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Local businesses received a boost with crowds out in force for Lochboisdale Food and Drink Festival

Iain Stephen Morrison

Lochboisdale was transformed last weekend with scores in attendance a new event celebrating local food and drink hosted on 5th September 2021. Local businesses and Stòras Uibhist worked together to organise the first Lochboisdale Food and Drink Festival.

Numerous local producers set up stalls in marquees to take advantage of a much-needed opportunity to promote their businesses after the challenges of COVID-19.

Producers on-site included Croft and Cuan, Urachadh Uibhist, North Uist Distillery and Double Mac at Burnside, while Borrodale Hotel served cocktails to a backdrop of music from the team at Ceòlas. Tagsa Uibhist sold produce from its site in Balivanich and several crafters set out their wares for the passing trade at Lochboisdale.

Mary Schmoller, chair of Stòras Uibhist, said: “Stòras Uibhist is delighted at the turnout for the Lochboisdale Food and Drink Festival. Locals and visitors enjoyed the day and the feedback has been incredible. It was a fun event, the result of collaborative working with local businesses and organisations. We look forward to working with the community to put on future events.”

Kevin Morrison from Croft and Cuan commented: “Community support for this first event was amazing and more people came along than we ever imagined. It shows there is so much demand for this type of event in Lochboisdale so we hope it will be the first of many local produce events.”

Donnie Steele from Uist Gifts & Info said: “Huge thanks to all the visitors and members of the community for coming together and supporting the stallholders and businesses. It was unbelievably busy and far exceeded our aspirations for the day, with the communities of our five islands making for a positive event and a brilliant day.

“We are actively discussing a similar event in the very near future, possibly in conjunction with Lochboisdale Amenity Trust and the switching on of the lights at Christmas.

“Having events like this helps communities to be more connected, resilient and thrive. When you support local businesses, you are not only helping to support local entrepreneurs, you are bringing communities together and helping to make a valued contribution to the local economy.”

Local businesses and Stòras Uibhist are set to host the first ever Lochboisdale Food and Drink Festival

Iain Stephen Morrison

Lochboisdale is to be the site of a new festival celebrating local food and drink in September. Local businesses and Stòras Uibhist are working together to organise the first Lochboisdale Food and Drink Festival, which will run from 12noon to 4pm on 5th September 2021.

Organisers are working on the final format of the event, which will feature numerous local producers, all set to be announced in the run up to the event on Facebook. It is hoped that the festival will give food and drink producers a much-needed opportunity to promote their businesses, while also providing a fun day out for the local community, after the challenged of COVID-19.

“Stòras Uibhist is delighted to support the Lochboisdale Food and Drink Festival. Our community is full of fantastic food and drink producers, talented makers and the festival will be a great opportunity for them to showcase their products,” commented Darren Taylor, chief executive of Stòras Uibhist.

Croft & Cuan is one of the newest food outlets on the islands, launched last autumn with an offer of modern dishes rooted in the Outer Hebrides. Earlier this summer the business opened a shop in Lochboisdale.

Kevin Morrison from Croft and Cuan said: “We are coming up to our first anniversary and what better way to celebrate our birthday than with a food and drink festival celebrating the best of our fantastic local produce? These are exciting times for Lochboisdale with new businesses like Skydancer, Uist Gifts, as well as Croft and Cuan setting up in the area and I hope as many people as possible come along on 5th September 2021.”

Donnie Steele from Uist Gifts & Info added: “This is a welcome boost for the area and an opportunity for all businesses on the islands to showcase their products and services at a real family day out and experience. Let’s hope this is the beginning of an annual event on the local calendar, not just in Lochboisdale but from Berneray to Eriskay.”

Calum Scott MacAulay from Lochboisdale Hotel said: “As a hotel we have worked hard to concentrate on what we can do for our community and we are so pleased not only to see the creation of other small businesses coming to the area, but the introduction of the food and drink festival. Lochboisdale is a great location and is far too underutilised at present, so we are really looking forward to help showcase who we are and what we can be.”

Look out on social media for further information on the activities and vendors involved in the Lochboisdale Food and Drink Festival.