The proprietor of popular Lerwick delicatessen and takeaway The Olive Tree is looking for a new owner.
Current owner Bo Simmons – who took on the business from its previous owners in 2007 – said she was putting the company up for sale because of family circumstances and in the meantime she is trying to “streamline” the business. She will continue to run the cafe with a smaller number of employees until a buyer can be found.
She said that while the cafe had been successful in the past two years, there was always a balancing act between providing a service that people want and keeping the staff at the right level, and that they had always been a little “top-heavy”.
The Olive Tree, which is being advertised on solicitors Dowle, Smith & Rutherford’s website, was started in 2005 by Allan Groat and has established an excellent reputation for high quality, mainly locally-sourced food in its 110m² premises at the Toll Clock Shopping Centre, which includes a 36-seat cafe and an additional store.
It is one of Lerwick’s most popular lunchtime destinations and is regularly queued out of the door, with its staple offerings of coffee, soup, sandwiches, baguettes, meat, seafood and salads appealing to discerning foodies of all types, along with an array of specialist foodstuffs.
“We’re trying to find someone to take it on,” said Ms Simmons, who is a well-known cook and writer and formerly ran Burrastow House. “I can’t imagine anything happening before March, but you never know.”
The business has a 10-year lease on the premises, which formerly housed video rental store Da Cellar, from landlords Bolts Shetland Ltd.