She’s the owner and mastermind behind the Perth success story that is Murrays Bakers (and Murrays Pies!). Linda Hill knows how important it is for Perth’s independent businesses to flourish and feels that any local initiatives which help Perth’s retailers need to be embraced by both businesses and Perth folk alike.
We got in touch with the ever-busy Linda as she was enjoying a well-deserved break (sorry Linda!) We wanted to find out exactly how much she knew about the Perth Gift Card as well as setting her a pleasant wee task!
How would she like to experience the best that Perth’s indie businesses have to offer courtesy of The Perth Gift Card?
Linda takes up the story from here.
“OK, so I was on holiday in Spain and I got a nice message on Facebook from Richy at The Perth Gift Card asking if, when I got back, I would like to spend £50 in Perth’s indie businesses?
Oh, for sure… Yes please… Fabulous!
I’m very much an advocate of Shop Local and feel that it’s so important that Perth’s independent retailers are doing as well as possible. Every now and then if I do get a few spare hours (which doesn’t happen very often!) I’ll say, right, I’m going to visit all the little shops that I’ve not had time to visit for a while. A £50 Perth Gift Card was the perfect excuse to make me do this.
I’d bought a few cards before for family as gifts and I had recommended it to my Mum to buy for gifts because I knew that it was for independent shops in Perth. It’s basically all about spending in Perth. Personally I knew you could buy the cards in Fun Junction (Old High Street) and Alba Plus (formerly Scottish Seasons, St John Street) and I think it would be great if there were more places you could buy the cards which would make the cards more accessible to people in Perth.
It was nice to be given the card and that’s exactly how it should feel. It’s always nice to get a present, especially one which gives you so much choice.
I had a rough idea of some of the businesses who were involved but when I got my card and a leaflet with website details I did a bit more research. The list of different businesses was impressive and really easy to find and the website came up when I Googled it. It was on the first page when I searched and once on the website it was great to see just how many businesses accept the card. I decided that I was going to use the Perth Gift Card as a reason to make a day of it and so I decided to get down to the business of planning out where I was going to visit.
That day was all about only visiting the businesses on The Perth Gift Card and everywhere I went was because of the card.
Because it feels like free money, I visited different businesses I hadn’t been to before, but it also worked the other way in that it made me return to the businesses I REALLY love.
Provender Brown (George Street)
So first up in my Perth Gift Card experience was a favourite of mine in Provender Brown (George Street)
This really is a fantastic businesses with extremely friendly staff who are always knowledgeable and helpful.
I bought a lovely fruity Cairn O’ Mhor Cider and some tablet for my sweet tooth! I loved the fact that both these items were locally produced and feel this is so important when choosing what to buy.
The lovely member of staff even suggested that as my day of exploring Perth’s businesses would involve a lot of individual visits to different businesses that I write down how much I had spent so that I’d know how much was left on the card… A great handy hint!
Byers & Co (George Street)
I popped across the road to another of my favourite George Street Indies to visit Linda of Byers & Co fame.
She’s so bubbly as well as talented, and a great businesses to have on the Perth Card network. She can remodel old jewellery, melt gold down and redesign it for men or women. She’s so talented and can even do unique kilt pins.
Linda had been fixing a pair of earrings for me which I’d arranged to happen before this, so I was able to go in and use my Perth Card towards the bill for this. She didn’t have a traditional terminal but she used the PayPal App, swiped it through and it went through in seconds.
There’s no end to Linda’s talents and in the past she’s done so much beautiful work. Not only has she done some amazing pieces for me but she’s even made rings for my family as well.
Precious Sparkle (Charlotte Street)
With Charlotte Street being just round the corner I couldn’t possibly resist the wonderful and ever-tempting shop that is Precious Sparkle.
I really think this is one of Perth’s hidden gems, but once you do manage to discover it you always tend to go back.
It really is a little treasure trove of a shop with so much on offer.
A friend of mine was soon to be celebrating her birthday and I spied an unusual greetings card which would be perfect for her. As well as that, I noticed a beautifully patterned dish. It probably caught my eye so quickly because it was my favourite colour of turquoise.
How could I resist?
Kisa’s (Mill Street)
At Murrays Bakers the whole team work so hard to make us a multi-award-winning bakery, and with that in mind I’m allowed to treat myself when I’m out and about. With that in mind it was on to Kisa’s Perth by Perth Concert Hall.
Since opening in 2015 Kisa’s have gone from strength to strength and have quickly become one of the most popular and sought out venues for delicious food.
I’ve always felt that the service is as important as the product and I can safely say that I’ve found Kisa’s nothing short of excellent each and every time I visit.
The visit was helped however as I totally indulged with an Americano and a delicious melted white chocolate and berry scone and homemade jam… AMAZING!
D.G Lindsay & Son Butchers (North Methven Street)
Now you may think that The Perth Gift Card is all very well and good if you’re looking to treat yourself to a tasty treat in one of Perth’s fine eateries or something new and sparkly for a special occasion. Bear in mind though that it can even be handy when looking for something for your evening tea!
With food on my mind I visited D.G Lindsay & Son Butchers on North Methven Street and sorted out tea with their wonderful Caribbean Stir Fry.
I love the delicious ingredients you can find here and I always enjoy a chat with Beaton and Louise. We love Lindsay’s butchers and Murrays the Bakers actually use their butchery meat and are a family business just like us!
They knew exactly what to do to process my Perth Gift Card (they’ve had lots used there before) and I was soon on my way again.
Bliss Salon (Hospital Street)
All this retail therapy was starting to take its toll and at this point I felt like I was beginning to flag a little.
I needed to put down my ever-growing armful of shopping bags and rest my weary legs at the relaxing oasis that is Bliss Salon.
The lovely Kirsty threaded my eyebrows for me and straight away I began to relax.
This really is a place I love and it lives up to its name and is a real sanctuary from the hustle and bustle. All the girls are wonderful here.
I’ve been going to see Rachel for over 12 years before she was in this salon and continued to follow her. Both her and Kirsty really are experts at relaxation.
Eva Lucia (Scott Street)
One of my favourite local restaurants, the fabulous Cafe Tabou were hosting a fundraiser the following Thursday and so with this in mind I headed off to Eva Lucia for some inspiration as to an outfit. I love this shop and always find something here to wear. Whether it’s for a formal occasion or a more casual affair Lori always seems to know exactly what suits you which is an amazing skill to have.
It wasn’t long before I spotted a gorgeous turquoise (yep, there’s that colour again!) and quicker than you can say “The Perth Gift Card” it was added to my growing list of purchases.
Eva Lucia were last but not least on my Perth Gift Card experience and I knew I had roughly £10 left after my previous purchases. I used the last £10 on the card towards the cost of the blouse and paid the extra with my own card because it had felt like “free money”.
So How Did My Perth Gift Card Experience Go?
As you can probably tell from the above, I had a ball visiting all these great Perth indie businesses. To me it’s an ideal gift for anyone that you would buy a voucher for. I now would personally prefer to buy a Perth Gift Card for somebody rather than a voucher for a single place.
Although this was my first Perth Gift Card experience as someone on the receiving end, last Christmas I gave my best friends a £50 Perth Card. That way if they wanted to go to a specific place that they liked to go then they could. If they wanted to go to Café Tabou for a meal… They could do that! If they wanted to go to Craigdon Mountain Sports for a Winter coat… They could do that!
I feel it gives people more options rather than buying a voucher for a single shop which is actually restrictive.
What I did was show that you could go to lots of different businesses: Provender Brown, Byers & Co, Precious Sparkle, Café Kisas, D.G Lindsay & Sons Butchers and Eva Lucia. Being honest I’d limited my spending accordingly to be able to spend the £50 Perth Card in as my businesses as possible. The great thing though is that because it’s a gift it feels like ‘Free Money’… So guess what… I overspent!
The Perth Gift Card is brilliant for Perth as it’s a great way to encourage Perth folk to support local businesses and Shop Local. The Perth Gift Card’s not really for the big High Street shops yet but it’s more about supporting the independents and making sure that they stay open and survive.
This helps them by bringing spend through their door.
If you need to buy a gift for someone I’d totally recommend you buy them The Perth Gift Card!
… And then after all that.. Time for tea (courtesy of Lindsays Butchers and The Perth Gift Card)
About The Perth Gift Card:
The Perth Gift Card is the UK’s first city-wide gift card programme for independent businesses across a whole town or city. It’s the perfect present for friends, family and work colleagues and the recipient can spend it on a delicious meal, the latest blockbuster movie, some great new clothes, a fabulous new haircut and much, much more.
The Perth Gift Card is accepted in over 75 Perth businesses including Perth Concert Hall, Simon Howies, Perth Playhouse Cinema, Charlie Taylor Hair and Beauty, Tabla, Perth Leisure Pool, Kisa’s Perth, Craigdon Mountain Sports, Santé and many more!
Buy a card online here: http://theperthcard.co.uk/product/the-perth-card/, over the counter at Fun Junction The Toy Stop (Old High Street Perth) or Alba Plus (St John Street Perth)