If you are in the Stirlingshire area you’ve got a terrific option now to pick up your weekly shop without going near a supermarket.

Stirling Auction Centre is the base for McKechnie’s mart farm shop. Well known Highland cattle breeders, Jim, his brother Robbie and Jim’s wife Catherine, of France Farm, in Gartocharn, are selling fresh fruit, vegetables and meat as well as lots of other staples at the market three days a week. The shop is ideal. Lots of space for the piles of hand-picked fresh produce. Jim wasn’t complaining too much about his 2am trips to the fruit market every morning to select the best on offer at the best price.

The family have long been in the fruit and veg business, supplying both retail and wholesale customers since 1959.

The mart shop opened just six weeks ago, and already it has brought the customers that supported them when they were selling from Boquhan Estates, which has recently closed, allowing them the opportunity to set up this new outlet. Caledonian Marts had approached the McKechnies previously with a mart shop in mind, so the timing worked out perfectly.

Alongside the seasonal produce is a glorious array of salads, a variety of Highland cattle meat products. France Farm labelled burgers, sausages, steak pies sit alongside other local producers, as well as other Scottish products. Cheese, eggs, chicken, milk, Stornoway Black Pudding, alongside all the usual things you need for a decent family meal, like Robertson’s bacon, hams, jams pulses and a range of dairy produce. And they often have special offers on for bags of carrots for horses at good prices.

Also in the shop on a is a tempting array of baked products from Mhor Bread in Callander.

Karen Poole from the bakery stands behind a counter filled with a range of loaves and rolls, alongside large and individual steak pies. There are cakes, massive meringues, pancakes, a great selection of treats, all hand made at the bakery.

Fresh fish is also on offer on a Thursday from Fish in Crieff, owned by William Little of Littles Restaurant in Blairgowrie. Cathy Grant, who is on duty today talks to The SF about the array of in-season and sustainable fish. The selection of salmon cuts as well as scallops are selling well in the mart shop today.

Outwith the three days at the Cally Mart, the McKechnies have a farm shop at Lanark Mart on a Monday and they open their own shop at the family farm in Gartocharn on a Friday.

Catherine tells me that she is delighted to see lots of locals and workers from the surrounding businesses coming in for their shopping, and now that the Mart Café has been taken over by new management it is encouraging customers to come to pick up their shopping and spend a bit of time having a spot of lunch or an afternoon cuppa.

The family are delighted with the support they have had from the market goers, and are committed to putting in the hours to build up the customer base. The next time hubby is heading to the market, give him a shopping bag and get him to bring back the weekly shop, no excuses now!