Long-established licensed Country Shop, John Goudie, Toab, Virkie, ZE3 9JL

Under offer
Key Details


Under offer


Busy, well-established country shop situated in the centre of the village of Toab in the South Mainland of Shetland close to Sumburgh Airport.

This licensed general store & post office trades from owned premises comprising the spacious main retail area, several store rooms, an office and staff facilities, plus the post office and sorting room.

Benefitting from a loyal customer base the shop sells a wide range of grocery and household products and is a National Lottery outlet.

The current situation has seen a trend to shopping more locally and shops like this have proved to be of great benefit to the local community.

Great opportunity for someone looking for a hands-on business with a strong and consistent turnover.

General Information


John Goudie's shop is situated in the village of Toab, part of the wider Virkie area at the very tip of the South Mainland of Shetland close to Sumburgh Airport. Lerwick, Shetland's capital lies about 23 miles to the north.

The Shetland Islands themselves lie in the middle of the North Sea about 100 miles north of Mainland Scotland, and are in fact closer to Bergen in Norway than to Edinburgh. Despite the remote ‘get-away-from-it-all’ location, the mainland is still easily accessible with a daily overnight ferry service operated by Northlink Ferries (www.northlinkferries.co.uk) linking Lerwick with Aberdeen & Orkney, whilst Loganair operates regular direct flights from Sumburgh Airport to Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Glasgow.

Spread over 100 islands, 15 of them inhabited, Shetland offers a great way of life with spectacular and unspoilt scenery together with a great community spirit and a wide variety of wildlife, history, archaeology and culture. There are many places of interest in the immediate area including the RSPB Reserve and visitor centre at Sumburgh Head, archaeological sites at Jarlshof and Old Scatness Broch, Quendale Mill, and slightly further afield a further RSPB Reserve at Loch of Spiggie, and St Ninian's Isle and its stunning tombolo at Bigton.

Islanders also enjoy a fantastic range of services including good schools, excellent health services and a network of leisure centres, whilst a good road network makes it easy to get around.

The Business

This is a long established country store serving the local community and also visitors, the current owners having taken over the business in 1996. The shop is well-stocked with a wide range of general grocery products including fresh & frozen food, as well as newspapers, fancy goods & hardwares. The business also has an off-sales licence and is a National Lottery outlet.

The post office generates additional footfall and therefore is a useful source of extra income. It is open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Saturday (1.00pm Wednesdays; 12.30pm Saturdays). Please note the appointment of a new sub-postmaster will require the approval of the Post Office.

The shop's current opening hours are 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday – Saturday (7.00pm Tuesdays & Fridays).

In addition to the owners, the business presently employs six staff, a mix of full and part-time.

All the equipment, fixtures & fittings are understood to be owned outright with the exception of the post office equipment. A leased 2017 Vauxhall Movano van be included if required.

The Premises

The business trades from single storey owned premises with a net internal floor area of approximately 160m² (1,720ft²) which includes the main shop area (approx. 14.8m x 6.2m) housed in a large single storey extension to the original shop, which was added in 1979. This provides a well-laid out and well-lit space with an entrance lobby (with cupboard for coal etc. off) and window to the front. The space is fully fitted with a range of wall and aisle fittings, various refrigerated and freezer units, plus a serving counter & tills.

To the rear of the main shop space are three store room areas (approx. 4.3m x 4m; 6.5m x 1.2m; 5m x 2.8m), one with separate access for deliveries, another with additional freezers / chill and sink, plus a sorting office (approx. 4.35m x 2.9m) leased to the post office, whilst to the side is a further area with an office (with CCTV) and staff facilities which leads to the post office area (approx. 4.5m x 2.35m) situated off the main shop.

Parking area to the front with generator for stand-by power if needed.


Details of accounts can be made available to seriously interested parties after viewing the premises through the seller.

Rateable Value

The rateable value is understood to currently be £2,950 however Shetland Islands Council currently provides 100% general rates relief (excludes water & sewerage) for rural shops. Prospective purchasers should however check the position by contacting the Council directly.

Grant Assistance

Shetland Islands Council currently operates a Rural Shops Improvement Scheme with discretionary grants available. Prospective purchasers should contact the SIC Development Department for further information.

Property Location

The shop is situated on the Toab loop road off the main A970 Lerwick – Sumburgh road, running between airport runway traffic lights to the south and the junction to Toab & Hestinggott to the north. Approaching from the north turn right to Toab & Hestinggott and then left after the fire station. The shop is a short distance down the road on the right.

To see the location of the property in an overall Shetland context, adjust the zoom by clicking the + or - buttons. Use the 'Map', 'Satellite' & 'Hybrid' buttons to switch between an ordnance survey style road map, a satellite aerial photograph or a combination (hybrid) of the two. Please note that the date of the satellite image is unknown and may not show new buildings.

(Please be aware the Google Street View was taken on the date shown. The building and surroundings may have changed since then. We always recommend you view the property personally.)

I was really satisfied with the service you provided and would recommend it.

David Coutts

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