Running until Saturday, Fiver Fest allows consumers to snap up a variety of goods, including food and drink, for a fiver and support local businesses in the process.
Fiver Fest, a free to join campaign which is run by traders’ group Totally Locally, offers independent businesses the chance to use their collective power to encourage people back to their town centres.
It asks firms of all types, including those in hospitality, to give £5 offers to customers for a two-week period to show the diversity and value of what they sell.
Fiver Fest has been running successfully in individual towns in the UK and abroad for around eight years, but in 2019 the team at Totally Locally brought together towns across the country in one big Fiver Fest celebration.
The last campaign took place in October 2020 and saw 130 towns and thousands of independent shops and businesses joining in.
We see Fiver Fest as an opportunity to offer a great deal to new and existing customers.”
Alex Murray, owner of Portsoy Ice Cream.
A line-up of businesses across Scotland have shown interest in the event once again, including Portsoy Ice Cream.
Alex Murray says Fiver Fest has brought a lot of new customers into his ice cream parlour, Portsoy Ice Cream, which is based in the Aberdeenshire coastal village of Portsoy.
All of its ice cream and sorbet is made on site.
The area has been the backdrop for several films and productions over the years. Most recently, the setting was included in the latest BBC Peaky Blinders production. Star of the show, Cillian Murphy, paid a visit to the parlour while shooting there in February this year.
“We see Fiver Fest as an opportunity to offer a great deal to new and existing customers,” Alex said. “We have taken part in it every year since we heard about it.
“It is well-liked by our customers and very worthwhile. The team and I definitely gain from it.
“Our deal this year is a Barra Berries ice cream sundae, made with our own ice cream, Barra strawberries and a few other tasty ingredients. There has been a huge response to this.”
Laura Gardiner, owner of The Larder Huntly in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, says she loves how the campaign brings local communities together.
“We decided to participate to give something back to the community,” added Laura, 34.
“We also wanted to thank our customers who have supported us through the past year after the tough times we have all faced. Huntly is a great place and we are hoping to attract new people here.
The campaign is going really well for us. Our regulars are spending more because of the deal we have on, as well as people we have never seen before visiting us to take part.”
Laura Gardiner, owner of The Larder Huntly.
“The team and I took part in it a couple of years ago, but think it’s a great idea and lovely to see the community support local business – and it’s nice to give something back.”
The Larder Huntly is a takeaway that offers a range of sweet and savoury treats and hot dishes, including brownies, cakes, salads, paninis and sausage rolls.
Their Fiver Fest deal includes a soup of the day, sandwich or panini, home bake or fruit pot, and a drink.
Laura added: “The campaign is going really well. Our regulars are spending more because of the deal we have, as well as people we have never seen before visiting.”
Dawn Finch, who also owns a Huntly-based business, Neep & Okra Kitchen, added: “Local independent businesses are what keep our towns special and unique.
“When we work locally and independent of larger chains and organisations, we can adapt to local needs and tastes and really give a personal shopping experience.
“Fiver Fest encourages people to try something new and to support independent local businesses. It’s going to be good for the local economy as a whole.
“So far it’s been very promising for us. My recipe boxes and spice blend sachets are usually £3 each, but I’m giving away two for £5. The offer is encouraging people to try something new.”
Local independent businesses are what keep our towns special and unique.”
Dawn Finch, owner and cook at Neep & Okra Kitchen.
“I absolutely love anything that supports foot traffic and business in our wee town. This town means so much to me and because I run Neep & Okra on a social enterprise model. It means that the more I make, the more I can do to support the wider community.”
Kari Turnbull is in agreement that Fiver Fest is superb for bringing communities together, including Burntisland in Fife.
Kari founded and owns Ceic Bottled in Burntisland, which offers a range of eco-friendly bottled home baking kits that make tasty brownies, biscuits, scones, cookies, pancakes or muffins.
The 37-year-old said: “Fiver Fest has brought the Burntisland community together for many years and it’s always been something I’ve supported in the past as a consumer.
“It’s a great concept encouraging local people to support their local shops and businesses.
“Spending a small amount locally makes such a positive impact to the local economy, which can clearly be seen in the creation of a high street that Burntislanders are very proud of.
“After launching earlier this year, my thoughts soon turned to what my own offering could be, so I too could be part of such a great initiative.”
Those ordering from Ceic Bottled this week have the opportunity to purchase Kari’s £5 offer, a mini scone mix – “here today, scone tomorrow”.
She said: “My deal includes the dry ingredients required to make scones with white chocolate drops and dried raspberries. It just needs to be mixed up with an egg, butter and some milk.
Fiver Fest has brought the Burntisland community together for many years and it’s always been something I’ve supported in the past, as a consumer.”
Kari Turnbull, owner of Ceic Bottled.
“This mix is slightly smaller than the rest of the range and was a great test for me to gauge the demand for a smaller mix.
“This is my first Fiver Fest and I have no doubt it’ll be the first of many thanks to the support of people in the area.
“Personally, it’s been great to get to know so many local sellers better and all work together to bring more people to our town to experience what we have to offer.
“So far, the response has been great. I was cautious with how many mini scone mixes I made in advance as I didn’t know what the demand would be, but I have since been making up extra batches.
Fiver Fest allows us to come together as a town and ensures local businesses champion each other and drive new business.”
Rebecca Braid, owner and manager of The Roasting Project – Coffee House.
“Excitingly on day one, I received a order of 18 mixes for one client who is using them instead of party bags for their child’s birthday.”
Fiver Fest regular
While this is the first Fiver Fest for some, including Kari, Rebecca Braid, owner and manager of The Roasting Project – Coffee House in Burntisland, has taken part in every one since opening her coffee house in November 2018.
Rebecca, 42, said: “After just reopening after lockdown two, this is a great way to bring in new business to our coffee house.
“It allows us to come together as a town and ensures local businesses champion each other.
“It also creates great relationships between independent business owners. We share each others’ offers on social media and have a good time with it.
“We have a messenger group created by Yvonne Shivas, who is our Totally Locally organiser. We use this to share our experiences, offers, what’s going well and not so well, and so on.”
The Roasting Project – Coffee House is a family business involving Rebecca, her husband, Gary, and brother in law, Mark.
Mark and Gary have almost 30 years of experience in the coffee industry.
Rebecca added: “The three of us have had some lovely new customers trying our coffees, and some existing customers popping in and trying our new blends of coffees to brew at home.
In this current climate, we all have a responsibility to support local, give back to our local economy and keep the wheels moving.”
Rebecca Braid, owner and manager of The Roasting Project – Coffee House.
“Our first deal is a bag of speciality coffee to brew at home with two choices of blends – our new one, Home, or Project X, our house blend. And our second is a speciality coffee and a cake.
“Our champion, Yvonne, is the glue that keeps us all together. In this current climate, we all have a responsibility to support local, give back to our local economy and keep the wheels moving.”
Yvonne is the owner of The Cromwell Kitchen as well as the coordinator of Totally Locally Burntisland.
She said: “Totally Locally Burntisland’s aim is to encourage people, both locals and visitors to shop with local, independent businesses.
“It has gone from strength to strength since starting in 2014. We have dozens of businesses on board with over 50 taking part in this month’s Fiver Fest.
“The town has seen a huge increase in visitor numbers recently as the shops and cafes provide a complementary attraction along with the beach, golf course, and so on. We have pretty much everything you need – a butcher, baker, and even a candle maker.
“What I love most about the campaign is that everyone works together. The motto is collaboration, not competition.
We have dozens of businesses on board with over 50 taking part in this month’s Fiver Fest.”
Yvonna Shivas, owner of The Cromwell Kitchen and co-ordinator of Totally Locally Burntisland.
“The High Street really is the heart of a community and with Burntisland flourishing, there’s no end of positive stories about people actively choosing to move here because of what the town offers.
“I know Totally Locally can’t take the credit for that, but it is an integral part of keeping a positive community spirit alive.”