Zubair Aslam, who runs a village store in Perthshire, has been reluctant at first on adding a bakery in his store. But, a trial proved his reservations wrong, with weekly pie sales alone now exceeding £1,000.

“At first I was thinking that to get £1,000 a month for sale or return I might struggle, but we were offered a six-month trial, so I gave it a go and now we make an average £1,600 a week,” says Aslam of Nisa Local in Dunning.

The 2,000 sq.ft. store is situated in the centre of the village and is the only shop many locals use, with most doing their entire weekly shop there, spending upwards of £70 and £80 in store. However, Aslam  was unsure the concept would work in the small rural location.

“We have fresh cream cakes, hot and cold pies – I just thought we’d give it a go. Now, we make about £1,200 a week on pies alone. Lunchtime sales have been great, with people getting a bite to eat.”

Fresh food is among the best sellers and Aslam has extended the store several times to accommodate the growing demand.

The most recent extension a year ago saw sales increase by 11 percent, much of which has been through fresh lines, Aslam said. And a new two-metre fresh chiller is about to be added to the store for even more fresh lines.

“I’ll have more fruit and veg, and we want to have more Co-op lines, as they have a lot of fresh produce available.”