A HELENSBURGH business is to reopen under new owners as they aim to continue its core place in the community.

Nature's Harvest owner Chris Hudspith handed over the keys on Saturday after 15 years of the West Princes Street.

Toni Taylor, owner of The Olde Christmas Shoppe, has been working and training at the fruit and veg store since October in preparation for the transition.

Together with long-time friend Claire Fletcher, the two women will continue the family-run produce service.

Toni, 44, told the Advertiser: "I've known Chris since Nature's Harvest opened. Chris is going off to play golf and play with his grandchild.

"It was a family run business and now it's our families."

Claire, 42, said: "When I first moved to the area, Tony gave me my first job in hospitality. We've been friends and colleagues ever since. She's Auntie Toni."

Both women have roped their families into helping them prepare to reopen the shop on January 30.

They are aiming to continue the service customers have come to expect, but also hope to expand. The existing deliveries will be expanded to the south gate of Faslane, and from Dumbarton to Arrochar.

"Chris said he didn't realise the impact until he was leaving," said experienced retailer Toni.

"We're very much continuing Chris's legacy. He was a stalwart of the Helensburgh community."

Chris, who ran the shop with three of his sons over the years, will be at The Ashton on Saturday, February 3 from 5.30pm for anyone wishing to buy him a retirement drink.

"We're making sure the town does not miss out," said Toni of the change. "It's very exciting - nerve wracking.

"If the high street is going to survive anywhere, it will in Helensburgh. We intend to make the business the heart of the community.

"We'll build connections with schools, producers and other local businesses and we will work hard to increase our footfall by offering what the community wants and needs.

"We are very community focused. We will be community led."