A family-owned artisan food producer in Shetland has relocated to larger premises, with plans for a new café under way, having expanded the size of its team from three to 13.

The latest expansion move by Island Larder follows advice and support from taxpayer-backed Business Gateway.

Island Larder, previously known as The Shetland Fudge Company, was acquired by Shetland residents Nicola and Magnus Johnston in 2014.

Business Gateway noted Island Larder had “come a long way from its humble beginnings in Lerwick as an artisan fudge shop”.

With its larger premises, the business has been able to expand its offering, with capacity to offer chocolate workshops, educational trips, birthday parties and “gourmet street food takeaway”.

Business Gateway said: “Renowned for its trademark product, the ‘Puffin Poo’ – a playful name for the white chocolate and marshmallow treats available in store, Island Larder...uses only the finest ingredients and local produce in their homemade, additive free recipes.”

Nicola Johnston, owner of Island Larder, said: “When we originally launched the business, we wanted to diversify the offering in Lerwick to give customers a fun, vibrant place to dine and shop.

“We had visions for an all-encompassing project from the beginning, but we had nowhere near enough space. Without Business Gateway’s advice and support, we may not have received the funding that we needed in time, which would have significantly delayed developments in the new premises.”

Jeff Gaskell, adviser at Business Gateway Shetland, commented: “It was obvious from the beginning that Nicola and Magnus had bigger visions for Island Larder. We assisted with a funding application and gave advice on financial restructuring to help their ideas come to life.

“Island Larder’s takeaway offering has proved particularly popular in their new location. We’ll continue to work with Nicola and her team to help identify potential areas for growth, despite the challenges of Covid-19.”