THE HOLY COO!
Mairi Porter is a daughter of one of Islay's most illustrious farming families. The Porter clan is renowned for its work ethic, its ability to hang together in times of trouble, and the unique creativity they bring to their numerous and varied enterprises.
Mairi initially created a garden centre in a derelict farmstead at Bridgend, but found that she needed a more central location for her growing catering activities, preferably one she could own outright. She set her sights on a former chapel, latterly owned by the local authority and unused for some little time.
Mairi developed a plan to convert the chapel into a bistro, continuing her interests in gardening through the sale of plants at the rear of the property - and creating a delightful tea garden in the process.
Raising the funds required a certain amount of formal paperwork to convince the bank of the viability of the proposition. Although brimming over with ideas, practical ability and energy, Mairi would be the first to admit that the production of paperwork and organised numerical data to convince the bank was not her forte.
I worked with Mairi to create a business case in the style demanded by the bank, yet reflecting Mairi's unique vision and "can do" abilities. Mairi's own comment when she read the first draft was "I can't believe it, it could be me talking!" (which of course it was, but on paper, if you get my meaning....).
It worked; the bank agreed to fund the venture, and the following pictures give an idea of what it is today.