James Golding of The Connor Brothers will be paying a visit to JK Fine Foods’ new store next month.
When you think of hangouts for art lovers, a butcher’s shop may not be the first place that comes to mind.
But a renowned British artist is to spend the day at an Aberdeenshire butchery and farmers’ market next month where an exclusive collection of his work is being displayed and sold.
James Golding of The Connor Brothers, who are well-known for their paintings and prints featuring vintage pin-up beauties and Old Hollywood starlets, will spend the day on December 13 at JK Fine Foods’ new store at Westhill’s Shopping Centre, meeting and greeting customers.
His artwork, which hangs in both the Aberdeen shop on Chattan Place and the new premises in the shire, has been the vocal point of both venues, with owner John King an avid collector of the artist’s work.
Having created 25 unique packs with four limited edition prints in collaboration with the indoor farmers’ market store, James is delighted to have teamed up with John to give his customers the opportunity to purchase a collectors’ item.
Costing £2,400 for the four, the prints are said to be worth a small fortune due to their exclusivity.
John King, owner of JK Fine Foods, said: “The paintings in the store are amazing. The Connor Brothers are probably the second or third biggest artists next to Banksy this year for selling art.
“I’m friends with them and probably their biggest collector of their work. I mentioned to them that we had some of their art in our Chattan Place store and we get so many enquiries about purchasing it, so they agreed to do something with me.
“A print run is usually 300 for anything like this and they did one of 25, which is very unique. We did a collaboration and let some of our customers know we were doing this and I actually ended up with too many people looking to get their hands on them.
“For the four limited edition print sets they have done with JK Fine Foods, they were £2,400 and already one has sold on Ebay for £7,600. The Connor Brothers collectors will go nuts for them as they are so bespoke and such a small print run that they will be hard to come by. Their originals go for anything between £30-£40K.”
As well as launching the new store with a celebrity of the art world, John is also toasting helping employ an additional 16 staff on top of his well-established team in the city centre.
He said: “We’ve taken on another 16 staff which is just brilliant, especially at the moment. We’ve built a development kitchen in Chattan Place through the back and have taken on Paul Whitecross and his team.
“Paul was responsible for opening Babylon when it was a restaurant, and he opened Carnoustie Golf Hotel when it went through its £18 million refurbishment, did a stint at Gleneagles and Trump [International Golf Links], and opened Simpsons in Aberdeen, too.
“He is a well-seasoned chef and will be able to really guide the team in both stores when it comes to all things culinary.”
With ties to the local area having grown up there, it wasn’t just nostalgia that appealed to John when considering the location for the second store.
Many of JK Fine Foods’ customers had also been interested in the company taking on the former Royal Bank of Scotland branch premises at the Westhill Shopping Centre
“It is a great catchment area for us with regards to the demographics there. You have everything from teenagers right up to pensioners. It has the busiest footfall for shopping centres across Aberdeenshire.
“We felt a lot of our customers were looking for a store out there to save them from coming into the city centre to Chattan Place, and they said they would use it far more often as a result.
“I’m from Westhill and I’ve always wanted to open a store there, so now we have, and we’re very much looking forward to becoming part of the local community and seeing everyone.”
From vegan to gluten-free
Boasting a meat and fish counter, a pantry for sauces, condiments, spices and more, not to mention a dessert fridge, a drinks cabinet with a whole range of Scottish spirts, beers and wines to name a few, and a whole section dedicated to vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free products, JK Fine Foods caters to all.
And John prides himself on being able to offer those with restricted diets or intolerances.
He added: “There’s so many vegan and vegetarian options in the store – the range is huge. We have a lot of gluten-free and dairy-free products, too, for those with allergens. We wanted to make sure we had something for everyone,” said John.
“We may have a meat counter, which could be off-putting for vegans, but it is nothing different to a supermarket and we have dedicated areas for all of the vegan and veggie products. We’re trying to ensure we’re catering to everyone and that there is plenty of choice. It’s a store for everyone where you can pick up everything you need.
“As well as our popular prepared meals, we will also be offering lots of veggie meals as well, and Paul is working on a number of dine-in-at-home meals as a result of the restrictions with Covid-19 as we want to make things as easy as possible for our customers. He’s created a range of beautiful dishes that you can just put in the oven and enjoy.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone to our second home.”