VisitScotland

Family business scoops top award!

Press release   •   Apr 24, 2019 09:34 BST

A family-run business has become Ayrshire’s first ever Five Star Tourist Shop following a grading from VisitScotland.

Geraldo’s, based in the seaside town of Largs, received five stars from the national tourism organisation’s Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme in recognition of its exceptional standards. The QA Scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

Opened in 2000 by owner Toni Dawson, the shop produces its own luxury ice-cream on site and specialises in handmade chocolates and premium spirits, as well as a range of seasonal gifts. The business gave itself the name Geraldo’s in 2016 in memory of Toni’s late father Gerald, who earned the nickname while playing football for Scotland as a young man.

Managed by Toni’s Mum, known as Sweet Caroline, ice-cream production began in 2005 and the business has won numerous awards for its creative flavour combinations. Both Toni and Caroline however maintain their greatest satisfaction comes from the look of delight on the faces of locals and visitors alike as they sample some of Geraldo’s ice-cream.

Toni works closely with several chocolate producers in the UK and Europe to sell a constantly changing range of top quality chocolates and also works with independent distilleries and craft producers as much as possible to offer a wide range of premium spirits.

A big supporter of the Scottish gin and whisky industry, Geraldo’s staff are accrediated as Gin and Whisky Ambassadors and the shop regularly hosts drinks tastings and masterclasses.

Toni Dawson, Owner of Geraldo’s, said: To be awarded Four Stars in 2016 was fantastic, but to achieve this Five Star accreditation which we have strived towards over the last three years is just amazing. The suggestions made by the previous assessor were taken on board and we worked closely with our brand designers to implement as many of those as possible. This combined with the excellent team of staff we now have on board gives us much more confidence in delivering a more consistent experience for our customers both in the shop and online.”

Gordon Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Congratulations to Toni and her team on this exceptional achievement. To achieve a Five Star grading is a testament to the hard work of this business to offer a quality visitor experience.

“Our Quality Assurance Scheme is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. It is about much more than just a star rating – it is about the entire visitor experience and investing in the business to make it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can be.”

For more information about Geraldo’s, go to www.geraldos.co.uk

For more information about VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme, go to www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/quality-customer-experience/quality-assurance-ratings

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com

Scotland’s Themed Years

  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.