Twenty new jobs are being created in Galashiels, thanks to Turnbull’s new delicatessen, coffee house, brasserie and wine bar, opening at 8 High Street in April next year.
The empty two-storey, 2,000sqft property opposite Macari’s cafe was sold last Wednesday to 27-year-old Ross Irvine, who opened Turnbull’s Delicatessen and Coffee House at 4 Oliver Place in Hawick while he was still studying at Edinburgh University, aged only 21.
The local entrepreneur, whose full name is John Ross Turnbull Irvine, is the sixth generation in his family to run the Hawick wine, spirits and fine food merchants, which was founded by his great, great, great grandfather James Turnbull of Rule Water in 1855.
Since Ross brought the family business back to Hawick High Street in 2006, Turnbull’s has weathered the economic downturn – and the closure of many shops around it – to employ 10 local staff and now there are plans for the second outlet.
He told TheSouthern: “It’s exciting to be able to expand in the current economic climate, and to be able to help and employ people. I think we can make a difference in Gala’s High Street. The building is currently empty, and we’re going to revive it, and make it bustling again.”
The new shop will be composed of a deli on the ground floor, and upstairs will be a cafe, brasserie and wine bar, with space for 50-60 covers.
The 20 new jobs will include serving staff, chefs and retail staff. Work has already begun on the £150,000 refurbishment, to recreate the Victorian and Edwardian decor of Turnbull’s existing establishment in Hawick.
“It’s always been an idea to have more than one location,” Ross told us, “and last year we felt the time was right, and expansion was economically possible.
“We put a lot of research into it and Gala came out on top. I’ve always been keen to expand into Gala: my wife Sharon (nee Rees) is from Galashiels and we’re opening closer to the catering college in the town, so we hope to increase opportunities for younger people.
“All towns are suffering, but that’s not a reason not to go there.
“There’s a lot of opportunity in Gala. We can definitely help bring investment into the town: our brand can support the town, and we hope the town can support us.”
Ross also rekindled James Turnbull’s ‘celebrated blend’ of eight-year-old Lowland Scotch whisky, which he sells in Hawick, and now his plan for the Galashiels shop is to specialise in roasted coffee and blended teas.
“The secret to our success is the heritage of our business,” he added. “It has a long history of more than 150 years.
“Using that collective knowledge allows us to create a product of high quality, but accessible to everyone.
“What also makes us successful is the collective work of all our staff, and now we’re looking to add to that team in Galashiels.”