Local publication Park Life Magazine recently interviewed Stuart and David Fraser, from the Fraser Family who own and run The Oak Tree, Village Shop and St Mocha Coffee Shop to find out about the exciting developments in their business. The interview followed up one that they had done just at the time that St Mocha opened.
A big thank-you to Park Life Magazine for featuring Stuart and David, here is the full interview…
We met with them again at the start of 2017 and started by asking them if St Mocha had exceeded their expectations?
(Stuart) Yes, it’s had a great reaction. We are busy throughout the year and always have to be prepared to cope with the demand of the day, from a run on our homemade ice cream for hot days to kids wanting hot chocolate on a bright crisp winters day
(David) Last year we opened another St Mocha on the pier in Luss and will be back there from Easter. People seem to love the brand, we’ve had many sales of our retro style t-shirt and social media contains lots of photographs of the shop and its detail that have posted by our customers.
We’ve read on Facebook about your recent purchases, both of the former garage site in Drymen and just recently The Carbeth Inn. What are your plans for these sites?
(David) We recongise the potential that both sites have and are excited by the plans that we have, however both require a lot of work so it won’t be an overnight turnaround.
(Stuart) We have been thrilled with the positive support that we have received. We have also been contacted by many businesses that would like to work with us on opportunities for these sites, which is great as we are always open to ideas.
You’re opening other businesses and outlets, how do you manage to keep The Oak Tree running so smoothly?
(Stuart) David and I, along with other members of the family work closely with The Oak Tree team to ensure standards are kept high. We have become a major employer in the area and achieve our consistency through a hard working and loyal team, many of whom have been with us over a number of years.
(David) We are constantly looking for additional senior staff and managers to help run our businesses and are always keen to recruit local people into key roles. As our business expands it is important that we bring on more good people to keep the standards high.
Last year you staged the second Balmaha’s Braw Weekend, were you pleased with the event and what are your
plans for future ones?
(Stuart) Delighted, we were helped by incredible weather, the atmosphere was amazing and it was good to see so many local people, businesses and groups attending, participating, exhibiting and performing.
(David) We’ve decided to take a break this year, the event takes a lot of organising and we have some other ideas up our sleeve for later in the year! But I am sure that Balmaha’s Braw Weekend will be back again in the future.
What other plans have you got for 2017?
(David) We will continue to make improvements to the village and destination, here in Balmaha. We have invested a lot of money in the appearance of the village and the facilities over the last few years and think that is been money well spent.
(Stuart) Our food and drink brands, from St Mocha Coffee, to Loch Lomond Chocolate Co and Loch Lomond Ice Cream have been very well received. We will expand our ranges further and create more food and drink production on site. Our customers love that authentic Loch Lomond provenance and quality.
Interview in February/March 2017 edition of Park Life Magazine.