Cook sets up honesty-box curry shed in rural Scotland

A rural cook is stirring things up with his honesty-box curry shed --nearly an hour away from the nearest takeaway.

David Gill at his honesty-box curry shed in the rural hamlet of Inverinan on the banks of Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute. Picture: SWNS
David Gill at his honesty-box curry shed in the rural hamlet of Inverinan on the banks of Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute. Picture: SWNS

David Gill, who runs Black Rock Curries with his wife Joanne, turned his passion for all things spice into a money spinner after falling in love with the cuisine while in the navy.

Curry lover David has stocked his converted garden shed with fridge freezers to store his homemade curries, starters, sides, and desserts.

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The roadside shed operates on an honesty-box system, with the hut located next to the couple’s Cairndubh home, which means Black Rock.

David Gill at his honesty-box curry shed. Picture: SWNS

Customers visiting his roadside curry hut, open from 10am till 10pm, pick what they want and put their money in the honesty-box, with a price list on the wall.

The former marine engineer runs his curry hut in the remote hamlet of Inverinan on the banks of Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute -- where there are just ten houses.

The 58-year-old honed his knowledge of Indian cuisine after years of working with South Asian navy crews.

The self-taught chef, who moved to Inverinan 10 years ago with his wife Joanne, 52, was inspired to sell his curries after a friend suggested they were so good he should try and make money from them.

David said: “We started it about three years ago now.

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“I always enjoyed cooking for my wife and I and then friends and family asked if they could take some away after trying it.

“One said I should try and start selling them. It was just a throwaway comment but it got us thinking.

“We had an old garden shed that we decided to convert to store the curries.

“We started off with an honesty box system for eggs and we just thought why not do one for curries as well.

“We’ve got a buzzer for when someone arrives but we’ve not had any problems with it - it’s all based on trust.

“We’re open 365 days a year, even Christmas Day, just incase anyone burns their turkey dinner.”

David offers a selection of more than 20 curries on his menu -- from mild korma and tikka masala to tangy vindaloo and his personal favourite, garlic chili chicken.

His dishes are available with beef, chicken, fish, prawn, lamb and vegetable options.

And David also offers a variety of starters, sides, rice, and breads, as well as a selection of desserts - including his wife’s homemade cheesecake and ice cream.

Although more than 20 miles from the nearest town, the remoteness of David’s venture hasn’t stopped him, with regulars travelling from all over to sample his curry.

He said: “I’m not aware of anyone that does a takeaway.

“The nearest place to here is Oban which is about a 45 minute drive each way.

“I think we’re fulfilling a need because there aren’t these services around here.

“It’s like the saying goes, ‘if you provide it, they will come’.

“We’ve got people that come from outlying areas, like Lochgoilhead and even some regulars from as far as Campbeltown.

“There are some rental cabins and holidays homes around us and we get a lot of people coming by from them.

“We’re on one of the national cycle routes as well. A sign for a curry shop is the last thing you’d expect to see.

“A lot of tourists stop by and many buy a curry.

“We don’t necessarily expect people to buy stuff, sometimes it’s just nice to talk to people because it’s quite secluded around here.

“It’s fairly seasonal. It’s busy right now with the school holidays but there are quieter times of the year where I don’t need to cook for a week or a fortnight.

“We just top up the ones that disappear quickly. We’re very flexible and try and meet customer demand.”

The couple strives to use local produce and soon David hopes to use lamb sourced from nearby fields.