WILLIE Little is the kind of person you could chat away to for hours on end and never get bored - he's done a wee bit of everything, and clearly has a great eye for business, having made a success of many.

So what does he do?

Willie owns Little’s Restaurant, Blairgowrie, and Fish in Crieff fishmonger, meaning he can supply his restaurant with the freshest fish possible – and that’s guaranteed.

“You’ll notice that we offer more to eat on our specials board that our actual menu,” explained Willie, “and that’s because our daily menu often depends on what fish we get in that day.”

That’s certainly true, with the specials board covered in a variety of choices to fulfil any fish lover’s appetite; on the evening that we visited Little’s Restaurant, some of the specials on offer included: baked crab, Orkney scallop, herring fillets, and crisp-battered squid.

Fish in Fish in Crieff is purchased straight from docked fishing boats, before being taken to the shop, where Willie prepares it himself, two days a week on a Monday and a Thursday, while the rest of his time is spent in his restaurant, where the customers clearly know him well.

“At the end of a shift each day, I really enjoy walking around the tables and asking my customers about their meal, and also just having a wee chat with them. It’s a great way of getting to know them, and finding out more about what they like,” said Willie.

But what if you don’t like fish? A concern for our reporter, who simply doesn’t enjoy it. Well, there’s something on offer for everyone, with steak, chicken and pizza all being available on the menu on the evening we visited; there is always something to appease people who don’t like fish.

Willie commented: “I once welcomed a large table in, and one of the ladies in the group left right away, and I asked if everything was ok. Her companions told me that she couldn’t possibly eat fish and so she decided to leave, but I chased her up the street and convinced her to come back and give it a try – and she loved it, so it was worth chasing her.

“I think fish is great for your health, and I believe it has kept me healthy all these years (Willie is 65, and fit as a fiddle) – I eat it all the time.”

Little’s was originally situated across the road from where it sits in Blairgowrie, but it is now found in the converted Riverside Church, which Willie purchased three years ago.

Expecting it to be a little draughty, and echoey, we were pleased to discover that the building was cosy, and a lovely place to sit back and enjoy a drink (on this occasion, delicious mocktails), and it was easy to chat, without an overwhelming noise from the high number of other diners who joined us on the evening.

Not only is the restaurant well designed and perfectly laid-out, after a two-year renovation project headed by Willie, it has retained its traditional stained-glass window, which was built as part of a memorial fund, started by contributions from the officers and men of the Labour Corps, in 1919.

It was built under the direction of Robert Anning Bell, a renowned stained-glass artist, and was completed in 1922. Its purpose was simple – the Labour Corps had found Riverside Church a fantastic place for a retreat, and to socialise, and so Willie was keen for it to be kept in-tact – a decision which has created a beautiful piece for the interior, and a lovely back-story for his restaurant.

With a warm personality, and a fantastic sense of humour – Willie recently won the Seafood Supplier of the Year Award, and when asked what made his fish so special, he replied: “I talk to it when I’m cutting it, and I believe that’s why it tastes so good, and also, my fish is fresh,” – we aren’t surprised by how successful Willie is. And with no plans of slowing down (he is planning to open an American diner in his old restaurant), we are delighted that he will continue to supply the best of the best, for a fantastic place to eat.