You have already seen the photo above in a previous post about the Galleria, but I thought I'd show it again just as a little reminder of the layout of the building.
James and Maretta moved to Groatie Bay from the mainland when they were first married. They spent their honeymoon on the island and just fell in love with the place, the people and the way of life. I'm sure you can appreciate what a huge undertaking it is for Peediekins to move from one place to another ~ no wonder then that so many choose to stay in the same town or village their whole lives!
James and Maretta have spent some time travelling around the world ~ they are really very adventurous for Peedikins! When they realised that they both wanted to start a family, they decided it was the right time to marry and settle down. They had both worked in the food industry before moving to Groatie Bay and were able to get a transfer to the local supermarket in the town. When the idea for the Galleria came about, they saw that there was a good opportunity to start up a delicatessen to sell all those little "luxuries" that the local supermarket doesn't cater for. Now that Catriona and Andrew are both at school, Maretta will be able to bring Elspeth to the shop for a few hours each week to help James.
Broden and Nessa have lived in Groatie Bay all their lives, and are childhood sweethearts. The opening of the Galleria, and the Groatie Bay Arts & Crafts Guild offering the job as Manager to Broden, has been a godsend to the Quinns.
Despite gaining extremely good exam results, Broden decided to leave school at 16 and immediately started working for his uncle on his farm. He was very happy there and learned lots of skills, both practical and business-related. Unfortunately, shortly after Nessa became pregnant with Isla, Broden was badly hurt in a nasty accident with a fork-lift truck. For a while it was touch-and-go as to whether he would be able to walk again but thankfully, following a couple of major operations and after a lot of intensive physiotherapy, he is now out of a wheelchair and walking albeit with the support of a walking stick.
The Groatie Bay Arts & Crafts Guild members decided that it would be much more beneficial for all of them if their work could be on display in a prominent place in the town. The items the Guild members produce will be available for purchase from the new shop. There will be lots of information for customers on the work of the members of the Guild as well as other events going on in the town.
Since Nessa is herself a member of the Guild (she knits and crochets beautiful blankets using locally-sourced yarns), I am sure that she and Isla will often be found in the shop keeping Broden company.
Effemy is also a local Groatie Bay girl and is an old school friend of both Broden and Nessa. She and Nessa both had Saturday/holiday jobs at the Groatie Bay Garden Centre whilst they were at school, and Effemy especially enjoyed working with the flowering plants. When she left school at 18, she decided to train as a florist. Effemy also loves everything French ~ her maternal Grandmother is French ~ so she decided to do her training in Paris, living with her Grand-mere whilst she did so, and was lucky enough to find work in a rather lovely florist shop in the city.
Much as she loves Paris, her Grand-mere and the beautiful shop she worked in, Effemy was very homesick for Groatie Bay and her family and friends there. When Nessa wrote to tell her about the plans for the Galleria, she immediately contacted the Town Council to see if there would be an opportunity for her to have one of the shop spaces. She was so thrilled to find that her application was successful and is looking forward to taking the next step in her floristry career with a shop of her own.
Tabitha has lived in Groatie Bay for 12 years, having moved from the mainland to look after her great aunt, who was seriously ill. Tabitha hadn't been particularly close to her aunt but she was her only surviving relative, and she didn't want the old lady to spend her last few years in an elderly persons home. As it turned out, the two of them got on very well and found that they had a surprising number of interests in common. They were both a little sad that they had not got to know each other better earlier but they made the most of the time the aunt had left. With Tabitha's loving care, her aunt's remaining years were happy despite her illness; she eventually passed away peacefully three years after Tabitha came to live with her. Tabitha made some very dear and close friends in those three years, and when her aunt passed away and bequeathed her little house and its contents to her, she decided to stay in Groatie Bay as it now felt very much like "home".
She has worked as a carer in Hackland House Residential Home for a number of years, and although she loves working there, she would really like to be self-employed. Since one of the interests Tabitha and her aunt shared was a love of antiques and vintage/vintage style pretty things, she decided to apply to the Town Council for a shop space in the Galleria selling such items.
Rhona and Annys are mother and daughter. Whilst Annys was born and brought up in Groatie Bay, Rhona moved there from another small town on the island when she married her husband, Ewan.
Rhona loves to cook (and in particular is well known for her delicious baking) and before Annys came along, she was the assistant chef in the Groatie Bay Hotel. She has always wanted to have a little tea room and when the Galleria idea came up, Ewan and Annys both encouraged her to apply to the Town Council. Annys is about to start a college catering course and is eager to work alongside her mother in the tea room when she has completed it. In the meantime she will work there on Saturdays and during the holidays, so Rhona will be advertising for a waitress to cover the hours Annys will be at college.
So there it is, a little potted history of all the folk who will be, in due course, fulfilling their dreams of having a business of their own in the Galleria. Hopefully it won't be too long before I have more news and photos to share :-)