Secret weapon of Arbroath traders

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AT A time when new businesses are struggling to become established, one local trader has praised the community spirit which she hopes will make her a success.

Seonaigh Johnston has recently opened a sandwich bar on Commerce Street called ‘Prickly Pear’ and said she has been pleasantly surprised by her welcome to the street.

Transforming her shop, which was previously the premises of solicitor the late Jim Hodson, into a sandwich bar was a team effort.

Seonaigh explained: “We had to paint the outside of the shop and while I was doing that the girls across the road came over with cups of tea and cakes, and Ian next door has been very welcoming and supportive, everybody has.”

According to Seonaigh Commerce Street is an under-appreciated hive of activity. She said: “I think this a busier wee thoroughfare than people imagine, the only problem is the lack of parking down here.

“I thought that this was very central for all of the offices, banks and solicitors. I don’t think the High Street has a lot to offer businesses at the moment.”

Location aside, the most important factor for Seonaigh is the support of consumers in Arbroath. She said: “The big thing is that people need to try and support local shops.

“I’ve had a lot of people who came to the old shop coming here, it’s really nice to see that. If people get behind and support us the busier I get, then eventually I will be employing someone which would be may way of giving something back.”