A seaside sweet shop owner has claimed the UK has been hit by a shortage of rock caused by the pandemic.
Customers at the Candy Box in Largs, North Ayrshire, have tripled their spending since lockdown rules eased, with Scottish tablet and fudge proving smash hits with visitors as well as homemade macaroons.
But tourists have found they are unable to get their hands on seaside rock due to the pandemic, it was claimed.
Owner Richard Craigmile said: “All the big companies that produce rock closed down due to the pandemic – and they had all their staff on furlough.
“That means there has been a bit of a shortage and getting it up to Largs from England has been a real challenge.
“Some companies have shut down and getting people to fill the void has been difficult.
“It’s a shame as we used to make our own rock in the shop but stopped after a dip in its popularity.”
Richard, who runs the shop with wife Gloria, said business was booming.
He said: “We’ve been very busy every day with tourists and locals all popping in.
“We are making tonnes of macaroon every week, and that is only to sell in the shop.
“Since lockdown lifted, the average spend has gone up from about £5 per customer to around £15.
“People are willing to spend – and we need to make sure that we encourage them to keep spending in our local area so we can build our economy back up.”
And he said they would have international demand for their products, if they could get to grips with modern technology.
Richard added: “We could sell our stuff all over the world, but because we aren’t wise with computers it’s not really possible.
“We’ve sent stuff to Australia and New York in the past with some help, and I’m sure there would be a market for our products overseas.
“We have been asked to supply other businesses but we can’t because we spend all our time making it for our own shop.
“We work 12 hours a day and don’t take many holidays, because when the demand is there, then so are we.”