On 17 October Billy and Lorraine Brown took over as new proprietors of the Cromarty Stores from Malcolm and Fiona Hall.
The Edinburgh couple, previously employed as a taxi driver and carer, spent more than three years searching for somewhere to live a more "gentle and relaxing way of life" away from the congestion of the city — and chose Cromarty, a small community with a friendly atmosphere, where people get to know each other. Although they had enjoyed caravan holidays in the Highlands when their four children were younger (they are now grown with families of their own), this is a new venture in a new part of Scotland for the Browns.
They are already planning changes to the store: selling both local and national newspapers (when arrangements with John Menzies are completed), extending opening hours to full days on Wednesdays and Saturdays as well as Sunday mornings, stocking new ranges and sizes to suit those living alone as well as customers with families.
Their message to Cromarty: "Come and visit us."