A STALWART shop in Saltcoats town is to close after the sad passing of its owner.

The Handyman on Countess Street will cease to trade in the near future, bringing to an end a 33-year era.

It comes following the sudden passing of owner Michelle Robertson, who passed following a brief battle with illness on Monday, February 27, aged 59.

The closure will be one tinged with sadness, though Michelle has undoubtedly left a legacy behind her.

She will be survived by her two sons and daughter, one of whom - Stefan Robertson - spoke to the Herald to pay tribute to his mother and her work in the community.

He said: "One woman and the end of a 33 year dream. 

"The Handyman was established 1990 in Saltcoats. It proudly served the Three Towns and surrounding areas for 33 years, repairing and supplying cost efficient domestic appliances.

"Michelle Robertson took the helm in 2015 after her husband David, who had been director from the company’s inception, took unwell.

"She did this with no business training or previous experience in running a company.

"Despite this she flourished in the role and took the shop from near bankruptcy to a profitable business.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The Handyman shop on Countess Street.The Handyman shop on Countess Street. (Image: Street View)

Stefan continued: "This was in part due to the incredible kindness, dedication and knowledge she showed to all of her customers and other local businesses in Saltcoats.

"Her ethos of repair not replace, saving our planet one spare at a time, played a big part in her success.

"She also expanded the shop's scope with a dedicated unusual gift section that became very popular."

While no official date for the closure of The Handyman has been set, this will be in the near future.

Though beforehand, plans are in place to ensure that remaining stock is sold.

Stefan explained: "Regrettably this great and talented Saltcoats entrepreneur unexpectedly passed away last Monday in Crosshouse hospital after a brief illness.

"Her beloved handyman shop will unfortunately end with this great and talented woman.

"Our mothers employees and family will continue on to help clear the remaining stock to which all proceeds will go towards giving this very special mother the send off she deserves."

One of Michelle's closest friends also paid tribute to the "inspirational" woman.

She said: "I met Michelle many years ago, back in the days of battle of the bands down Saltcoats shore front, when we were teenagers.

"We met again a few years ago, when I came into the Original Handyman Shop, and she was starting the gothic and unique gift shop.

"We started chatting and remembered each other like long-lost friends.

"I would go to the shop most Saturdays for coffee and a chat - my place to escape from daily life - that turned into so much more.

"Michelle was a very smart business woman with many passions, from her family, her pets, her shop and the craft fayres in Saltcoats.

"She was an inspiration to myself and to the so many people who knew and loved her.

"Michelle and The Handyman shop will be sadly missed."

Michelle's funeral will be held at Clyde Coast Crematorium in Largs on March 17 at 3pm for anyone wishing to pay respects to this great and talented woman.

The procession will leave from the old Seafield school on the shore front at 2pm.