IF I tell you that I’m in a licensed delicatessen and this week’s special is pearl barley salad with roasted squash, fennel, walnuts and Pecorino, where do you imagine I am? Islington, London? The West End of Glasgow? Wrong. I am in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and I am in the Good Food Boutique, an aromatic cornucopia of all the things that make life worth living: proper coffee, artisan cheeses, good-quality olives, deluxe chocolates – plus a selection of fine wines and spirits.

Opened in 2010, the Good Food Boutique is the brainchild of Leòdhasach Emma Campbell-Macleod. Returning to Lewis from the mainland with her husband, she pounded the Stornoway pavements to discover what local residents wanted in a deli before drawing up a business plan.

“Opportunities are limited on the island,” she says. “You have to make your own luck.”

With funding from Business Gateway, a bank loan and personal savings, she moved into her current premises where she set about establishing a deli that would satisfy local needs for everything from harissa to Gewürtztraminer. A forensic scientist by training, whose initial career choice was derailed by a bad car accident, she had learnt about food hygiene while working on a mainland fish farm and about food retail from a deli job in Oban.

Using these experiences, she created a food retailer tailored to the Outer Hebrides market. While the Oban deli targeted tourists, the Good Food Boutique is aimed squarely at locals – though it does get busier in the summer.

“We have a good loyal customer base, and the local market is what keeps us going,” says Ms Campbell-Macleod. “Tourists are a bonus.”

The shop now employs two full-time staff and one part-timer, with additional help in summer and at Christmas, and has added catering to its portfolio. Takeaway lunches and coffees sold in-store are supplemented by outside events catering. Together, these account for 30 per cent of the business.

“We were approached by a company to do business lunches in 2012,” says Ms Campbell-Macleod. “We did it for them for a while and when we felt confident, we marketed the service. Now we do various functions, including weddings.”

Operating on an island has its challenges. One of the biggest is delivery costs. Some suppliers want a spend of £2,000 before they will deliver to the Outer Hebrides, and there are items that Ms Campbell-Macleod doesn’t stock because of this.

“It’s a compromise,” she says. “You have to make decisions regarding stock, and it can be limiting for our range.”

At the same time, an island location has advantages. There are two large supermarkets in Stornoway, which have extended their range recently, but there aren’t any shopping centres or cities nearby.

“All high streets are facing issues, but the high street here has perhaps survived a little better,” says Ms Campbell-Macleod.

The key to success for the Good Food Boutique is to offer something different from the supermarkets have. To that end, Ms Campbell-Macleod looks more towards small producers with better-quality products, believing that if the quality is there, customers will pay a little more.

There aren’t a lot of local producers on the Outer Hebrides, but the shop stocks what it can and works with a lot of Scottish producers. With Brexit looming, an expanding range of Scottish cheeses and charcuterie may provide a buffer against future trade tariffs, though worries remain.

“We hope we won’t see gaps on the shelves or price rises,” says Ms Campbell-Macleod.

Assuming we survive Brexit, Ms Campbell-Macleod’s ambition for the future is to keep supplying Stornowegians with varied, high-quality produce – only more so.

“We hope we’ll be able to expand our range and the number of people coming through the door,” she says.