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Curry shack couple David and Joanne Gill and are adding extra ingredients to their Inverinan tourist attraction with the help of fish waste and Argyll’s plentiful rain supply.
Business at the Black Rock honesty-box shed next to their home filled with David’s homemade frozen curries is booming after a story in The Oban Times featured them as possibly being Britain’s most remotest takeaway.
Life is hotting up for the enterprising pair, who are now planning to create an aquaponic system in their back garden to feed Joanne’s pond fish and plant hobby and help David grow fresh herbs, including hard-to-get specialist chillis for his spicy dishes without using soil.
A system of floating tanks will be housed in a polytunnel, supplied by rainwater and using fish waste to nurture David’s culinary crops. If all goes well, Joanne has other plans to sell on fish and plants to the public who will be able to take themselves on a tour through the tunnel as part of their visit.
By Easter, they will have put benches, tables and weather-proof brollies out for visitors to sit and enjoy hot drinks, cakes and a curry of the day – new for 2019.
They have also just bought some land down to the beach at the side of Loch Awe to make a scenic walkway from their garden and, for visitors’ convenience, they are introducing an organic toilet.
David is also going to put up a bike rack so cyclists on the Route 78 National Cycle Network can park up when they take a break, and there will be a handy repair area too.
The success of Black Rock curries has made tentative way for a future delivery service out to Oban and Campbeltown, and their curries are already on sale in a freezer they run at Seaview campsite in Benderloch. Mr and Mrs Gill are currently adapting one of the family cars to contain a special freezer unit to take bulk ordered curries door-to-door.
‘Our social life has definitely improved since we opened the shack, considering we’re in the middle of nowhere. We’ve gone from one customer a day or so to 20 or so a week, sometimes 20 a day in peak season.
‘We’ve been open three years now and have never shut once. People who’ve heard about us are coming from all over to visit. We find that rather humbling. That was the inspiration behind our 2019 plans, we wanted to give people something else to do while they are here, rather than just getting a takeaway curry to take home for tea,’ said David, who is extending his curry kitchen area to cope with demand.
‘People make a big effort to come out here especially for us so we wanted to expand their visitor experience. We will definitely have the seating area sorted by Easter, and the rest we will do as and when we have the resources and time. We are still a very small business, doing what we enjoy,’ he added.