Kirkcaldy’s Capital Showcase 2019
This is something new. We have been heartened by the number of independent businesses choosing to make Kirkcaldy their home. In the last 18 months, more than 20 have either arrived in town – or expanded – all investing in Kirkcaldy’s future. It is their free spirit that is helping to shape our approach to reposition the town as a place ‘to do business’. It is their thinking that led to us developing the Citizens’ Lab – to better engage with all those who have a stake in the town. So we want to celebrate them. And what better way to do so that to provide a trail that takes you around the businesses … from boutiques to bistros, arts & crafts to sportswear, health & beauty to bridalwear, hairdressers to collectables … and includes a unique exhibition at The Kirkcaldy Centre, all leading up to Adam Smith’s birthday.
Back to the future!
We’re going to start this trail in the future! The unique exhibition has been organised by Kirkcaldy4All in partnership with the University of Dundee. The event welcomes the University’s Architecture & Urban Design Degree Show, showcasing ideas on the future look of our towns and cities. It will be on display in The Kirkcaldy Centre from Thursday-Saturday (10-4) and shows student’s work focusing on challenging issues around themes of industrial heritage, connectivity and movement – and community engagement, with both placemaking and the economy. Tahir Ali, owner of The Kirkcaldy Centre is very much looking forward to welcoming the show, saying: “We are all trying to breathe new life into the town – new ideas, new propositions to drive visitors, increase awareness and change perceptions. The show – being held in the centre and within easy walking distance of the high street as well as the bus and train stations – is one step on that journey.”
Come in and see the students’ innovative work: on Saturday, three of the students whose work features in the show will be on hand to explain their work and answer any questions you may have.
The Capital Showcase – Our Trail
Now we head out on our trail – from the Kirkcaldy Centre – to discover just some of the businesses who are making a positive difference, investing in Kirkcaldy with offerings that are unique.This is a snapshot. There are more than 350 businesses in our town centre, so we can’t include them all. We’ve just selected a mix – an eclectic mix – to demonstrate what’s available. In our recent Citizens’ Lab, one comment caught our eye that perfectly summed up our thinking …
Thanks to Ken at Komandor for those words! You can read more on Komandor’s offering via this link to our recent Blog.
Back to the trail …
Passion 28a Hunter Street (KY1 1ED)
This boutique on Hunter Street sells “sensual, sexy, exciting lingerie” and boasts a selection that includes “everything from elegant steel-boned corsets to silky soft satin, from seductive bras and pants and nightwear that makes every woman feel and look amazing.” And when you’re visiting, take time out to enjoy lunch at “Fife’s favourite Italian restaurant” – Pane E Vino (at Number 3 Hunter Street). They service a selection of classic Italian dishes. Check out their reviews on Trip Advisor – and to book, visit their Facebook page or call them on 01592 20005.
Continue west beyond the town’s bus station – to Whytescauseway …
Bliss Beauty 29 Whytescauseway (KY1 1XF)
Bliss Beauty is a Clarins salon in the heart of Kirkcaldy. Their experienced team provides a range of service including Massages, Contour Wraps, Jessica Geleration File & Polish, Electrolysis, Lash Lift and Tint, Clarins Signature Facial and Eyebrow Wax. For more information, pop in to see them – visit their website or call 01592 205656. You can also see examples of their work via their Instagram page. Check out their reviews on Facebook to see what customers say.
Keep westwards …
Morton Running Company 4 Whytehouse Avenue (KY1 1UW)
This fab shop opened in 2017 and serves the local running community – and beyond. Their Facebook page features upcoming events and a selection of videos of past events. They have a varied choice of running brand footwear and clothing along with multiple sources of information. You can read more on them via this link to a previous Blog. That is a feature that runs (no pun intended) across all of the businesses we’re featuring: knowledge. You can’t buy experience and knowledge … and each business prides themselves on being able to help their customers with advice. None more so than our next visit, also on Whytehouse Avenue …
Migele Experience 6-10 Whytehouse Avenue (KY1 1UW)
As Dom Migele tells all via their Facebook page: “To us the little things are BIG things and our aim is to exceed your expectations and deliver an experience that makes you feel fabulous … again and again.” The company regard their clients as valued friends and they aspire to share their passion, expertise and creative spirit. Again, it is all about service – and the reviews of Migele Experience tells much more of the story. Call in to see them, phone 01592 201212, see their latest videos via this link – and join the hundreds who follow them on Instagram for inspiration. You can also read more on their story via this Blog link.
Now we head to the High Street. We know the High Street isn’t what it was. That’s the case for hundreds of towns across the country. But we are working hard to make a difference – and we want to counter the ‘there’s nothing to visit‘ brigade by highlighting just a selection of businesses who are being creative in what they do …
EDA – Turkish Restaurant 51 High Street (KY1 1LL)
Don’t just take our word for it: here’s a link to EDA’s Trip Advisor reviews – all excellent in their feedback. You can see their menu via this link. Call in to see them – or ring 01592 267899 to make your reservation. It is a family friendly Turkish restaurant that’s well worth a visit when in town.
Manifesto Clothing 67 High Street (KY1 1LN)
Founded in ’86, Manifesto Clothing “believes strongly in providing quality clothing from credible designers for every segment of its customer base.” They stock some brilliant brands …those currently listed on their Facebook page include:
STONE ISLAND, CP, ARMANI, BOSS GREEN, PAUL SMITH, PAUL AND SHARK, EVISU, LUKE, MEN & WOMEN’S FRED PERRY, G STAR, BARBOUR MEN AND WOMEN’S, ADIDAS, NIKE, MEN & WOMEN’S LYLE AND SCOTT, REPLAY, LINDEBERG, BARACUTA, GABBICI, RALPH LAUREN, ONE TRUE SAXON, HACKETT, 80S CASUALS, PRETTY GREEN, CRUYFF AND WEEKEND OFFENDER, UNIVERSAL WORK, YMC, HERITAGE RESEARCH, WOMEN’S POLO DENIM SUPPLY & AUSTRALIA LUX
If you have a question – call in, email email@example.com or phone 01592 204469.
We’re now heading to the centre of the town – the streets and shopping centre that join the High Street with our waterfront. You’ll find some hidden gems …
The Centre & Waterfront
Eloise 156 High Street (KY1 1JD)
Eloise is an enchanting jewellery & gift store on the High Street run by Louise Canny. She has over 30 years of experience in the jewellery business and has been passionate about jewellery since the age of 13 when she used to accompany her mother to antique fairs and auctions. Recognising the gap in the market for silver jewellery in 1991, she set up a gypsy wagon, known as The Strawberry Duck Wagon, in the Mercat Centre.
In ’96, she opened The Eloise Original boutique, which is an iconic shop known as Eloise Jewellery on the High Street today. They have a busy on site workshop that offers repairs – but they’re best known for their in-house design studio creating stunning pieces of bespoke jewellery. As with many of our local independents, they are a real community player. You can find more on their website, via their Facebook page – and see some of their unique creations on their Instagram page. Pop in – or call 01592 646340 for more.
Next, we head into The Mercat …
Toytown/Babyworld 16-18 The Mercat Shopping Centre (KY1 1NU)
From activity toys to car seats, changing stations to kids’ furniture, high chairs to bedding and prams to soft toys – you’ll find it all here. Check out their Facebook page for more – or call them on 01592 264405. And close by you’ll find …
The Present Shop 63-65 The Mercat Shopping Centre (KY1 1NG)
The Present Shop – first established in ’96 – has an extensive range of gift ideas and collectable figurines. They’ve embraced bricks and mortar retail as well as online – and have been trading via their website, e-bay and Amazon for many years. Open seven days a week, their Mercat store has items that are exclusive to their shops so you’ll definitely find some surprises.Pop in or call them on 01592 646467. They’re happy to help with any question you have.
Many folk are telling us that the future of the High Street – and our town centres – will be all about experiences. That’s why we’re showcasing some different businesses … those who offer personal customer service combined with a unique mix of experience-driven products and services. That is very much the case at our next stops … back out in the town, this time on Tolbooth Street …
The Bakers Field 19 Tolbooth Street (KY1 1RW)
When Roslyn Fawns opened The Bakers Field as Kirkcaldy’s first destination designed for vegetarians and vegans, many raised an eyebrow. A vegan restaurant? In Kirkcaldy? But her decision has been vindicated … and some. The Bakers Field is now recognised as one of Scotland’s best eateries. Pop in to try. If you have a question, or would like to book – just call them on 01592 562607. Need more? Read our Blog that was published last year – and visit their Trip Advisor page to see the comments from some very satisfied customers.
Almost next door, you’ll find another relatively new arrival … another independent who said ‘I do’ to Kirkcaldy …
Amy King Bridal & Beauty 7-10 Tolbooth Street (KY1 1RW)
Amy has a passion for weddings. She says: “I am truly honoured to be part of this special moment and when the brides find their dress it’s such a special feeling. The smile on their face when they find the one. I truly want every bride to look and feel amazing on their wedding day. I will always go above and beyond for every bride because you are all worth it. I cannot thank you enough for how supportive and encouraging you have all been.” Call in to see Amy, phone her on 01592 328437 – and read more on what drives Amy King on our recent Blog.
Heading back up to the High Street and we hang a right turn …
The Bakers Apprentice is an Aladdin’s cave for bakers – a ‘one stop shop’ for all your baking and cake decorating essentials. They have a huge choice of ready to roll sugar-paste in all colors & white, a large choice of food colors, toppers, cutters, moulds … beads and sprinkles galore, glitter sprays, cake boards of all sizes and cake boxes, loaf tin cases, cupcake cases, small foil cases (for treats and sweets and treat bags. Call in to see them (next to Specsavers), give them a call on 01592 263883.
Next up, one of the drivers of inspiration around the town’s boost for independent businesses …
Cupcake Coffee Box 207-217 High Street (KY1 1JD)
Cupcake Coffee Box began life as a kiosk on Kirkcaldy’s station. Once it had proved a following, the business took the bold step to take on the then empty MacDonald’s on the high street. Roll the clocks forward and the coffee shop has now expanded its offering to provide a licensed premises that’s open from breakfast to late, running many community events … from wine nights and gin tastings to writing classes and ‘open mic’ nights. It has added Gelato Box – an ice cream parlour – and encouraged the local butcher, Puddledub, to take space within the unit. Upstairs, they are launching a live venue – for community use. Check out their Trip Advisor reviews – and if you have an idea for a community event, they’d love to hear from you. Message them via Facebook or call them on 01592 646111. You’ll find much more on their website including new deals, offers and news. Oh … and they’re still at the station … just a six minute walk from the high street.
Continuing East, there’s a fusion of eastern promise …
Koku Shi & Vega Shi 219 High Street (KY1 1JD)
Fife’s first Fusion Japanese Restaurant, Koku Shi, offers takeaways, lunches, dinners and catering services. They take care of every diet including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. They prepare their food with passion from the best quality ingredients – and make sure that their customer service is first class. They have a qualified team of chefs and sushi masters who promise to “prepare unforgettable dishes and you will fall in love with our Japanese cuisine“. Check out their menu via this link – and call them on 01592 328660 to make your booking.
Head East … Discover the Merchants’ Quarter
The Merchants’ Quarter is the oldest part of Kirkcaldy’s town centre full of history and heritage – including the Merchant House in Law’s Close. The layout of the old streets and wynds will not have changed much since the days of Kirkcaldy’s most famous son, Adam Smith. Born on the 16th June in 1723, he would have known the town’s Merchants’ Quarter as the place of business and deals. Today, his free thinking spirit lives on in a mix of businesses who call the Quarter their home …
Finishing Touches by Adele 227-229 High Street (KY1 1JF)
Adele Scott opened a very small shop in Kirk Wynd in 2001. Seventeen years down the line, the business has grown and moved onto the High Street. She is passionate about her customers’ wedding plans and works hard to make sure ‘the big day’ is as perfect as it should be. Her company is very well known for their flare and style in creating ‘the look’ of a wedding – from themed chair covers, stunning centrepieces, personalised stationery and all manner of balloon displays. Read reviews from her customers via this link. Pop in or call here on 01592 642644. If you’d like to read more, follow this link to our Blog.
Print It Stitch It 235 High Street (KY1 1JT)
Print it Stitch it was born in June 2013 when owner, Kirsty, decided to take over a failing business – rebrand – and start again. Since then, they have grown exponentially supplying to the local area and much further afield. They offer printing, embroidery, design services and pretty much everything in between. In 2013 they were invited to be a supplier for the Fife Flyers, our local elite ice hockey team. Since then, they have worked with Braehead Clan in Glasgow and Manchester Storm. Kirsty says: “Without hockey, our business wouldn’t be where it is today. It has encouraged us to expand and grow in so many ways we could only imagine.” Call in to see Kirsty at their high street store – or call them on 01592 504548.
Revolution 244 High Street (KY1 1JT)
Revolution is an award-winning barbershop specialising in all cuts classic and modern. They provide hot towel shaves and precision beard trims – all offered with a ‘walk in’ service – open until 8pm on every weekday night. Owner, Mark, has years of experience.
KCC Vinyl 292 High Street (KY1 1NU)
Continuing east, there’s a multitude of small, independent businesses – many with niche offerings, none more so than KCC Vinyl. What started as a part time job – as an avid collector – with around 300 albums and “a job lot of 3,000 singles” has grown into a fully fledged business operating from the high street store – as well as online. That has seen KCC sending punk singles to Japan and Australia, as well as Ed Sheeran to Austria! Call in or ring 01592 329964.
My Cherry Pie 301 High Street (KY1 1JL)
My Cherry Pie is a unique shop – an award-winning destination for handmade, colourful and creative jewellery using copper enamel and silversmith techniques. Run by Gail, she has had her own jewellery brand for a number of years and runs the store on the high street, together with an online business that includes a range of gift and homeware products from over 20 UK-based makers. Gail prides her business on the integrity in quality and design of handmade goods and products. Her shop is a destination for gifts “made with love and care” to give “to those you love and care for – including yourself“. Visit Gail’s shop – her website – or call her on 07491 808812.
The Flower Ranger 306 High Street (KY1 1JL)
Our final visit is The Flower Ranger. Rose Bentley-Steed is an independent florist and artist who opened her business in May last year (2018). She has a passion for flowers and plants that has grown over the years: “I used to work as a garden ranger at the Edinburgh Botanic Garden and The Flower Ranger is an extension of my knowledge and creative interests.” She offers fresh seasonal flowers for weddings, farewells, events and home … all beautifully hand-crafted and delivered. Call 01592 572044, visit her website – and you can read more on our recent Blog. Better still – pop in and say hello. Marvel at the big, bold, beautifully scented blooms and discover unusual varieties of potted house plants on offer. A wonderful selection of ceramics, botanical artwork, homewares and gifts are also available. From time to time, festive or themed workshops are run offering tips and techniques for the creation of your own unique work which you can take home, or offer as a gift for someone special.
As we said at the start, this is a snapshot. We know there are many – many – other great businesses in our town. In this week of Adam Smith’s birthday, we just wanted to give a taster of the fantastic businesses – the wealth of talent – that goes to make our town such a dynamic destination.
Thanks for reading!