Village People: Natalie, owner of Village Green
Each month we’ll be introducing one of the Village Green makers but to kick things off, here’s Natalie, owner of Village Green...
Where’s your favourite coffee spot?
Lewis & Clarke, Gifford. I usually have a long black which is excellent but in the summer they were doing Iced Coffee with tonic water which was amazing.
Where’s your favourite place to go in East Lothian?
My favourite place is Ravensheugh Sands, East Lothian although I’ve recently discovered Binning Woods which could be heading to the top of my favourites chart. It’s also easy to do a quick detour to Bostock Bakery at East Linton if I’m out that way.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The people. Our customers are all fabulous of course and have been so generous in supporting Village Green and spreading the word. The makers are a super lovely bunch too. The business plan for Village Green included lots of dry details on cost, design, materials, locality so to then discover some lovely friendly people along the way has been a total bonus.
How did you start doing what you now do?Village Green started as a germ of an idea years ago. I had a secret Pinterest board where I added products that I liked, shops that I admire, business advice, logos, anything that could possibly be included in a business plan. I started writing a plan about 3 years ago but found it overwhelming and complicated. Well, Covid-19 gave me reason to rethink since now I really had nothing to lose and crucially had time to concentrate on the plan. I went to Business Gateway with it who were so helpful and encouraged me to apply for a loan with East Lothian Investments which I was granted and I found I ran out of excuses not to start the business. Here we are a few weeks after launch and I wish I'd had a word with myself and done this years ago.
What’s your favourite book?
I read a lot but have a tendency to forget everything about them once I’ve put it down. Like the rest of the world, I read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens this year which I loved. It took me so far away from my everyday life that it was like a (sweaty and mysterious) mini break whenever I picked up the book. Other favourites are The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, The Wild Other by Clover Stroud and Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
Do you have a claim to fame?
I bumped into Bob Holness on 2 separate holidays. Once at a remote desert hotel near the Dubai / Oman border in UAE and a couple of years later outside a seafood restaurant in Manly Beach, Sydney. He was so charming and on both occasions noticed us recognise him before he struck up conversation. Nothing juicy, restaurant recommendations if I recall.
My husband used to work for a company that supplied power and lighting for private parties of the rich and famous. His claims to fame are much more exciting.