17 Degrees Mag


Falkirk Business Hub, Falkirk, FK1 1LL

Featured Stories

Railway Inn and The Platform Lounge

A Beloved Dennyloanhead Establishment

A Decade of Ownership

For the past decade, the Railway Inn and The Platform Lounge has been a cherished spot in Dennyloanhead, owned and operated by husband and wife team, Graham and Jackie. They’ve poured their hearts into the business, making it a cosy and welcoming pub for locals and visitors alike.

From Regulars to Owners

Graham’s frequent visits to the pub, which was initially owned by their friends, set the stage for their unexpected venture. Eventually, the opportunity arose for them to take over, a decision that Jackie wasn’t initially aware of. After leasing the establishment for a trial run for three years, they committed to making it their own a decade ago.

Family Roots and Growth

Graham and Jackie lived above the pub for many years, but they’ve now turned the upstairs into a comfortable living space for their dedicated supervisor. Their daughters, Caitlin and Hayley, used to lend a hand while they were in education. The family has now grown with the arrival of their two grandsons. Our dedicated supervisor Sharon lives in the flat with our other supervisor Karen living locally.

A Place To Celebrate 

The Platform Lounge buzzes with life through its lively events. From drag shows and cabaret nights to stand-up comedy and live music sessions, there’s always something entertaining happening under its roof. It’s also a great space for families to celebrate special occasions such as 21st birthday parties, christenings, and graduations. 

Local Flavours and Tastes

Food is a highlight at the Railway Inn. They serve up freshly cooked breakfasts on weekends from 10am until 12pm and offer lunch and dinner seven days a week. Their commitment to local suppliers and fresh ingredients shines through in every dish. They do pub food, really well and every dish is made fresh to order.

A Great Spot for Sports Fans

Sports fans can watch their favourite games with a pint at the Railway Inn as they have Sky Sports, BT Sports, and Via Play.

A Team Effort

Behind the scenes, a dedicated crew of three chefs, two kitchen porters, and a team of eighteen keeps things running smoothly. Many of the staff have worked for Jackie and Graham for many years. 

Festive Cheer in December

As the festive season approaches, the have plans to spread cheer with Santa Breakfasts, sure to delight both young and old. They are also hosting four Christmas parties with local singers such as Barbara Bryceland gracing the stage!

A Community Pub

The Railway Inn and The Platform Lounge isn’t just a place to eat and drink; it’s a community pub where warmth and hospitality come together. Graham and Jackie, along with their passionate team, have turned it into a cherished spot where families and friends can get together and memories are made.

Featured Stories

House of Henderson: Third Generation Pushing Things Forward

Nestled in the picturesque town of Stirling, House of Henderson stands tall as one of Scotland’s longest-established kilt makers and gents outfitters, bearing a rich legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and impeccable service.  

Founded by Robert Henderson in 1923, R.R. Henderson Ltd was established in the Clackmannanshire town of Dollar as a gentleman’s outfitter also providing school uniform and sportswear to the local community and beyond. As future expansion witnessed further branches open in both Callander and Alva, the business began to firmly establish its presence across the region. 

In 1947, R.R. Henderson Ltd opened its iconic store at 6-8 Friars Street in Stirling, a location that would remain its cherished home for the next seven decades. Situated just a stone’s throw away from the majestic Stirling Castle, the store diversified its offerings to include an extensive range of high quality products, from children’s toys to ladies’ clothing and an expanding collection of gentlemen’s Highlandwear. 

After several years working across the UK within the menswear retail sector, in 1983 Barry Henderson became the second generation to join the family business. Charting its new course Barry embarked on a transformational journey, shifting much of the focus over time towards classic casual and designer clothing while still maintaining kilts as the heart and soul 

of the business. By 2001, the business would be rebranded as House of Henderson.

Current and future successes now lie in the hands of Jordan and Lewis, grandsons of founder Robert and the third generation of Henderson to carry the baton of this esteemed family-run business. Driven by a joint passion for Scottish heritage, clothing and retail, following previous careers in financial services the brothers have refocused the business around its core foundations of made to measure Highlandwear, formal dress hire, gents tailoring and premium Scottish gifts and accessories. House of Henderson also remain an official uniform supplier for the prestigious Dollar Academy, a relationship which now spans over a century.

Whilst working innovatively to introduce fresh perspectives on their time-honoured craft, the duo pride themselves on remaining a traditional retailer who have adapted to meet the needs and wants of a modern customer, whilst maintaining core values of service, reliability and a high-quality product. In utilising social media and online platforms to reach a broader audience; the business continues to welcome an ever expanding client base across the UK and internationally, drawn by the allure of authentic Highlandwear and a personalised customer experience.

House of Henderson now offer one of Scotland’s largest selections of Highlandwear. Their formal hire service caters to weddings and events of all sizes and with their own stock on hand, they can accommodate even last-minute requests. In servicing a diverse client base, the business focuses on providing as wide and varied a selection as possible whilst staying in touch with popular designs and trends. Their exclusive ‘Spirit’ range of tartans designed in house continue to grow year on year as a modern alternative to more traditional tartans also on offer.

For customers wishing to purchase their outfit House of Henderson offer a wide range of off the peg, made to measure and fully bespoke tailoring options. This boasts an extensive catalogue of over 8,000 of the finest quality tartans, tweeds and linings used for customising kilts, jackets, trousers and bespoke suits. As customers take part in the creation of their own unique outfits, the family’s commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail ensures that every thread is looking perfect. 

For those seeking to embrace Scottish heritage and style out with traditional Highlandwear, an array of premium clothing, gifts and accessories are also available. From men’s Harris Tweed blazers, trousers and waistcoats to ladies shawls, hats and gloves; all are available for purchase in store and online with worldwide shipping options available.  

As the business marks its momentous 100-year centenary, 2023 has already seen the outfitter for the third year running pick up the prestigious accolade of Best Men’s Outfitter at the Scottish Confetti Wedding Awards, cementing its place as one of the country’s most awarded Highlandwear and Groomswear suppliers.

The Henderson family’s passion for their craft, combined with their commitment to evolving with the times has ensured that House of Henderson remains a beacon of tradition and innovation, bridging the past and present for generations to come. As they celebrate a century of excellence, one thing is clear—the House of Henderson is destined to shape the future of Highlandwear while cherishing its remarkable history.

In conversation with Jordan and Lewis Henderson

What are the core values that have been passed down through generations in your business?

Quality, Service, Reliability & Commitment.

We pride ourselves on our knowledge, attention to detail and genuine in-house expertise which is not always easy to find. Providing competitively priced high-quality products has always been our priority alongside our desire to support Scottish and UK based manufacturers, delivering a personal service which goes above and beyond that usually experienced on the high street. Fostering long term relationships is also important. Reliability and commitment comes via a strong work ethic and unwavering dedication to our industry which has allowed us to adapt over time and grow our customer base with confidence.

What are the advantages of being a family business, especially in comparison to larger corporations?

Maintaining a long-term outlook, continuity and being able to commit to a shared vision are benefits we have seen in running a smaller family firm. Having both worked for larger corporations in the past, we have first-hand experience that they can sometimes be overburdened by rules and bureaucracy. Our ethos is to create a relaxed and supportive working environment in which everybody feels valued and part of the Henderson ‘family’. Our full-time team have all been in their roles for at least five years, so loyalty then starts to play its part in the ongoing success of the business.

What strategies have you used to adapt and evolve your business over time?

It’s important for any business not to be stuck in the past or get too bogged down by a ‘how things used to be’ mentality. Technology has had a huge impact on the retail landscape, so ongoing investment in our digital platforms remains a key focus. The last few years have seen us develop new tools including an online booking and outfit builder platform for our hire business and further invest in our online store, an area that has grown from nothing to a substantial part of our revenues. Wedding days are no longer such private events and social media has enabled us to showcase customer photos and our product ranges to a wider geographical client base.

Traditional Highlandwear like all clothing is still subject to trends and it’s our job to keep up and deliver on those. The last fifteen years have without doubt seen some exciting design and innovation spread across the industry, particularly in jacket styles and meeting the desire for more muted and weathered colour combinations. Both our bespoke jacket service and more notably our ‘Spirit’ range of tartans have all been created in response to these, where close collaboration with a select weaving mill has allowed us to launch a modern range of designs exclusive only to House of Henderson.

How does your family business contribute to the local community or industry?

With our personal and business connections to Stirling now stretching back over seventy five years, it’s a city we hold very close to our heart. Having representation on the board of ‘Go Forth Stirling’ enables us to have a positive voice towards projects and services that can benefit local businesses, our customers and visitors to the city centre. We also actively participate in raising funds for local causes with the Stirling and Bridge of Allan Roundtable and are members of the Glasgow Incorporation of Weavers; a charitable society aimed at preserving the textile craft whilst fundraising for educational causes.  

How do you find a balance between family time and business commitments?

As we both have young children, maintaining flexibility around our working schedules to maximise family time is important to us. Alternating weekends and home working where possible both help us to achieve this. The summer months in particular can be an extremely busy time for any business involved in weddings and tourism, so it’s vital to offset this against other interests and taking time out. We both enjoy pursuits such as playing golf, live music and family holidays. It’s also important to set boundaries. When you meet socially as a wider family outside of ‘work’ our main piece of advice would be – try not to talk about business! 

What are your long-term goals for the business, and how do you plan to achieve them?

We want to continue to drive forward with our ambitions as a one of Scotland’s leading providers of quality Highlandwear. The ‘death of the high street’ is an overused phrase. There are still plenty of exciting growth opportunities ahead for retailers who can strike an effective balance between their online and offline experience whilst differentiating on service – and that’s where we’ll continue to focus our energy.

What advice would you give to other families considering starting or maintaining a family-run business?

Whether starting from scratch or considering succession, it can be invaluable taking time to consider the specific set of skills, strengths and even weaknesses each person will bring to the table and how these can piece together successfully.  As family members you will be required to wear several different hats. No job can be seen as too big or small so be prepared to get your hands dirty as and when the business requires. Above all else ensuring it’s something you are jointly passionate about will hugely increase the chances of success and longevity – you have to enjoy it!

Featured Stories

In Conversation with Jaclyn Moss

Can you introduce yourself and share some background?

Certainly! I’m Jaclyn Moss, and I’ve been in the hair extensions industry for the past thirteen years. I live in Larbert with my husband, Steven, and our two sons, Jack and Jude. My husband runs a successful local business called Moss Plumbing and Heating.

How did your journey in the extensions industry kick off?

I worked in Stirling on a self-employed basis to begin with, then after having my first son I took the leap and opened my first salon in Allow which I co-owned with another hairdresser for five years. I decided to expand my business and open my very own salon in April 2022 in Alloa. My true passion lies in hair extensions, hair loss and educating. My premises allow me to continue growing my business whilst working in my dream salon. 

What services do you provide in your salon?

My salon offers a comprehensive range of services. We specialise in hair extensions, but also offer hair colouring, nails, eyebrows and lash treatments and have a makeup artist on board. It’s a one-stop-shop for clients seeking various beauty treatments.

Can you tell us about your team?

Absolutely. I lead a team of seven remarkable professionals, most of whom are self-employed. We share a tight-knit bond and often feel like sisters. One special member is my best friend since I was 13; we’ve had a 20-year friendship that brings a unique dynamic to the team. Additionally, Leah, my assistant, plays a pivotal role in managing the salon’s operations and handling admin.

What ignited your passion for education and led to the founding of your training academy this year? 

It’s part of who I am as a person to help others. As part of my expansion plan, I wanted to create courses for people looking to begin a career in hair extensions or those looking to grow their services. I have also just launched my brand-new hair loss course and have people from all over the world including America and Australia looking to train with me. 

Witnessing some trainees contemplate leaving their full-time jobs to pursue this field full-time after training with me has been incredibly rewarding. My passion lies in nurturing their growth, and I’m thrilled that many are eager to return to me for further training.

Could you tell us about your academy and its vision?

Certainly! My academy came to life after a thorough renovation of the upper floor of my salon. This space is dedicated to a serene classroom environment, where I can provide intensive 1-on-1 support to my students. I envision my academy becoming one of the most renowned hair extension educational platforms in the UK, offering a blend of classroom and practical learning experiences. I also aspire to hold business events to help other business grow, as I believe in working together, never against. 

What are some significant milestones you’ve achieved in your journey?

There have been quite a few remarkable moments. For instance, I had a student fly in from Canada to receive training, which was a surreal experience. I’ve also received inquiries about my training from all across the UK and even further afield. Collaborating with Nikita Docherty on a Pro Weft masterclass, both in Ireland and in Scotland, attracted trainees from various corners of the UK.

What’s on the horizon for your future plans?

I’m excited to launch my own brand of hair extension tools, specifically designed for weaves. These tools will be available online and exclusively within my masterclasses. The idea for this initiative stemmed from me desiring to help as many hair extension professionals as possible have access to quality installation tools. 

Can you share a bit about your business motto?

My business revolves around supporting and nurturing others. Witnessing others grow and celebrating their success stories is incredibly fulfilling to me. Being part of their journey and contributing to their accomplishments is what drives me forward. 

Featured Stories

Your Special Day at The Richmond Park Hotel

If you’re planning a wedding in Scotland and want a wedding venue that’s easily accessible for all your guests and looks amazing, why not consider the fabulous Richmond Park Hotel. Located just 30 minutes from Edinburgh and 40 minutes from Glasgow, this beautiful wedding venue has so much to offer in terms of facilities. 

The Richmond Park Hotel is a 46-bedroom pet friendly hotel with a large restaurant, bar and two function suites. Our stunning, recently refurbished hotel has the right amount of modern luxury, unique historical charm, and a Scottish theme. We are in the historic town of Borrowstounness (Bo’ness: on the outskirts of Edinburgh, famed for its historic pottery, picturesque views, and great walking paths. 

Whether it is an inclusive wedding package or something bespoke, allow us to bring the vision for your special day to life with the help of our expert wedding co-ordinator. We know how much planning goes into your special day, our team can help create the perfect day. 

More than any other occasion a wedding must be flawless and that is what we deliver at The Richmond Park Hotel. Whether you dream of an intimate occasion with close family and friends or a grand celebration, our beautiful wedding suites offer flexible space that effortlessly blend period charm with designer chic and glamour throughout. 

Tying the knot at The Richmond Park Hotel isn’t just about a superb setting and imaginative, carefully crafted food. Every wedding is special for our team, and they’ll take care with every detail to make sure it all goes smoothly from the planning to the day itself. 

Featured Stories

A longstanding, local partnership: Carron Bathrooms and FBS Plumbing Solutions

Carron Bathrooms is the ‘Name for Baths’ and has a history dating back to 1759, when it was the original Carron Company. The company rode the wave of the Industrial Revolution and was famed for their short- barrelled naval cannons. Since then, they have been at the forefront of modern bath design.

FBS Plumbing Solutions are the independent Scottish distributor of quality bathroom & plumbing brands and have been since 1980. They are a family business with extensive products ranges and stock based in Falkirk. 

We recently interviewed Alison Sime, the Managing Director of FBS Ltd and Lynn Jarvie, the Marketing Manager of Carron Bathrooms about their business partnership. 

What is your business’ unique offering?

Lynn: Carron Bathrooms is Europe’s leading manufacturer of acrylic baths. With our proud history dating back to the formation of the original Carron Company in 1759, our unique blend of experience and innovative designs means we have built a reputation for producing first class products, backed by unrivalled customer service.

Alison: FBS is a long standing and well-respected family business that distributes quality bathroom and plumbing brands across Scotland as well as having a well-established Trade Counter & Showroom based in Falkirk. We offer positive solutions for all customers and our staff have unrivalled industry knowledge and experience to share. Customer service is our priority, and we aim to not only deliver on promises but exceed expectations. 


What inspired you to run a business in your industry?

Lynn: We are proud to be a privately owned business. The company owners bought the business over twenty years ago, and almost immediately used their previous manufacturing experience to start investing in the factory and the people who are such a huge part of what we do. They recognised then that the bathroom industry was changing, and baths were no longer just a functional item, but were becoming an integral part of the overall design of the space.  To be involved at the beginning of such a change was exciting and offered a chance to grow the business for the benefit of the owners, employees and customers.

Alison: FBS has always been family owned and without a doubt, my dad is my inspiration. His hard work ethic, professionalism and determination were stamped into me at an early age. I feel privileged to have successfully established FBS as leading Scottish distributor to the bathroom and plumbing sector. I just love the buzz in the bathroom industry – the people, the products, the trends and innovations make every day special. My only regret is not having had the chance to work with my dad……but then again that may have been a battle of strong wills!


How do your businesses work together to provide excellent service?

Lynn: Carron and FBS go back many years. FBS were originally a customer, and when Carron sales in Scotland grew, it made sense to look for a local partner to distribute our baths.  With their vast experience in the Bathroom and Plumbing industry, FBS were a natural choice.  They understand our products, they understand the Scottish market and most of all, they understand the meaning of customer service, which aligns perfectly with our brand.

Alison: FBS and Carron have a longstanding local partnership which has evolved around our many shared values. Both companies are passionate about customer service, product quality and providing customers the best experience when choosing the perfect Carron bath for their needs. FBS is really proud to be appointed the sole Scottish distributor for Carron Bathrooms and combining our shared sales and marketing experience will only strengthen our joint market presence. Carron’s ethos around its people and customers aligns perfectly with FBS, so together we are a great team.

Why is it crucial for local business to collaborate?

Lynn: If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that supply chain circumstances can change overnight. To service Scottish customers, it makes sense to partner with a local company to ensure smooth, responsive customer service. Not only that, but it reduces travel miles for our products and helps support our local economy. 

Alison: It is crucial for local businesses to work closely together. Apart from the employment opportunities it provides within our community, having Carron baths manufactured less than a mile away from FBS, gives our green footprint a head start from manufacturing through to delivery and final installation. In my opinion, Carron & FBS have a special collaboration because of the joint local heritage and link to Falkirk’s foundry past going back hundreds of years.


What does the customer experience mean to you?

Lynn: For Carron, the customer experience begins with the design concept of our baths. Our baths don’t just look good, they have to offer a true comfortable bathing experience. From there, the customer should feel confident that they have invested in a quality product, one that can be enjoyed for many years to come and hopefully be happy with the sales support and customer service from our distribution partners.

Alison: Every customer is unique and has differing needs. FBS prides itself on offering a first class service to every customer from order taking, advice, delivery, and aftercare support. We understand the importance of fast and efficient resolutions to any problems that may occur and that’s why we have strong, long-standing relationships with both our customers and supply partners.


Business mottos? What are they and how do you action them on a daily basis?

Lynn: Our Mission Statement – “Carron Bathrooms aims to be the best company we can possibly be.  A company respected by our customers, suppliers, competitors and by the community of Carron.  To be a company for which our employees are proud to work”. This underpins our whole business ethos. We strive to provide the best products, the best customer service and to be an outstanding community partner.

Alison: Our mission statement – “To live by FBS values every day and to put our customers first every time”. FBS wants to provide a five star difference when purchasing bathroom and plumbing products

  • We have unrivalled industry knowledge and experience

  • We are a long standing and well-respected family run business

  • We offer positive solutions and have a “can do” approach

  • We want to be an employer of choice where commitment and excellence are rewarded

  • We deliver on our promises and aim to exceed expectations


What’s new for 2022 within your businesses?

Lynn: Trends in bathrooms for 2022 are exciting! A new focus on colour in the bathroom is coming to the fore, although I’m not sure we’ll see the return of the Avocado bath. We will be introducing a range of Anthracite (black) accessories such as bath handgrips and wastes, which are already being sought after by customers. As usual, we will also be concentrating on increasing the number of bath sizes we offer by model, so that there is a Carron bath to fit in everyone’s bathroom.

Alison: Our partnership with Carron Bathrooms is going to be a big part of our 2022 sales strategy and we are looking forward to being able to access the new training centre and showroom facility at Carron with FBS customers to develop their knowledge and understanding of Carron Bathrooms and their unique manufacturing process. We will also be reviewing our delivery routes and frequency to ensure we are keeping ahead of market demand.The FBS trade showroom will get a re-vamp after KBB, the bathroom industry trade show in March, where all the latest product designs and trends will be on show. Exciting times for us all.

Featured Stories

Falkirk Carpets & Interiors

Falkirk Carpets and Interiors

15 years ago Robert Reilly founded Falkirk Carpets on Thornhill Road in Falkirk. After many years of working in retail and a life long desire to run his own business he went for it and has never looked back.  Robert is Falkirk born and bred as is his wife Lynn. He is the definition of a grafter which is the reason why the shop has always been open to customers seven days a week. He’s not one for sitting at home and enjoys interacting with his customers on a daily basis. The business has grown from strength to strength providing high quality products, expert service and jobs to the local area.

Business Background

The showroom is situated in a beautiful building that has continually been updated and extended as the business has grown. Robert and his team contribute their continued success to building up a strong reputation and loyal client base with many of their customers returning time and again, and also recommending them to their friends and families. There have been many business highlights over the years but one of the most memorable moments was when they won the Flooring Retailer Category at The Scottish Independent Retail Awards in 2019.


When he first opened the doors to Falkirk Carpets and Interiors it was known as Falkirk Carpets. They offered a prestigious selection of carpets, rugs and floorcoverings to customers across Scotland – and still do! He decided to extend the business in the beginning of 2019 to also offer interiors as he saw this as a gap in the market. He wanted to offer a one-stop shop so he began offering new ranges of high-end home interiors products. To name a few of the brands: Little Greene Paint, Clarke and Clarke, Voyage and Margo Selby.


High Quality Service

Fast forward to 2022, they are operating as a dedicated and driven working team that has grown over the years. From the skilled sales team to the specialist fitters in carpets, vinyl, LVT, wood and laminate, they are all passionate about providing a personalised service.

When you step into the spacious showroom, you will be greeted by a member of the friendly sales team. Pictured alongside Robert in the article are: Wendy, Sandra, Jill and Manny. Whilst in the showroom, they encourage you to take your time to browse and are on-hand to guide you through all the details of function, colour and style, to help create the look you would like for your home. They offer premium brands in every category and each one has been carefully selected by Robert to ensure of its’ high quality. They also extend and update their offering regularly allowing them to provide products with up-to-date palettes and textures.


You are spoiled for choice when shopping for flooring at Falkirk Carpets. When it comes to carpets some of the brands on offer are: Ulster, Alternative Flooring, Adam Carpets, Brintons and Cormar Carpets. They really are the best of British carpets. When it comes to Laminate flooring they offer Quick Step. They really know a thing of two about luxury vinyl stocking both Amtico and Karndean Design Flooring. They also stock solid wood, vinyl and made to measure rugs!

Amtico One Exclusive Retailer

In 2021, they were extremely proud to become one of only three Amtico One Retailers based in Scotland. Amtico’s products are exclusively designed and crafted in Britain, ensuring expert quality. Robert is incredibly proud to be one of their expert retailers. Pop by to browse the Amtico ranges within the showroom. The team can help with everything from design options, to installation and maintenance advice.

What their customers have to say…

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Wendy for being so helpful and going above and beyond to make sure my mum got her flooring. We got it to Islay on Tuesday and it’s been laid today, she absolutely loves it. 5 star service. Thanks again!”

“We used Falkirk Carpets while revamping our business. The quality of service from start to finish was outstanding, not to mention the final result looks amazing! Thank you.”

“So pleased with the service from choosing our carpet to the fitting. 100 percent recommended. We are loving the completed look. Thank you very much!”

“Love our new curtains and blinds – great service and so helpful. Will definitely be back. Would highly recommend Falkirk Interiors.”

“We had our lounge curtains made last year. Jill was lovely, very helpful and fitted them perfectly in our home. I would certainly recommend Falkirk Interiors.”

Falkirk Interiors

Robert brought on Interiors Specialist Jill to run the Interiors side of the business in 2019. It had taken off and he needed an expert in the field to really drive it forward. Jill has over 20 years experience in interiors and is extremely passionate about her vocation. They have continued to expand their offering and now supply a prestigious selection of fabrics, wallpaper, paints and interiors that will suit every taste.

Whether it’s curtains you’re after or your entire home redecorated; Jill offers a no obligation measure and design consultation of your home. She then constructs bespoke interior design ideas that will match with products available in store.


Make a statement with your windows with their selection of Roller Blinds, Faux Blinds, Real Wood Blinds, Roman Blinds, Dimout Blinds, Vertical Blinds or Venetian Blinds. They’ll do the measuring and guide you through the process. Plus, all the products are made to measure to ensure a perfect fit. They have an expert fitter to guarantee the highest quality finish.

Get in touch!

100 Thornhill Rd, Falkirk, FK2 7AE
01324 623924

Opening Hours
Monday-Friday 10 am-5:30pm
Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm

Featured Stories

The Wine Library

The Wine Library started quite simply because it was something that Falkirk didn’t have and five years down the line it has quickly become one of Falkirk’s favourite institutions. Angela remembers when she was told that “a wine bar in Falkirk simply would not work”. She is overjoyed that she has proven the naysayers wrong – even through a pandemic! They have built up an extremely loyal band of regular customers and still are being discovered by a new clientele.

The Inspiration Behind The Wine Library

Owners Angela and her husband Gordon were enjoying a weekend break in Amsterdam just over five years ago, decided to take an alleyway instead of the busy street and wound up in a cosy wee wine bar. After an afternoon and several glasses of wine they had decided Falkirk needed just such a thing! On their return to Falkirk, they were on a night out with friends and were struggling to find somewhere to have a relaxed drink. When they were walking towards the taxi rank, they came across the ‘For Let’ sign in 1 Princes Street’s window. So, as you do, Angela called on the Monday to be told that it had already been let. After another lease fell through Angela was feeling a bit discouraged and considered not going through with the wine bar idea! Until, that is, she received a call about 1 Princes Street and was offered the lease. She decided to bite the bullet and go for it. It was now or never as far as she was concerned. Her husband Gordan has kept his full-time job as an accountant but has supported Angela all along the way.

The Team

First step in opening The Wine Library was finding a sommelier and a manager. They both pretty much fell into Angela’s lap. Her neighbour’s cousin, Sam, who had previously been the sommelier at The Balmoral and Michelin star 21212, was at the time not working. She has small children and had stopped working as she didn’t want to go back to the commute after being off on maternity. When Angela approached her with a flexible part-time position in which she could work from home if needed she was all in. Sam works Friday and Saturdays in the Wine Library and runs every monthly wine tasting. From home she takes care of all the wine orders so that she can be there for her children. Sam is incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of wine and if you happen to ask her about any bottle in the library she can tell you the taste, origin, how it was made, about the winery and sometimes even about the design of the label. Sam brings in new wines monthly and is continually updating their wine list.

When it came to management Angela knew just who to ask. A good friend of hers, Lynne, had worked in retail all her life. They were sitting around the kitchen table one night and Angela asked her what her dream job would be. Her response was “a deli with a wine bar.” It was not too long after that that Angela announced to Lynne that she would be opening a wine bar, and asked if she would like to manage it. Lynne was overjoyed but worried as she hadn’t done anything quite like it but neither had Angela and she encouraged Lynne to take the leap of faith with her. And no one has looked back!

The Past Five Years

Over the past five years, The Wine Library has become well-known and well-loved. They offer not only a lovely atmosphere in which to enjoy a night out with your other half, friends or work colleagues but are always putting on exciting events. Whether it be their monthly wine tastings showcasing new wines, gin tastings, rum tasting, supper club, live music evenings or their monthly book club! There is something for everyone at The Wine Library, even if that be just someone to chat to – their friendly team are always there to lend an ear and they have built a lovely community environment within the bar. They get to know their customers by name and treat them like family, The Wine Library family, with many stories to tell.

As well as offering a huge selection of wines and 30 gins, they also offer many spirits and are introducing a wider variety of flavoured rums, whiskies and tequila to their ever-evolving menu this year. They have also teamed up with Clark’s of Edinburgh, a supplier of speciality food for their delicious antipasti platters which are a very popular pairing with the wine! Their cheese and charcuterie boards are available every day.

The team are very active on social media and followers look forward to their Saturday Selfies each week, which are now famously framed on the wall!

The Fizz Edition

The team are constantly thinking of new ideas to keep the business growing and prospering. Since it is their 5th year in business they have decided to try and do something new and work is underway to open a fizz corner in the upstairs bar. The only complication has been getting the fizz! Champagne is currently in short supply as, due to weather conditions, they are missing a year’s supply.

All going well they will be offering a wide variety of champagnes, Prosecco by the glass and more by the bottle than they currently do. Their aim is to launch their new Champagne Bar by their 5th birthday in October 2021. 

Tastings and Events

They are back open six days a week, every day except Monday! They are also offering their monthly tastings again and have linked up with Pernod so that they can offer spirit tastings as well. They are planning rum tastings, which is quickly becoming the new big thing.

Christmas is fast approaching and they are now taking bookings. The room upstairs can be booked for private functions on Friday evenings. Get in touch to find out about their different festive packages or to purchase a gift voucher to gift this Christmastime.

To find out more, follow The Wine Library on Facebook or feel free to pop in or call up!

They are also still offering wine deliveries – a service that they started due to the pandemic.

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There’s a new restaurant in Forth Valley and everyone is talking about how great it is! We were delighted to get the chance to interview Ciro and Nikki, owners of Ciro’s Italian Restaurant at Glenbervie Golf Club.

The couple have always been destined to run their own hospitality business. Ciro started working in his Uncle’s pizzeria at the age of 12 and never looked back! His dream was to always have his own restaurant and after 25 years of hard work in Italy, Switzerland and Scotland, he finally succeeded and opened their first Ciro’s in Callander in 2007 along with his wife Nikki. Nikki’s family had always been in business, so this also came naturally to her.

The restaurant power couple have quite the love story. They met in 1993 in a pizzeria in Switzerland, where Ciro was working. Nikki was working at private summer camp nearby. Ciro is originally from south of Pompei in Italy and Nikki also has Italian heritage. She says, “My mum used to tell me never marry an Italian! So, what did I do?  I married Ciro!”

When they were first getting to know each other, they spoke to one another in French as that was their only common language. They were quickly engaged and in 1996 Nikki brought Ciro home to Scotland. They were married in 1997 and started their family. Ciro was gaining experience working in Italian restaurants in Edinburgh and Nikki started childminding while they raised their two children, Fabi and Cameron. They then went into business in Kirkcaldy with a partner and ran La Gondola.

In 2007, they decided to move to Callander as there was the opportunity to have their very own restaurant there. Nikki says, “Our two kids were five and six at that point. We had been looking around the country to open an Italian restaurant and this wee restaurant in Callander was up for sale. It needed a lot of work, but we were up for the challenge.“

Nikki then made the connection that her maternal Great Nonna, had moved to Callander from Italy.  Everything about the decision felt right. She says, “Everything happens for a reason.”

They had a great first year then the 2008 recession hit. Nikki says, “Going to a restaurant was the last thing people were doing. We didn’t know what to do so I got a part-time job at a self-catering holiday place eventually becoming the full-time the manager and I loved it. I ended up working there for eight years which allowed us to keep paying our staff and keep the business going.”

In 2017, Nikki was becoming fed up and wanted to get back into the restaurant. They were getting ready for the busy season, which in Callander is from May-July when tragedy struck. The top flat above their restaurant caught fire. Nikki explains, “It was a bank holiday weekend and we were all set up to be busy. It was like watching a movie watching the building burn. It took hours and hours for them to get the fire out and it destroyed all the roof. Our restaurant was destroyed by water. It was devastating and we were in shock as we had just lost our livelihood.”

But, when there is a will there is a way. One of their regular customers came to Ciro and Nikki with an opportunity within Loch Tay Highland Lodges. They needed someone to run the restaurant there so the couple took the spirit of Ciro’s and created Ciro’s @ Loch Tay. They wanted to keep his name going as they had built up a strong reputation during the ten years they were in Callander. Nikki says, “We ended up being at Loch Tay from 2017 to 2020. While we were there we won ‘Best Family-Owned Italian Restaurant’ at the Italian Awards.”

In 2020, the couple were beginning to get itchy feet as they wanted a restaurant that was fully theirs once again and then the pandemic struck. Towards the end of 2020 the opportunity to bring Ciro’s to Glenbervie Golf Course in Larbert was brought to them. Nikki says, “We had a chat and immediately knew this was our new home!” They have been open to the public since April 2021 and are quickly becoming a firm favourite in the Forth Valley food scene.

Nikki says, “Opening Ciro’s at Glenbervie is the biggest thing we’ve ever done. We now have 24 staff, all local! Plus, our two grown up kids also work in the business. We hope this will be our last place until we retire!”

At Ciro’s, they serve delicious, authentic Italian cuisine. Everything has to be right, from the food to the service and atmosphere. They are lucky to have a tremendous view over the golf course, which diners just love! They treat their customers like family with Ciro making regular visits to front of house to check on his happy guests! He still is in the kitchen daily making sure that every dish is perfect.

They are currently preparing for their first festive season in Larbert and have a special menu available for the whole month of December. This can be viewed on their website. Group bookings are also available!

View the menus https://cirositalianrestaurant.co.uk

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All About Eve

All About Eve opened its doors on Camelon’s Main Street in September 2020. It was a dream 18 years in the making for owner Leigh Ann. She had always aspired to bring to Falkirk everything for today’s women, from boutique fashion and luxury label clothing, jewellery, skin care, home furnishings, home accessories, candles and gifts.

Leigh Anne wanted to bring together a selection of items fitting the lifestyle choices of the modern women, and works hard to source unique, quality products from the UK, Europe and beyond. All About Eve carry a selection of boutique classic items at competative prices together with luxury label items that add that touch of opulence to both your wardrobe and your home.

Their website launched last year after only having their doors open for a few short months before the second lockdown. Leigh Ann says, “It was fantastic to see so many of our customers both locally and across Scotland continuing to support our small business during such a difficult time.” The website www.allabouteve.online features all the products they have in store and they ship across the UK. There are also plans to extend this to worldwide for most items in the near future.

The business, even in this short time it’s been in existence, has grown. Leigh Ann elaborates, “Particularly the home furnishings and interiors side of the business. My partner is a builder and property developer so has experience of the build and design process so we are really fortunate to be able to bring this expertise to the business. We can offer a full design and consultation service linking customers with trusted partners including architects to assist when customers are undertaking a building project or conversion. We are also able to offer a complete consultation service and through agreements with our most trusted suppliers, customers can access a full catalogue of home furnishings from sofas, dining sets, beds, bedroom furniture and many other items that are too large for us to carry in store. This service helps customers access products that perhaps aren’t readily available so they can have bespoke furnishings and interiors within their homes that reflect their own unique style.

Leigh Ann says, “We’re blessed with just the best team here at All About Eve. My Mum keeps the displays looking in tip top shape and my childhood friend Julie is my wing woman. We have a relaxed atmosphere in the shop and pride ourselves in delivering an excellent customer service experience. We are only a year old but we think, if we can survive and grow through a global pandemic we’re doing just okay!”

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Podiatry Plus – Sarah Tough Q&A

Sarah Tough is originally from Grangemouth, but now lives and works in Larbert. She studied at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she earned a BSc in Podiatry, which is a required qualification for employment in the NHS.

Sarah opened her practice, Podiatry Plus, in Larbert in 2013. She chose the business name, Podiatry Plus, to keep the title simple. She also explained that the name allows for expansion in the future. She helps patients who suffer from hard skin, calluses, corns, and verrucae. She also offers reflexology and assesses overall foot function.

What initially inspired you to become a podiatrist?

I studied reflexology first, which sparked my interest in feet! Feet are crucial for balance and mobility and, as a podiatrist, I can keep patients walking and active without pain. Being able to improve someone’s quality of life is a great reward. I always smile when a patient leaves saying it is like walking on air!

You are HCPC registered, can you explain what this means to potential customers?

HCPC is a professional organisation which qualified podiatrists are members of. They only register people who meet their standards so that they can practise safely and effectively. They also check the quality of training courses so that when someone completes one meeting their standards, they can register that person.

What treatments do you offer?

I offer routine foot care and advice, corn and callus removal, verrucae treatment, diabetic foot management, ingrown toenail treatment, cosmetic nail reconstruction, general podiatry care in adults and children, and the Lacuna method for fungal nails.

What are the benefits of reflexology?

A great treat for your feet! Not only is reflexology relaxing, but it can also: improve nerve function and blood circulation, eliminate your body toxins, boost energy. Overall, it’s an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend an hour. Reflexology can also be combined with a routine treatment. In this instance, you would receive 30 minutes of a routine treatment and 30 minutes reflexology.

What does community mean to you?

I care about our community and how things affect it. I have been an active member of the local Rotary Club raising funds for lots of interesting projects. My favourite was the Santa events at Christmas time, with the wee ones’ eyes popping out their heads to see Santa Claus!

I have worked with a few charities on providing foot care for people who could not afford it in the past. I also do some work with Falkirk Football Club.

How has the pandemic affected your industry?

Like lots of local businesses, Podiatry Plus has been affected. But thankfully I have a loyal patient group who have supported me through this. I have put in place a few changes to keep myself and my clients safe and well. I have extended time between patients and ask clients to use hand gel on arrival and departure. I also ask if my clients can please wear a face mask and I have put a screen in the clinic for extra protection. And although the clinic has always been extensively cleaned, I have increased cleaning procedures.

What has been the greatest challenge over the last year?

My greatest challenge over the last year has been the loss of my mother. Anyone who has lost their mum will understand the empty feeling. But a loss during a pandemic prevented real celebration of her life. It prevented friends and family providing personal comfort as well. Although, we plan as a family to have a big get together to celebrate her life when we can. A lot of people have lost loved ones during this pandemic, and this is a quote that helps me: “They have gone from sight, but never from our hearts.”

How do you spend your free time?

I am lucky to have both daughters and their families stay close by. I love spending time with them and cooking Sunday dinners with the whole family (pre Covid, but something I am very much looking forward to again). My next big love is travel, so I hope to go all over the world before I get too old!

Do you have a business motto?

Your feet deserve every bit of care and attention like any other body part because healthy feet are happy feet.

What’s next?

This year my husband and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage, so I am working on an interesting fundraiser for Strathcarron Hospice who also celebrate 40 years in 2021. There will be more details on this in the next edition of 17 Degrees Magazine, watch this space!