Friday, 22 February 2013


Staff at a Port Isaac fudge retailer have found a sweet way of raising £1,000 for the Cornwall Air Ambulance.

Mike Meakins, who works at the Buttermilk Shop, presented the charity cheque to Susie Smith from the Cornwall Air Ambulance this week after hitting upon a novel way of raising money.

Enterprising Mike noticed that the shop on Church Hill had started to become a tourist destination in its own right. By day, the shop specialises in selling Cornish fudge, but it also doubles for Doc Martin’s pharmacy when the ever-popular ITV series uses it for filming.

After visiting the shop, two Australian journalists wrote about it in TV Week magazine and sent a copy to Mike, who occasionally appears as an extra in the series. The piece was framed and put up in the shop. But with so many customers asking for a copy Mike contacted his son-in-law Ben Broadhurst of Concorde Copiers to help.

The pair make A3 copies of the article and sell them in the shop priced at £2. So far, 1,000 have sold, raising £2,000. A £1,000 cheque was presented to the RNLI in November with a further £1,000 being handed over to the Cornwall Air Ambulance this week.

Mike added: “Many tourists come in to buy some fudge as a result of seeing the shop in Doc Martin. The article has proved to be a real talking point so we thought it would be worth seeing if they’d sell as people are constantly asking if they can buy one. We’re putting them on sale much earlier this year, and the crew of Doc Martin are returning to film the latest series soon, so logically, we should be able to raise even more for these two very worthy charities.

“We chose the RNLI and the Cornwall Air Ambulance as they are very dear to the hearts of local people and all the staff who work in the Buttermilk Shop. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported the initiative and helped raise money for these two great causes.”

Tracy McDonnell, owner of the Buttermilk Shop, added: “We have a fantastic team in the shop and we’re so grateful to Mike for leading this terrific plan to raise money for charity. We are particularly touched by his efforts as our baby son was airlifted by the Cornwall Air Ambulance last year so we know first-hand what a superb service they provide which is essential for our rural community.”

Susie Smith, fundraising manager at Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, said: “We love it when our fundraisers come up with novel ways of supporting Cornwall Air Ambulance, and the Buttermilk Shop have really proved themselves to be the cream of the crop! With no direct government or National Lottery funding, we rely on the generosity of the people and businesses of Cornwall to fly around 1,000 emergency missions every year, keeping this service free at the point of need for anyone who needs it: young or old, visitor or local.”

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