Tattie Shop premises to enjoy new lease of life as juice bar

THE OWNER of recently established business Coffee Culture Lerwick is launching a new juice bar in the premises that used to house the Tattie Shop on Commercial Street.

Jigar Gangdev took the keys to the premises last week and intends to open Juice Culture Lerwick on 31 May.

The 29-year-old says the new enterprise will offer around 10-12 different juices and a dozen smoothie options, along with bubble teas and candy floss. There will also be a popcorn machine, waffles and even an arcade machine.

Gangdev is in the process of hiring two to three new staff members, while some existing Coffee Culture staff will divide their time between the two nearby premises. The juice bar will open six days a week, from 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday.

The Tattie Shop, which was once something of an institution for late-night revellers, pulled up its shutters around five years ago and has been unoccupied since.

Coffee Culture at Harrison Square.

Gangdev opened Coffee Culture on Harrison Square in late 2019. The first 18 months have been turbulent to say the least, with the first Covid-19 lockdown arriving before the business was able to establish a foothold.  

But despite the absence of cruise ships and a vast reduction in tourism numbers generally, following a difficult first half of 2020 he said trade last summer had been “quite busy” thanks to “constant support” from the community.   

“From June [2020] onwards what helped was we were the only place open and decided to open seven days a week,” he said. “We have had 100 per cent faith and support of locals. I do tell my staff as well – currently the customers you have, the locals have kept you going. If I had come in chasing cruise ship customers we wouldn’t have lasted.”

Gangdev, who left his job at the Bank of Scotland to focus on his business just over a year ago, has longer term aspirations to expand further.

He gets a regular flow of ideas from friends and family in London, including one who owns a juice bar, while his brother is “a renowned food blogger back in Bombay [Mumbai]” and is always offering helpful advice.

“Whatever I get, I make money then I want to put it back to the community, introduce something new, make the street lively, get opened up – that’s the kind of attitude,” he said.

Gangdev is optimistic about the outlook for the second half of 2021 as vaccinations proceed apace and Covid-19 restrictions are lifted: “I’m really positive about things getting back on track. 

“Again because we’ve kept ourselves open seven days a week, we know how much people want to get back to normal. I’m very positive about this year, even without [many] cruise ships.”

Shetland News