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Photograph and story by Roz Skinner 

Delicious jams, colourful kitchen utensils, special glasses to stop your tears when cutting onions... 

These are some of what’s now available at Jans hardware store in Broom Place, Portree. These items used to be available at the Jans-owned shop, Rona@Home in Wentworth Street, but, since December 2015, they have been integrated into the premises at Jans. 

Director, Donnie Nicolson, explains: “Since 2008, Rona@Home has been specialising in high-end kitchenware and gift ideas. However, customers say it’s good to see the stock relocated to our main store.” 

The new kitchenware section is next to the Red Brick Cafe area – however, the cafe itself is a growing attraction for the hardware store. Good food, fast WiFi and charging points for mobile phones and tablets make the Red Brick Cafe a favourite stop for locals and visitors alike. 

“The WiFi is a massive draw,” admits Donnie. “We have a lot of people come here to do business. And they know they are able to charge their device. The cafe itself has stayed much the same since we first opened, but we are always changing the menu. We are fortunate to have a loyal customer base and we want to keep things fresh for them.” 

Another exciting development is the addition of a new service - confidential shredding. Donnie says: “We will take away your documents and get them shredded and recycled by the company, Simply Shredding. You receive documentation that it has been destroyed correctly. We are incorporating this service to Skye and Lochalsh as well as the Outer Isles. We already have a delivery network of vehicles all over those areas, so we are easily able to collect the documents.” 

One of Jan’s most popular features is their self-storage facilities. “We have 50 containers on site and we looking to expand our self-storage options,” reveals Donnie. “We acquired a big shed at Crossal and our idea is for more self-storage there. The idea would be that you could rent shed space. We will be putting several containers down there, and they will be easy to access by customers from all ends of the island.” 

So, if you are looking for storage space, in search of useful kitchen utensils or simply want a delicious meal and fast WiFi, visit Jans!