FOR almost 15 years customers became accustomed to popping into Cooper’s on their way to Saltcoats train station for a roll, soup and a coffee.

Though that era technically came to an end in October 2021, when Sheena and William who owned the takeaway retired.

In December 2021 a new dawn began, as Marie Cairney took on the reigns and leased the property to run her own takeaway next to the Raise Street side of Saltcoats railway station.

“It was just by chance”, she told the Herald.

It just so happened that the property became available, just as Marie considered returning to the industry, having spent a number of years working in schools.

Marie explained the challenges of taking over from such a well established business.

She said: “I think a lot of patrons thought it wasn’t going to open back up, because a lot of people went out of business throughout Covid.

“I was really excited that we were going to be able to open up this well established business as a roll shop, but with a twist.

“Apparently Sheena had done incredible soups, I don’t think mine are quite as good as that but I’m trying my best.”

Sadly, both previous owners have passed away since their retirement and Marie is keen to keep their legacy going.

She commented: “Everybody knew them, they were always there, come rain or come shine, so I had to fill quite deep boots.

“I’ve tried my best but I think it’s been pretty well received.

“Hopefully we do them proud.”

Now, nearing on a year since taking over, Marie finally has her own signage for the takeaway, rebranding as ‘Cain’s Sandwich Bar’.

“It took me ages to save up for that!” she said.

The new owner said she is enjoying the challenge of taking on the business, despite the numerous challenges, including the Covid pandemic and cost-of-living crisis, which has already seen her bills double.

She commented: “It’s been a bit of a baptism of fire, because it’s not the best time to open.

“We’ve been really prudent with our prices because everybody looks at the cost of something, especially now coming out of Covid into this cost-of-living crisis, we’ve got to be really mindful of what people can afford.

“We never see anybody stuck, if we ever have anything left over, we tend to package it up and put it into the community larder so that somebody can benefit from it.

“I’m coming up to my first year and I’m determined for all the hard work that we’ve put in that if I can endure it I will.”

The takeaway is trying to cover all basis, offering what Marie called “a good amount of hangover food and a good amount of healthy as well”.

She now hopes to continue to grow, and really ingrain the business on the community.

Marie explained: “It’s just went from strength to strength really. We try and keep it very local, a wee bit of a community hub.”

Her latest venture looks to grow from their popular pensioner deals, offering meals for £3 which would typically cost £4.50.

She spoke of her plans to deliver these meals to the flats at the Glebe in Saltcoats, hoping to fill the void of the previous North Ayrshire Council ‘meals on wheels’.

Marie said her homemade stovies and soups have been going down a treat - and that “we need to look after our oldies!”