In the last five years, this formerly derelict building has been transformed into a thriving Shop, Cafe and Events space at the heart of the community.

It has been brought back to life by a group of local people looking for a new home to support Fairtrade in the town after the Balmore Coach House, one of the first and longest standing Fair trade shops in the UK, closed its doors.

Gavin’s Mill has now become the place to visit if you’re looking for unusual world food brands and unique handmade and ethical gifts.

Stocking pieces fairly traded from communities across the world, you’ll find lots to choose from such as beautiful jewellery and luxurious hand spun silk scarves from India, knitted textiles from Nepal and basketware from Ethiopia and beyond.

Take a tour of Gavin's Mill by clicking on the video below....

Work from local artisans includes Scottish hand-painted Highland Stoneware from Lochinver, natural soy wax candles made in Glasgow and new ethical and vegan toiletries from a young Ayrshire startup, Surya Luna.


Scottish jewellery from Botanic Isles, from £32.50  


There’s a great selection of small batch produce fair trade and Scottish artisan foods on offer too, much of which won’t be found in supermarket shelves.

Hand-made oatcakes from Fife, Chrystal shortbread from Alexandria, speciality flours for home-bakers, the popular Little Doune balsamic vinegars and loads more.  Social enterprise Freedom bakery’s popular sour dough bread and pastries are sold here too.

From farther afield, distinctive Kilombero rice grown in Malawi is truly unique as it is aromatic and able to absorb flavours from other ingredients. You’ll find a host of unusual cook’s cupboard ingredients from curry sauces to exotic jams, speciality teas and coffee from fair trade farmers.

Find the perfect foodie treats for all your loved ones this Christmas, with a wide range of chocolate goodies, using fair trade cocoa, or for those with specific dietry needs, delicious dairy free, vegan and gluten free advent calendars, truffles, biscuits and even Christmas puddings.

As the only zero-waste shop in the area, they service the local community by offering a wide range of foods by the weight.


Customers come with their own containers for top ups of their favourite wholefoods, cereals, pulses, and confectionery. Fill up your bag with a different kinds of porridge oats and mueslis, try yellow split lentils, dates, figs, apricots and chocolate covered nuts. 

Refills are available too, of a wide range of household and personal care cleaning products, including everything from shampoos to laundry liquids all from ethical brands helping you cut down on your plastic waste.

Gavin’s Mill also houses an independent book shop with a great selection of walking guides, Scottish authored history and fiction titles, a big range of children’s books, cookery books, poetry. A carefully curated selection and a real treasure trove for book lovers.

There’s just the place to relax after shopping too, with a welcoming and accessible café downstairs. The menu is vegetarian and offers vegan and gluten free options too , enjoy a coffee or teas and chose from a great selection of home-baking made by volunteers in the Mill’s own kitchen.


Situated by the banks of the Allander water, outside terraces provide a lovely spot in the summer months, to enjoy a light lunch al fresco. Watch out for he the local heron and enjoy the views across the burn to Lennox Park.

It’s here also that the Mill’s events programme is taking shape. In a newly developed courtyard area under a canopy of trees, in the last six months they’ve hosted candle lit evening music performances outdoor by the riverside, featuring jazz, soft rock and folk bands.

There have been community group ‘how to’ learning sessions too. How to plant a trough with local gardening volunteer groups and kids learning about the environment around them with pond dipping guided by the Mugdock rangers.


Fair trade woollen beanies, Pachamama


In the Café there’s been an eclectic mix of happenings to appeal to all ages, this year hosting book readings with local authors, crafting events for children and adults and a series of talks and exhibitions including remote meetings with fair trade producers from Malawi.

Artwork showcases also feature throughout the building and have included textile hangings prepared for COP26. Next up is a Christmas showcase of works by local artists, with originals and prints all available to snap up for Christmas gifts.

A dilapidated building has been turned into a thriving shop and cafe and is now beginning to emerge as a centre for fair trade and sustainability as well as a place to bring the local community together and strengthen partnerships with like minded organisations from across the West of Scotland and beyond. 

It’s a bold vision and we’ll be fascinating to see where it leads them in the next few years - Gavin's Mill truly is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy.


Balmore Trust, JTS, Milngavie Development Trust