The shop was originally built by Walter Ballantyne & Son: Grocers, Wine Merchants and Italian Warehousemen. It was then a sort of giant general store, selling goods from ladies’ shoes to their own whisky. Ballantynes sadly closed in the early 1970s with the advent of supermarkets. After Ballantynes, the space was run as a rather wonderful and eccentric auction house – busy monthly sales dominated life in St Boswells (and provided much of the furniture in Rosamund and Bill’s house!).
As much as possible has been preserved from the original shop fit, including what are believed to be the original front doors, (beautifully restored by Shaun Fagan, former Mainstreet staffer), now reused in the café.
2007 – PRESENT
Rosamund and Bill bought the Mainstreet buildings in 2007. After fairly extensive renovations, the bookshop and café opened in June 2008 – perfectly timed with the recession, ebooks and rise of Am**on… Despite this, their mission has always been to champion what they love and offer customers a wonderful shopping experience.
In 2012, they developed the beautiful barn behind the main shop to create Mainstreet Deli & Home. 15 years on, the shop has gained a wonderful, loyal customer-base, with new people coming through the doors every day. Mainstreet has won a number of prestigious prizes over the years including Britain’s Best Small Shop (2018), Deli of the Year (2014), Independent Bookshop of the Year (2012), Children’s Bookseller of the Year (2010) and Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year (2011).