Stay in Cupar
Liana Steven moved to Cupar in 1994 for a job with Fife Council and “fell in love with Cupar and the area“. Today, she is running Stay in Cupar promoting accommodation in properties she manages in the town. We caught up with Liana to discover more …
Liana explains how she got into the tourism business: “As company director and business development manager of Wilson Steven Transport, I needed to be available to deal with business issues promptly – but it was not a full time career.” She adds: “Doing B&B offered me the chance to meet new people and share a wonderful area with them in short bursts.”
And it is the area that is a real passion. Liana says: “We have great links to rest of Scotland, beautiful scenery and a sunny, relatively dry climate … relative compared to the west coast!”
Careful planning and scheduling meant that Liana was able to work both in the office as well as to be available around check in and check out times … and to be around for her children.
Since 2006, she has provided B&B accommodation. “My children grew older and the markets changed, so in 2014 I made the move to also provide self-catered options.”
This year, as for so many, has been a big challenge – but especially so for those in the tourism sector. Before the lockdown, Liana was always planning changes to develop the business further. “I wanted to develop a new brand and move away from the ‘Wester Dura’ name that had been the B&B. So – after a lot of work – Wester Dura is no longer providing B&B and I have launched Stay in Cupar.”
It has always been Liana’s mission to provide accommodation where guests feel very welcome and feel at home in their own private space – knowing that their host is on hand, if needed.
The development of the new brand and website reflects the success and growth of her business. “Currently, I have four properties which enable me to try and accommodate different guests’ needs and different group sizes.” We ask what has been the biggest contributing factor to building her business: “Listening to guests and acting on their feedback” is her reply, adding. “It has ensured I get many repeat guests and it allows growth and development as the needs and expectations of those visiting continue to change.”
The business is Liana – but with great support from many local businesses. She explains: “I manage the properties myself and I use The Steamie for all washing, drying and ironing linens. I continue to invest in all four properties and that gives numerous jobs to local tradesmen (sometimes they tell me too many!) – from maintenance and redecoration to gas safety checks as well as other upgrades on an ongoing basis.”
Three Monks & The Fab Four
We asked Liana what she sees as her greatest achievement to date: “On a personal level, meeting some wonderfully interesting people and sharing a bit of their lives. How many other jobs involve having three Tibetan monks and the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine builder sat on your patio together … having a pot of tea … whilst watching bats?”
On a business level? “It is great to be able to help people – whatever their accommodation needs. When a family has been flooded out of their house and arrive stressed and upset, it is wonderful to give them somewhere safe, warm and dry and with toys and some basics in the fridge. Beyond that, repeat business, positive recommendations and many, many contacts which begin “so-and-so gave me your details – they knew if anyone could help, you could!” … all of it gives me great job satisfaction.”
So who stays with Stay in Cupar? Liana says: “A wonderful mix of holiday makers, visitors to local families, short term contract workers, locals moving out whilst builders do the messy stuff, and increasingly, house hunters who sell first and need flexible short term accommodation so they can offer “chain free” as soon as the right house comes on market.”
As with all who feature on our Blog profiles, we asked Liana what she would recommend in or around Cupar for anyone visiting for the first time – or for the first time in a long time: “Park the car and wander round Cupar, find the restaurants up little closes, look at the range of shops, explore its history, walk along the river or up to Tarvit Ponds and enjoy the calm.”
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