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The winning formula for Mica member Walkers of Dunoon
For almost 30 years the Walker family has been running a destination DIY and garden store in Dunoon on Scotland’s picturesque Firth of Clyde. Staying relevant – and having an excellent coffee shop – are essential parts of the successful formula.
THERE CANNOT BE many Bira members that owe their present success to Mikhail Gorbachev, but Walkers Mica of Dunoon might raise the odd glass of vodka – or more likely, Scotch whisky – to the former Communist leader.
Gorby’s policies of glasnost (“openness”) and perestroika (“restructuring”) in the late 1980s were instrumental in bringing about the end of the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc and the Cold War. As the threat of conflict evaporated, the United States began to scale back its military presence across Europe.
One of the bases to close was a nuclear submarine establishment, which had been based at Holy Loch, just outside the town of Dunoon on the Firth of Clyde, since 1961. As the United States Navy prepared to depart, in 1990 Andy and Madge Walker seized the opportunity to take over a 1-acre site that had hosted a USN commissary or general store.
The married couple had been running a builders’ merchants and contracting business in the Scottish seaside town since 1980. By 1990 they had expanded into DIY and gardening and with plans for a coffee shop in mind, the need for bigger premises was becoming apparent.
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