Store thinks outside box

A FAMILY-run Aberdeenshire farm store has teamed up with a local enterprise employing adults with learning difficulties and minor disabilities to create hundreds of their Christmas hampers.

The Store in Foveran has recruited Pitmedden-based Wood RecyclAbility, which usually produces a range of garden furniture, to produce 300 made-to-order wooden boxes for the farm store’s annual Christmas hamper sales.

Wood RecyclAbility, which was launched in 1997, provides employment for around 50 adults with learning difficulties and minor physical disabilities. All of the raw materials used by the enterprise come from donations of wood for recycling that would alternatively go to landfill.

Over the last few months, RecyclAbility has been working on the 300 handmade hampers, which will be stocked with some of the finest home-grown produce from The Store and other North-east producers.

“We really believe in the service that Wood RecyclAbility offers”, said The Store Managing Director and farmer, Andrew Booth. “There is a motivational factor for the employees and the work gets them involved in something different and provides a focus.

“The workshop has a very relaxed atmosphere and we were delighted that Wood RecyclAbility was able to accommodate our order. As a result, not only are the hampers fantastic and unique, they have also helped a very worthwhile community enterprise.”

Wood RecyclAbility site manager, Ian Shiells, added: “The order took some time to process as it is important that the atmosphere in the workshop remains relaxed to allow the employees to focus their attention on the job in hand. It is great to gain the support of a local business like The Store and all the employees that worked on the order really gained a lot of drive and enthusiasm from their work.”