From the larder to the kitchen

Braes Kitchen owner Catriona Exeter (left) and head waitress Sheena Whittaker. Picture: Michael Gillen (140548C)
Braes Kitchen owner Catriona Exeter (left) and head waitress Sheena Whittaker. Picture: Michael Gillen (140548C)

If you need proof that local businesses can flourish in the Falkirk area then look no further than Main Street in Brightons.

Catriona Exeter (32) opened the Braes Larder in June and her modern approach and quality, unique products saw her being run off her feet the food store was so busy.

The thrifty mother-of-one wasn’t so busy that she couldn’t open another business – The Braes Kitchen – across the road to complement the goods on offer in the Larder.

The new cafe has been open for three months and, like the store, is a runaway success thanks to a combination of Catriona’s business nous and the way she promotes her services on Facebook.

It has also created a new local job opportunity.

Catriona, who spent most of her career in the catering industry before opening The Braes Larder, said: “All the products we use are either local or Scottish produce and I think people appreciate that.

“I have a very good gluten free range as well so I get people from all over Falkirk coming in for them.

“There are a lot of commuters in this area, but we get a lot of custom from other businesses nearby. like dentists and people who work in the nearby prison.

“We also have a great relationship with other businesses in the street. We all feel we benefit from each other. People maybe going to the hairdresser, butchers or taking their pet to the dog parlour will come into us and our customers use them in turn.”

There are concerns in the Braes over the coming six-month closure of a bridge in Redding Road, which could affect businesses, but Catriona is remaining upbeat.

She said: “We don’t know yet how this will affect us but it could bring in more business if people who travel into town decide not to and use the great local businesses here instead.”