Britain’s Best Small Shop 2018 – Deli of the Year 2014 – Best Bookshop The Telegraph
1838 - 1978
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. Ballantyne’s 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.Read more
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.
2008 - present
We bought the Mainstreet buildings in 2007. After fairly extensive renovations, the bookshop and café opened in June 2008. Our mission has always been to champion what we love, and offer customers a wonderful shopping experience. In 2012, we developed the beautiful barn behind the main shop to create our Deli & Home shop.
More than 10 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 Best Small Shop (2018), Deli of the Year (2014) Independent Bookshop of the Year (2012), Children’s Bookseller of the Year (2010) and Deli of the Year (2014) and Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year (2011).Close
… AND NOW WE ARE 10
As part of our 10th birthday celebrations in 2018, we ‘anointed’ long-standing supporters of the shop,
Sir Michael Morpurgo & Maggie O’Farrell as…
Portraits painted for our window display by Di Lumley
Like many bookshops, our talented team includes people from all walks of life including several artists (see our famous window displays), a genetic scientist and a sheep farmer who asked for a job simply to ensure she spoke to humans at least once a week.
Originally from the west coast of Scotland, Rosamund was children’s marketing director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books for years, working on the Harry Potter series from the beginning. She has an understandable bias towards children’s books, but has been busy reading more ‘grown up’ books since opening the shop.
Formerly a freelance professional photographer, Bill retrained as a chef in 2007. He runs the food side of Mainstreet. Since opening the deli in 2012, he has become something of a cheese-obsessive, a judge for the World Cheese Awards, ask him what’s good right now when you visit the Deli.
Vivian & Courtney
Manager, Vivian has been with Mainstreet almost since the very beginning and, along with Rosamund, buys our book stock. Over the years, she’s worked in almost every department, but books are where her heart is. Since starting with us last Nov, Courtney has been putting her marketing & tech skills to great use, helping to create our new online shop in a matter of days.
Mully & Lewis
Assistant manager, Mully is famed for his latte art and rugby skills, and, most importantly, keeping calm under pressure in our busy cafe. Lewis is busy studying part time, while working at Mainstreet and, delicious local restaurant, The Hoebridge. His scones are not to be missed.
Jessie & Alice
Assistant manager, Jessie has worked at Mainstreet for many years already, a talented cook, she’s always changing things up and trying delicious new recipes from our cookbook range. Alice joined the team as an engineering graduate, luckily her skills are very diverse, and she’s a great new member of the team.
Michelle joined Mainstreet in 2012 just as we launched the deli. She has worked across all areas of the shop, but is now a key part of the Deli & Home team. She previously worked as a genetic scientist at the Roslin Institute, including working on ‘Dolly’ the sheep.
Books, Cafe & Windows
Mainstreet is well known for having beautifully painted window displays – a large part of the credit for this goes to our talented bookseller/artist, Di. She can turn her hand to almost anything, little is more enjoyable than being treated to a new window by Di.
Cafe, Books & Windows
Jack is the other half of our current ‘windows’ team, equally talented, with a wonderfully quirky sense of humour. He’s also recently taken on buying our sci-fi/graphic novel section, so watch out for lots of cool new stuff.
Luna is no longer this size. She still has huge feet, we’re not sure when she will stop growing, but she’s now officially a water dog, loving her leaps into the nearby river Tweed.
Local designer, Vivienne Seeley, created our Mainstreet logo, brilliantly combining the charm of illustration with crisp Gill Sans lettering, she has worked with us ever since. Together, we have developed a small range of Mainstreet merchandise including mugs, aprons, pencils, notebooks and bags. Our most recent mugs are decorated with gorgeous line drawings of Mainstreet by Shaun Fagan (former Mainstreet staffer).