front room will be fitted out with a new counter and shelving.
The back room will have storage tables and racking.
No baking or cooking will be carried out on the premises.
It will open Tuesdays to Sundays, likely from 9am to 5pm.
Lack of premises for new café in Comrie
There is still a fly in the ointment, though.
“Comrie desperately needs a new café but there wasn’t premises available,” said John.
“Before I became a baker I was a chef so the idea of doing a café is something I would love but for the moment I am constrained.
“The good thing with doing retail is that you can bring a lot more creativity into it.
“So we will be doing seasonal specials and different things to the wholesaling.
“We can make something special based on certain ingredients available for two weeks and sell it through the shop.
“I am really hoping people will travel to Comrie for the bakery.”
Wild Hearth Bakery also needs consent to make alterations to the shopfront.
Perth and Kinross Council will decide on the company’s planning application.