Aria Stockist Focus 2
We like to take a closer look at some of our fabulous stockists, so the focus this time is on Kirkness & Gorie, a treasure trove of a shop tucked off Broad Street in Kirkwall. We asked owner Duncan McLean about the business and his Aria experiences.
Business: Kirkness & Gorie
Type: Kirkness & Gorie has been a grocer and wine merchant on Broad Street since 1859 but it closed down in the 1980s, probably because of competition from the new supermarkets. Around 15-years ago it seemed to me that people were taking a lot more interest in real food and recognising that taste and quality was important, so we thought we’d give new life to the business. We stock fresh food, cheeses, meats, wine, whisky, beer, oils, pastas and much more, and have been in our current shop behind The Longship for 12 years now.
Which Aria coffees do you stock: We stock all the Aria coffees, it’s quite a range and we were very excited about the venture when it was launched. We had been importing coffees from Soho in London – it was great stuff, but a real advantage of locally produced coffee is the freshness of the roast.
Are there any favourites with your customers: Everybody likes something different, but Overture and Allegro are probably the best sellers. They’re both nicely balanced but intensely flavoured. Some folk really like the Decaf, and Skybury Symphony is a favourite in our house! We take the coffees in whole bean and grind them to customer requirements here in the shop too.
What do your customers say about our coffees: The coffees have been popular since day one. Folk are fascinated by the novelty of Orkney roasted coffee, but people have also come to appreciate the flavours and the freshness of the roasts.
How important is it to stock Orkney products: It is very important. We do stock the best of local produce – but you only know if it’s good by comparing it to products from other parts of the world. Orkney has always been a trading nation and there are certain things we do supremely well here, but we must also have those exciting products from all around the world too.
Have you noticed an increase in demand for fresh coffee: A growing minority of the public are developing a keen interest in real food, healthy food, organic food, low packaging food and local food. It’s a growing trend and we’re consciously choosing to eat local stuff where possible and where it’s the best option, and that has to be a good thing.
You can find out more about Kirkness & Gorie on Facebook.