The owners of a newly opened Musselburgh delicatessen are already celebrating award success.
In just one week, Alasdair Forsyth, 27 and his fiancee Suzi Wilson, 24, of Bams, won Best Musselburgh Business in Scotland’s Business Awards 2017 and Neighbourhood Deli of the Year for all of Scotland at the Scottish Food Awards.
They are now through to the final of Best Edinburgh and Lothians Business at Scotland’s Business Awards on 28 May.
The couple set up their dream business venture in December, taking over and revamping vacant shop premises which used to be Aytoun’s butchers at 66 High Street.
Alasdair, from Kelso, formerly worked as an offshore engineer in the oil and gas industry, and Suzi, who is originally from Edinburgh, is a law graduate specialising in commercial and management.
Since opening Bams, they have become active members of the revived Musselburgh Business Association, which is now meeting regularly.
Alasdair said: “Having a fine passion for food, we looked to introduce a deli somewhere new. As East Lothian is a powerhouse for good producers, we decided our shop was perfectly situated in Musselburgh to tap into this.
“We look to educate on cheese and offer the finest quality foods. We do not stock anything that we wouldn’t take home and eat ourselves. In fact, we have almost entirely given up food shopping elsewhere as we take home food from the deli every day to try exciting new recipes.”
The couple believe Bams to be the first deli in Musselburgh for more than 30 years and stock more than 100 different types of cheese, as well as a variety of other goods such as cold meats, pies, olives, antipasti, jams, bread, oils and oatcakes.
Suzi said: “We want to make sure every customer leaves with a smile on their face. We wouldn’t be where we are without the community and so we show how much we value everyone who steps through our doors with the best customer experience that we can give them.
“We want to bring young people back to High Street and educate on what is available. We fell in love with the community – everybody is so friendly. There is so much potential as Musselburgh is the gateway to East Lothian and it is just amazing to have won two awards.”
She said they were keen to grow the business, adding: “We want to see Bams in every local town, using local products.”
Suzi said Bams acted as membership and social co-ordinator with the business association, adding: “We have contacted around 300 businesses. One piece of feedback was that businesses were worried that it was very much High Street-orientated but we are focusing on business support as a whole.
“We are getting a new website set up to drive people on to a Musselburgh hub which will have information on businesses, schools and events.
“We are also looking at how we can incorporate businesses into Musselburgh’s events. We want to get Musselburgh thriving again and say to people if you shop local, you are investing in your town.”