Free prize draw!

Did you know that we have launched a MONTHLY PRIZE DRAW? 

Congratulations to Emma Henderson from Glasgow for being our July prize winner. She was over the moon to find out that she has won the Gin Gift Pack pictured below.  We hope you enjoy your gin Emma.  We thought that ‘Doing it in your wellies’ gift pack was very apt given the summer we’ve had so far in Scotland!

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Doing it in yer wellies! Say hello to Hamish, Bonnie and Grace.

Every month someone will win a delicious treat from Sugar & Spice and every month it is something different. Will you be a winner in August?

There are three ways you can enter:

  1. Pop into Sugar & Spice in Largs and fill in one of our prize draw cards;
  2. Come and visit our stall at one of the events we will be attending (listed below) or;
  3. Email your answers to the questions on the card below to info@sugar-and-spice.co.uk with Shop Prize Draw in the subject line. Any additional comments you have are welcome.

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The prize draw is completely free and will be randomly drawn at the end of each month. Occasionally we will keep you posted on exciting new products, events and competitions. But you can opt out of these at any time if we annoy you!

Here’s the list of our upcoming events. We hope to see you there.

20th/21st August Galloway Country Fair
27th August – 4th September Largs Viking Festival
11th September Kip Marina Food Market
17th September Newmilns Food Festival
14th-16th October Scotland’s Boat Show, Kip Marina

 

Heading to The Open this week?

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Don’t miss the chance to visit the Home of Golf Pavillion at Royal Troon. The 145th Open will be showcasing the very best food and drink produce from across Ayrshire & Arran. And Sugar & Spice will be there!
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On Thursday 14th July, Toni will be doing a talk and tasting session about the delicious handmade chocolates from the Arran Chocolate Factory. Not only can you sample these mouthwatering treats, but Toni will tell you all you need to know about this small island business and how Sugar & Spice became one of the few independent retailers to stock these luxurious chocolates.

Aside from enjoying the world-class golf, this prestigious event is also an excellent opportunity to sample all that our stunning region has to offer. Ayrshire & Arran have some of the finest food and drink produce in Scotland including: Hendricks Gin, Arran Whisky, Dunlop Cheese, Ayrshire Bacon, locally caught fish & seafood and wonderful ice cream. Fantastic tastes and flavours, combined with our beautiful coastline and rural landscape make this region a destination to be proud of.

Enjoy the golf, the scenery and the food! And don’t forget to join Toni on Thursday 14th July from 10am until 11:30am at Visit Scotland’s Home of Golf stand.

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There’s a Bank Holiday Weekend coming up…

Well here’s the 2nd instalment of my Did You Know feature and I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that this weekend is a Bank Holiday weekend.

 

That means only one thing – all systems go for those of us catering for tourists or day trippers in any way. Stock orders in, all hands on deck and fingers crossed for some good weather, and let’s hope it’s several degrees warmer than it has been in the last few days.

Despite the drop in temperature I still have to be prepared for a hot, sunny spell and last week my delivery of ice cream cones came in, all 60+ boxes of them, so you could say I’m ready for some sunshine. We’ve changed our range of waffle cones this year and have a couple of new additions on offer including one rolled in popcorn and another rolled in milk chocolate vermicelli and, of course, our best selling nutty waffle. (My personal favourite!)

Our premium waffle cone selection for 2015

Thankfully I did actually manage that day away last week at the spa with Sweet Caroline. Unfortunately, after a somewhat painful massage to remove the lumps and bumps from my back and neck, I was guided into the relaxation room to recover then promptly fell asleep for the next 2 hours so most of the afternoon was gone!  For those of you not working this weekend take time to relax, enjoy some family time and take advantage of the time off; you deserve it I’m sure.

Did you know this weekend also signals the start of Whisky Month and World Whisky Day is only a few weeks away when we Scots pay homage to our national drink. My display window is being dressed on Thursday and I’ll have more about what we’re doing in the shop in next week’s instalment including a fantastic offer on the newly acclaimed online Whisky School Courses.

Finally, did you know you can vote for us in the Waverley Golden Cone Awards?  It’s the annual search to find Scotland’s favourite place to enjoy ice cream and since this is Geraldo’s 10th anniversary we’d love you to vote for us please.  All you have to do is fill in the form online for your chance to win a fully stocked ice cream cart for a special event of your choosing. Closing date is Tuesday, 5th of May.

 

 Good luck with your entry and have a great weekend everyone!

Toni x

Did you know?

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After last week’s blog about the start of the ice cream season and Geraldo’s 10th birthday I was sitting in my office this morning wondering what to write about next.  So I’ve decided to introduce a weekly (this may be wishful thinking on my part) blog called:

Did you know?

Haven’t a clue what its going to be about but I’m sure if I book myself in for a day spa at Cameron House this week the inspiration will come to me. (Now that’s definitely wishful thinking!)

Here goes for this week’s instalment…

Did you know that Monday is our usual day for stripping down our Mr Whippy ice cream machine?  The whole process takes about an hour or so, all the parts are sterilised and lubricated then the machine is filled again with fresh ice cream; Geraldo’s ice cream, of course, and we’re the only shop in Largs who puts fresh ice cream in our Mr Whippy machine.  Did you know it’s Gluten Free? And did you know we now have Gluten Free cones to serve it in?  Please tell your coeliac friends all about it and they’ll be your BFF!

 

Monday is also a day for stock orders and Bon Bons is usually first on my list.  Did you know we stock over 100 different flavours of traditional hand packed sweets from Bon Bons? They also supply us with their melt in the mouth fudge, giant chocolate slabs, gourmet mallows and gorgeous gift bags filled with retro sweets, cinder toffee and flying saucers.

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After a busy weekend with lots of visitors to Largs, did you know that the days following a busy period is when most small business owners like me start preparing for the next one?  After all the stock orders for the week ahead are done, there’s admin, banking, accounting, payroll, staff rotas, forward planning, website updates, marketing…..the list is long but if the business is going to be ready for the next instalment of good weather and lots of visitors, we have to be organised and prepared for it.

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Despite all of this, did you know Monday is my favourite day of the week?  I like it even more if I’ve had a busy weekend.  It’s a real shame for those of you who don’t enjoy, sorry LOVE, what you do, dread Monday mornings and the idea of going back to work.  For someone like me who, 15 years ago didn’t like the idea of starting a business in Largs one little bit, did you know I absolutely love it here.

Have a great week everyone and keep your fingers crossed for me that I manage that well-deserved spa day.  I’ll let you know next week!

Toni x

It’s Geraldo’s 10th birthday!

Year of Food and Drink 2015

Celebrating the Year of Scottish Food and Drink 2015

We’re already well into celebrating the Year of Food & Drink in Scotland and at the first sign of sunshine Largs is overflowing with day-trippers, tourists and residents of the surrounding areas making the most of the good weather.  Good weather brings lots of smiles to people’s faces and it also heralds the start of the ice cream season too.

Big smiles all round in Largs.

Big smiles all round in Largs.

With April being the month for award-winning foods we thought it was a perfect month to announce that Geraldo’s Ice Cream is celebrating  its 10th birthday this month.  There’s quite a story attached to how Geraldo’s began and you can read that here. We’ve picked up numerous awards over the years for our Classic Vanilla, Mint Choc Chip, Scottish Tablet, Gerry Berry and Natural Strawberry to name but a few but we have loads more flavours to choose from with 16 on the go at any one time.

10 years old this month!

10 years old this month!

My ice cream is made with Scottish milk and cream supplied to me by Mills Dairies in Largs and I use only the finest fruit purees and ripples.  It’s also Gluten Free and Sugar & Spice is the only ice cream shop in Largs to put fresh ice cream in our Mr Whippy machine too.

Fresh, gluten free ice cream in our Mr Whippy too!

Fresh, gluten free ice cream in our Mr Whippy too!

We’re open late every night until at least 9pm so if you’re in town or driving through, drop by and give us a visit.  If you’re on Facebook, why don’t you LIKE our page, CHECK IN if you’re in the shop and you can pick up TWO FREE TOPPINGS ON YOUR ICE CREAM.

LIKE and CHECK IN for 2 FREE TOPPINGS

LIKE and CHECK IN for 2 FREE TOPPINGS

Choose any 2!

Choose any 2!

Me and Mama Mia (Sweet Caroline) look forward to seeing you!

Toni x

Me and Sweet Caroline

How are you celebrating Robert Burns night on 25th Jan?

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With less than a week to go you don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, on the 25th of January.  Why not invite friends and family over for a Burns Night party? Include a mix of traditional dishes such as cock-a-leekie soup and spiced haggis, neeps and tatties followed by clootie dumpling or crannachan for dessert washed down with a small glass of warming malt whisky. And don’t forget some shortbread or Scottish tablet to nibble on whilst you all recite your favourite Burns poems.

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Here at Sugar & Spice we have a selection of whiskies and Scottish produce to help you add that all-important finishing touch to your supper table.  Our Burns Supper recommendations are as follows:-

Robert Burns Single Malt
This is the official Isle of Arran Distillery Single Malt endorsed by The Robert Burns World Federation. Made from 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking with your haggis.

Robert Burns Malt

Walkers Shortbread 
With a vast range to choose from, our favourite as a ‘gift tae gie’ to your host or to your guests ‘tae go’ is their classic Keepsake Tin of four of their most popular mini shortbread varieties.

Keepsake Tin

Arran Handmade Chocolates
Keeping with an Ayrshire theme doesn’t everyone love some chocolates with their coffee after dinner? The Arran Chocolate Factory produce chocolates for Arran and chocolates for us.  If you haven’t tried them already we have 12 to choose from, all hand picked and boxed while you wait.

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If you’re still stuck for ideas on holding your own Burns Supper then download this handy eBook for all you need to know.  All that’s left to do is have fun and enjoy!

Slainte!

Where will YOU do your Christmas shopping this year?

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Glasgow? Braehead? Silverburn or even online? Many of us will, but have you considered the impact this makes on your local community? Most of us don’t, unfortunately, which is why I’ve really got behind Small Business Saturday UK this year.

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Now in its 3rd year, independent business owners up and down the country are making some noise about this forthcoming Saturday, the first in December, which traditionally kicks off the Christmas shopping spend in the UK.

How much are YOU planning to spend on Christmas this year? As an independent retailer myself for 15 years none of us are asking you to shift your entire Christmas spend to your local high street (we can only dream) but, are you aware of the impact just 10% of your Christmas spend would have on your local community? No, well may I share some statistics with you:

53% of consumers mistakenly think shopping from an independent retailer will be more expensive.

20% of all retail will be bought online by 2020.

Average weekly UK retail spend in Dec 2013 was £8.8 billion.

£1 spent online = 5p circulates locally
£1 spent locally = 50-70p circulates back into your local community which means:

less seasonal, more permanent jobs; lower child care costs as parents don’t have to travel out of town for work; vibrant town centre; improved local amenities; availability of innovative products and services that’s not just another clone town; unique individuality; support for local causes and events and long term sustainability…the list goes on. Eat your heart out Mary Portas!

Largs is now a BID town which means its independent business owners have come together as a recognised Business Improvement District to strengthen, improve and promote what we offer as a unique place to shop, stay or visit. Councils all over the UK are encouraging this process to put control of our town centres back into the hands of the people who best know how to run them – the business owners!

As vice-chair of Largs BID (Explore Largs) I ask all of you wherever you live to consider where you will shop this Christmas AND beyond.

Support your community and yourselves by supporting your local independent businesses.

Think: #ShopLocal and #ShopInLargs

Merry Christmas to you all on behalf of all the independent business owners in Largs

Toni x

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