When Denny man Alasdair Brown was made redundant he decided to launch his own local business venture - and is already amazed by the response.
He’d previously worked for a household-name chain store firm, and was set on running a company that would be - the exact opposite - a traditional family business.
Amid gloomy stories about the difficulties faced by town centre traders he was expecting a bumpy ride for the first few months.
Being realistic, he fully expected his firm, Brown for Beds, wouldn’t gain any serious interest until January.
Meanwhile he’s been left “frustrated” at what he sees as the difficulty of negotiating a suitable site in Falkirk - his first choice.
“Sites that could have been of interest just didn’t seem to be ‘available’, and I spent valuable time really getting no result”, he said.
“Yet the same empty units I had been looking at still remain empty”.
Could it be that despite the town centre’s travails site owners are unwilling to deal with anything less than the sort of chain store proposition currently failing all over the country?
Alasdair says he gave up trying to find a logical explanation and switched focus away from Falkirk and into Denny.
There he managed to clinch what he says has already proved an ideal site at 1 Davies Row.
“The response has been superb”, he said.
“I’ve already found that personal,local service really does make a difference, and that people do appreciate value, choice and someone they can deal with directly, right on their doorstep.
“Customers who have got what they think is a good result are happy to tell their friends, neighbours and relatives, and we’ve had a steady stream of orders - which I hadn’t expected at all.”
He says Falkirk Council have been “very helpful” during the firm’s set-up period, and adds that he’s pleased he’s secured one of his main objectives - being able to run a business a few minutes from his home.
He added: “We’re a family business and we know the area and its people, so that probably helps - but even so we were really not prepared for the response, and had only been looking to start making money once the festive season was over.
“Instead we’ve been busy, and we’re delighted with the interest from local people.”
He concedes there have been hurdles and difficulties in launching Brown for Beds, but is already convinced he’s made the right move.
Alasdair said: “The journey is proving worth it, and it’s heartening to see the great support shown by local people”.
As a self-funded and operated family concern he says he’s happy to offering a service he says can “beat the web”, and relishes the face-to-face contact with customers.
“We’re off to a good start”, he said, “and delighted to be trading in the heart of our own community”.