• Charming and well-presented, easy to operate cafe within the highly desirable tourist destination that is Ullapool on the North Coast 500 Tourist Route.
• Set on the West Coast of the Highlands of Scotland in an area of unsurpassed natural beauty, this is a true lifestyle business.
• Approximate internal areas amounting to 62m2 within a prime trading location with ease of access to a wide range of facilities and amenities.
• Attractively furnished and well-appointed cafe with customer areas set to 21 covers extending to 49m2 plus a storage area extending to around 13m2.
• Popular cafe trading year-round with high levels of demand from tourists in the main season.
• An excellent self-employment opportunity in a positive trading location with a sustainable business model plus significant growth potential.
The Tea Store Cafe is a popular business within a busy trading location close to a wide range of other retail units in the ever-popular village of Ullapool. The cafe operation is set to a ground floor unit with external seating, the latter being popular in the Spring and Summer months. The trading elements are currently set to 21 covers internally and 16 outside making this an easy-to-operate proposition within a compact property. The operation combines friendly staff and a warm welcome to make this a thriving business. The service areas are snug but well-appointed, being highly functional and flexible in terms of potential food provision. The cafe has an approximate internal area of 62m2 which includes trading and service areas.
The Tea Store Cafe has excellent signage and is a prominent village centre business which enjoys a high level of footfall, especially in the main trading season (April - October). The cafe has a varied client base, which is supported by the local population throughout the year and bolstered by the influx of high numbers of tourists. The North Coast 500 tourist route also supports the customer levels with many undertaking their odyssey of the Highlands having a short break in Ullapool. This well frequented business is highly regarded and benefits from a strong trading location. This establishment has a fine reputation for its excellent selection of freshly prepared items complemented by a wide range of beverages. The business trades during the day-time only but would have undoubted potential to serve evening meals during the main tourist season as there is great demand for such extra capacity within the area.
In the Spring / Summer the cafe trades 7 days per week, opening from 8am to 4pm. Winter trading is limited to 6 days per week with shorter opening hours. The current trading ethos reflects the personal choice of the present owner who has another business within the village and family responsibilities. Her personal circumstances restrict her input into the cafe and thus provides considerable scope for new operators to drive the business to the next level. The cafes current business model produces a solid level of profitably but if new owners were able to focus on the operation, the potential for further growth is a real prospect. Current custom is generated by word of mouth and limited marketing. The Tea Store Cafe has a website and Facebook page; the website could benefit with modernisation. The raising of the businesses profile, especially where evening fayre was to be offered, provides a significant opportunity for a new operator.
The vendor presently has the help of 3 part-time staff plus the use of casual staff where required within the business. This level of staffing would be adequate for new owners who wished to be hands-on operators.
The Tea Store Cafe is just a short walk from the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to Stornoway which leaves twice daily (once on Sundays in Winter) for those planning a trip to Lewis, Harris or the other Hebridean Islands. Tourism is a key driver of income to the cafe, with many visitors undertaking the North Coast 500 Tourist Route as well as walking / climbing holidays, water sports, fishing, games sports etc. Others partake in more leisurely excursions of the many sites of historical interest or just taking in the array of natural landscapes. Visitors include ornithologists and naturalists who find an abundance of wildlife to keep them busy for an extended stay.
The property is easily accessible located just off the A835, and the signage is excellent. The immediate area is well served with facilities, shops and services for both locals and visitors alike. The North West Coast of Scotland attracts a large number of visitors and Ullapool makes a perfect base from which visitors can continue their odyssey of the broader Highland region. Ullapool has a strong sense of community, with schools, golf course and social and welfare facilities. Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, is a 60-minute drive away with a full range of services associated with a modern thriving City including an airport and main line railway station.
Reason for sale
The current proprietor obtained the lease in 2014 and has subsequently commenced another bakery business within the village. She has therefore decided to present the cafe to the market to focus on her new venture but would be happy to support the new owners in the supply of bakery goods.
The Tea Store Cafe is a well-located business with the customer areas being set on one floor at street level. The cafe has a snug and welcoming open-plan layout, creating a warm ambience and making it an easy-to-operate business. Benefitting from a well-signed presence from the main road, the frontage of the unit features a large picture window. Access is via a door at street level through a small vestibule in to the main area. The cafe is set to free-standing tables and chairs with some fixed bench seating set to wall spaces. Lighting is by way of modern ceiling units. There are a number of units to present food and beverages for sale. The servery counter / kitchen area is set to the far end of the open-plan customer area. This food preparation space is well-appointed with a range of commercial equipment and benefits from a full extraction unit. Off to the side of the kitchen is a pot-wash area. There is a single toilet within the cafe. Set to the basement is a good general store offering extra ambient, refrigeration and freezer storage.
There is an outside seating area for up to 16 customers to the side of the cafe which is very popular in the spring and summer seasons. Stairs on the side of the building lead to a basement where there is a lockable delivery cage and access is gained to the basement store which houses a number of freezers etc. There is on-road parking immediately to the front of the cafe plus other parking within a short walk of the business.
The cafe is operated on restricted trading hours through the choice of the current owner. New operators could open into the evening providing suppers, should they wish to increase turnover and thus profitability.
The business benefits from mains electricity, water and drainage. The cooking areas have lpg Gas fitting but all appliances are currently electric. The cafe is eho and fire compliant. There is an air conditioning unit and a security system.
The extant Fully Repairing and Insuring Lease is in place and runs to 2024. A copy of the lease is available from the selling agents (ASG Commercial Ltd) to seriously interested parties. We understand that the landlord has provided a letter of comfort expressing his willingness to extend the lease to suitable tenants.