Built and opened in 1902, the shop has passed down generations, growing from strength to strength. This is our story.
Rodderick John MacLennan built and opened a corrugated iron shop in the location of the current car park in 1902. It was an over-the-counter shop selling mainly tea, sugar, flour butter, cheese, jam, bacon and salt for salting fish and meat. He had gained his knowledge of the retail business from working as a grocer in Glasgow, before he had to come home to take over the croft after his older brother left to make a new life for himself in America. Rodderick John built the family home, while practically living in the shop. There were other small shops all over the island at that time.
The business was successful and other outbuildings were built in the 1930s to serve the shop and the croft.
In 1942 Rodderick John died and his wife Kate took over the running of the shop with help from her son, Neillie and daughter Katie.
Within only four years his mother had passed away and Neillie was now responsible for the business aged just 19. Over the years Neillie expanded the range of goods sold and did a particularly good trade in ladies’ footwear. He also started employing staff as the shop got busier and the shop became known locally as Neillie’s.
In 1962 Neillie married Effie and she became involved with the business.
Ronald began to help his father out in the butchery after school and came into the business full time when he left school at 16. His parents encouraged him and he gradually took over the buying, looking for better deals and a wider range of suppliers.
In 1997 Ronald married Nicola and she gradually took over the business administration.