Online Sales Help Star Rock Orbit the GlobeNeil Hardie
Star Rock, the oldest sweetie shop in Scotland is still going strong after nearly two centuries. Star Rock in Kirriemuir was opened ion 1833 and the Peter Pan author JM Barrie who was born in the Red Toon in 1860 is one of its most famous customers.
Liz Crossley-Davies, the fourteenth and latest owner who took over the reigns in June 2018, launched an online outlet at the start of 2019.
Liz explained why the shop appealed to her: “I had been looking for a business to build up for myself and the family – the shop appealed because of the history and the recipes, as I have cooking in my background. Star Rock was a business that was fully established, with a history, products and base that was unique, yet under utilised. It had huge potential and a chance for growth, which is quite rare now.”
She went on to say the shop’s recipes are passed on with each new owner. “I make them in the kitchen at the back of the shop as they have always been done. The range of Star Rock flavours that I make are very traditional – different spices, mint, horehound, butterscotch, lemon, but I felt there were a few missing that would hopefully appeal to customers and fit in with the type of flavours already on offer as they are old and well known.”
“Just a few weeks ago I finalised, and added to the shelf, a honey and eucalyptus humbug. Another is in the pipeline. The shelves are also full of jars from recognised Scottish and British companies, traditional and modern sweets.”
Liz said Star Rock had managed to survive for nearly 200 years because it offers a quality product at a very reasonable price and is sold in a shop that has continuously traded over many decades, embedding itself in the lives of people. It is an ongoing feature from generation to generation, part of the youth and memories of many locals and visitor.
“The online shop has recorded steady sales, with many returning customers across the UK. I also have customers in Australia and New Zealand.” The percentage of Star Rock’s turnover from online business is still less than 20%, but the figure is building.”