My story so far…

Born in Ayr and brought up in Saltcoats, I worked within my parent’s business and gained valuable experience across the licensed trade and leisure industry, particularly the food and drink sector where I worked alongside my mum, Sweet Caroline, during school holidays and the main tourist season from April to September.

Beach Pavilion

The Beach Pavilion & Boating Pond on the seafront in Saltcoats was operated by our family for 30 yrs.

After 30 years my parent’s business had developed across Scotland but they lost the lot, including their home, after being hit very hard during the recession of the late 80’s. They moved into my home and I moved in with my grandmother in Ayr whilst we did our best as a family to recover from the inevitable fallout.

I accepted an invitation to manage a seasonal ice cream concession and now live and work in Largs and have done for the last 16 years with my shop, Sugar & Spice.


Situated at 26-28 Main St, Largs, KA30 8AB Tel: 01475 675200

It’s developed over the years as a specialist retail outlet with handmade chocolates, premium spirits and fine confectionery.  I even re-mortgaged my home in 2005 to build an ice cream production unit at the back of the shop branded as Geraldo’s, in honour of my dad who passed away shortly after.


Gerald Dawson known and loved by all his family and friends as Geraldo.

My family are hugely important to me as we’ve worked together all our lives and my business interests in Largs have grown to include the Bean and Leaf licensed restaurant, which I jointly operate with my brother and his wife, as well as Largs Putting Greens.

Outside Terrace and the putting

The Bean and Leaf and my brother Maxwell and his sons playing putting.

Outside my own day-to-day business interests, I’m Vice-Chair of Explore Largs Business Improvement District and an active member of the AABW for women in business.

In Oct 2015 I was nominated by the AABW and then awarded by the ASB at a glittering awards ceremony in the Central Hotel in Glasgow for my ‘Outstanding Contribution in Business’ and in March 2016 as Ayrshire Businesswoman of the Year.

ASB Awards

Presented with the award for my ‘Outstanding Contribution in Business 2016’

I’m passionate about Scottish tourism and the food and drink industry and regularly take part in events around Ayrshire to support and raise awareness of the fantastic producers we have within the region and throughout Scotland.

Promoting food and drink and Taste Ayrshire

In my spare time I love to meet with friends, eat out and enjoy good conversation over business, life, love, family and travel or whatever the hot topic of the day is and it usually involves fine wine, gin or whisky.

Outside of that I’m a keep fit enthusiast and have run on numerous occasions to raise funds for the Ayrshire Hospice where my dad had some respite before he died.

Running to raise funds for the Ayrshire Hospice.

Now, after 16 years in business, I am completely re-branding Sugar & Spice and changing it to Geraldo’s.  Tonnes of work to do but you’ll hear more about that soon.

In the meantime, here’s the new look:

Our new look brand for Geraldo's of Largs

Our new look brand for Geraldo’s of Largs

Thanks for reading….

Toni x

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