Business Gateway support has helped a mobile catering business access £4,500 and open its first shop, after the owners experienced phenomenal demand for their home-made and local products.
Croft and Cuan Catering Van
Croft and Cuan, launched in 2020 after sisters Christina Morrison and Samantha MacCormick were made redundant during the pandemic, and prides itself on the delivery of delicious food with locally sourced ingredients. Recognising that the island had some of the best produce in the country available and Christina and Samantha wanted to have a high focus on this. They have received fantastic feedback that their customers are delighted with the products and in turn supporting other small businesses.
Croft and Cuan first hit the road as a mobile food van and has now taken on a permanent shop by the waters of Lochboisdale, South Uist after demand for their products soared.
Christina and Samantha approached Business Gateway for support with their business plan and advice on funding. They were awarded a grant of £2,500 through the Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneurs Fund (OHYESS), which is fully funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and delivered by Business Gateway. They also accessed a £2,000 loan through the Comhairle’s Revolving Loan Fund, also delivered by Business Gateway.
Croft and Cuan Staff in their Lochboisdale Shop
This has enabled the purchase of necessary equipment such as display fridges, shelving, counter, flooring and catering oven and supported their move into the new premises. The catering oven will also support their future growth, helping Christina and Samantha cater for larger events such as weddings.
Croft and Cuan are now looking to expand their operating hours and increase their offering to include ready meals and a hot food service.
Christina Morrison, Co-Owner, Croft and Cuan, said: “My sister and I boast a wealth of experience in hospitality and always dreamt of starting our own catering business. While the pandemic wasn’t the circumstances we imagined, and we didn’t expect to be made redundant, it did give us the push we needed as we didn’t have anything to lose.
“I’m happy to report that it’s been an incredible experience, and Business Gateway has helped us every step of the way as we looked to get off the road and find a permanent spot where we could build our customer base and facilitate further growth.”
Norman MacLean, Business Gateway, said: “Our advisers are highly knowledgeable about what funding is out there for businesses, and I would encourage anyone in a similar position to Christina and Samantha to reach out and see what is available. “By working with our team, Croft and Cuan has been able to build on the demand for their products and set up a permanent space in South Uist. I am confident they will only go from strength to strength as they become more established and grow.”
For advice on starting a business, please visit the Business Gateway (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) website.