Susan Inglis – Scottish Businesswoman in Nyon

In February 2015, businesswoman Susan Inglis posted a request on “Geneva Womenpreneurs”, a Facebook group for women running small businesses in the Geneva and the Vaud area. The request asked if they would like to meet up and have a chat about the challenges they faced. At that first meeting, 15 women arrived, they introduced themselves and their businesses, three months later they are now on their fourth “meet up” and the group continues to flourish.

Living in Nyon spoke to Susan to find out more about the Womenpreneurs’ group, Susan’s own business and how she is finding life in Switzerland after moving here from Scotland.

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Photo above – Susan Inglis – copyright Jane del Pozo Photography

Susan

“Before moving with my partner to Switzerland in 2012 (from Glasgow), our initial plan was to stay here for just two years but we knew within two days that we wanted to stay. Very quickly I knew I loved Nyon and felt at home immediately. I am originally from a small town like Nyon called Oban on the West Coast of  Scotland. Oban is a town surrounded by the sea and hills (see short video below) whereas Nyon with its lake and mountains, is equally beautiful.

I moved here with my partner for his job and as I knew I wasn’t going to meet anyone sitting at home, I joined Nyon tennis club.

I love tennis and through the club have built great friendships; there is a fantastic little community within the club. We try to support as much as we can with everything that is going on in Nyon: wine tasting at the château, Saturday food markets, outdoor cinema, great restaurants, music festivals, theatre and lots more, for a small town there is a lot happening.

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Learning French

Although I am used to speaking a second language (I learned Scots Gaelic at school), I really started as a beginner learning French so initially I took some private lessons and then moved on to group lessons organised by Ecole Club Migros. After six months of settling in and enjoying a fantastic summer here, I decided to give my existing business “The Purple Thistle” a try here in Switzerland. I create cushions, accessories and gifts using Scottish Harris Tweed, this material is steeped in heritage and woven by skilled and experienced artisans.

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Photo above – some of the Purple Thistle’s products

I had kept some of my original customers from the UK, but didn’t really develop anything until last year I ran a stall at my first market in Nyon. I met some great ladies at this market and we all attended the Christmas circuit of fairs together and became enthusiastic. Things then fell very quiet in January.  As I used to attend a monthly “makers” market in the West End of Glasgow, where we also visited  Edinburgh & St Andrews, I hadn’t realised how much I missed these markets and the opportunity to meet others in business.

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Photo above – Dog collars made with Harris Tweed

Forming a group for other business women

So at the end of January, I posted that comment out on the Womenpreneurs site  and I haven’t looked back. We now have our own group on Facebook with over 60 members and continue to help each other to develop our businesses! As that first event proved such a great success we realised that we all missed having a regular market to attend. Markets are essential for local creators and makers to develop relationships with their customers.

So myself and two other business women, Debbie Willis from “Bedes Beads” and Alison Philips-Pearce from “Brit Chic” began talking about how we could change this and UpMarket Markets was born, affectionately known as UMM! The first UpMarket Markets will be held at the

Hotel Beau Rivage in Nyon on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2015 from 10:00 – 16:00 

All vendors have to either have made or designed their product to be able to join UMM. We have a great range of products and produce ranging from cushions to handbags, jewellery to children’s clothes, there is even a local farm which will be selling their produce on the day.  There will also be a children’s creative ‘Make & Take’ area and ‘Gateaux & Cadeaux’ where you can enjoy a coffee with a slice of homemade cake overlooking the lake at the same time!

So after three years in Nyon I really feel I am growing some roots here now. My little dog Belle loves it too, she comes everywhere with me. Who knows what the future will bring but I am certainly going to enjoy this town and Switzerland as much as I can!”

Consumer issues in French speaking Switzerland – from Head lice lotion to Chicken nuggets.

Consumer issues in Switzerland – from head lice lotion to chicken nuggets. Plus, an appeal for winter clothes for asylum seekers, drop off in Nyon and Gland.

If you are interested in consumer issues here in French speaking Switzerland and want to know more about the products and services you buy and use, then Living in Nyon can recommend two excellent sources of information. The first is “Bon A Savoir” (Good to Know) –  a monthly magazine which can be found in many newsagents including Naville.

At just CHF 4.50 it’s packed with info and tests on products. November’s issue tested 8 different bottles of head lice lotion and produced a graph with its results. See here.

Also in this month’s issue are tests on the dried fruit that can be found for sale in main supermarkets. These fruits were checked for their pesticide and preservative content, provenance, cost per 100g etc. The results are surprising!

Not all of the tests are not available online, you have to subscribe or buy the magazine to see all the results. However the savings to be found in some of the magazine’s comparative testings on products such as  health insurance premiums, and telephone charges more than make up for the purchase price!  Even if your French is quite basic, you should be able to understand the tests and their results.

Bon a Savoir

A Bon Entendeur (ABE) is a television programme produced by RTS TV and broadcast on a Tuesday night and this also covers consumer issues  ranging from an analysis of the actual meat content in the chicken nuggets that are sold in shops and fast food outlets, to the maze of “packages” offered by telephone and internet companies to consumers.  See a programme from the 14th October here

Mens clothing and toiletries required for asylum seekers in Gland 

 EVAM, the (Etablissement Vaudois D’accueil des Migrants) in Gland has put out an urgent appeal for warm coats,  jackets,  jeans,  trousers , belts,  shoes (all kinds), socks,  gloves,  woolly hats,  scarves,  back-packs, hold-alls,  bath towels (all sizes) and toiletries for the male asylum seekers currently in the Gland reception centre and waiting a decision on their future.  At this stage of their asylum application, the men are not allowed to work unless their application status changes. Further info here

Clothes can be dropped off at the following places.

1. Nyon: Centre Horizons, Maison de Paroisse, ch. des Eules.  Bin at door.

2. Gland: Chapelle Catholique, chemin de l’Abbaye, go down steps on left – bin

For further info on the work of EVAM see their frequently asked questions page on their website here. 

A New York concept in Nyon – Healthy take away food from Falaque

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A New York concept in Nyon – Healthy take away food from Falaque

When Sharin Hossain first moved to Vaud in 2006 she was surprised at how difficult it was to get a healthy takeaway or delivery service in the area. Having previously lived in New York, she was used to the convenience and choice of dial up food delivery services. Finding nothing similar here, Sharin spotted a gap in the market and set about creating her own take-away business. She prepared a healthy selection of Bangladeshi dishes cooked in her own kitchen in the village of Crans, her husband handled the deliveries and the Falaque business was born.

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After quickly acquiring a loyal customer base for these home-made meals, she knew she was on to a winner. She offered, every Friday, a full dinner with a starter, main, vegetable, rice and dessert, all delivered to the customer’s home. The idea worked so well and the food itself was so highly praised, she knew that the next logical step would be to open a small take away / restaurant in the local area.

A fresh and modern look for fresh and modern food

So she went on the hunt for premises. After a long wait and a few hiccups along the way, Sharin finally found the perfect location in Nyon at the south end of Place Perdtemps. She commissioned a local architect to redesign the space and gave them the brief of turning the place into a modern eatery.

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“The last thing I wanted was a place with clichéd Indian statues and objects everywhere. I wanted the look to reflect the food which is fresh and fun. Plus, I won’t always be preparing Bengali/Indian food all the time, although my roots lie in Bengali cooking, there will be occasions when I will try other types of international cuisines”.

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Photo above: Sharin in the kitchen in view from the restaurant

Sharin also put in a request for an open hatch to be visible from the restaurant itself so customers could see both Sharin and her kitchen staff preparing and cooking the meals in the kitchen beyond.

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Another satisfied customer!

Sharin’s reputation at providing delicious food cooked at home has now continued at the restaurant and customers trust her to provide a variety of interesting and menus each day. Customers who order a meal are now given the option of an “express” meal, a “sports” meal or a “fun” meal with a simple, basic pricing structure. Falaque has now become an institution in the area and it has received a lot of praise and happy customers judging by its Facebook page. Living in Nyon has sampled the food, and can highly recommend it! Try it for yourself!

New customers get a discount on their first order and home deliveries on a Monday and Tuesday are free. Falaque is open every day apart from Sunday.

The choice of tasty menus for each day and for the entire week are posted on the website, vegetarian options are always available.  For full details see here

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Reminder – late night shopping in Nyon tonight until 22:00

If you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, then you can take advantage of “Les Nocturnes” late night shopping in Nyon tonight (the 20th December) until 22:00.   Plus on Sunday, small family shops will be open in the town between 10:00 and 18:00.

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Where to buy a turkey for Christmas and late night shopping in Nyon

Throughout the year Living in Nyon receives many local retail questions and particularly in December on where to by a turkey for Christmas.

Most large supermarkets and the Manor supermarket in Chavanne centre sell turkeys (turkey/une dinde in French), however, Living in Nyon’s favourite place to shop is the Marc Deblue butcher in the centre of Nyon. Their meats and products are always of excellent locally sourced quality, they sell lard grillé too, (smoked bacon) which is always a hit with its British customers. Plus, the staff in this shop and the owner of course are very friendly! See a review here on Yelp by a customer from Austin, Texas.

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The shop itself has been hidden away somewhat recently whilst there has been construction of the new Mcdonalds extension next door,  but they have always been open for business, so give them a try!  If you want to buy a turkey, you need to order it  in advance, just decide how many kilos you want , leave your name and it should be ready to pick up on the day you want.

Address: Rue de la Gare 22, 1260 Nyon.  Téléphone :0 22 361 28 04

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Friendly Pierre in the Deblue butcher

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Late night shopping in Nyon and Sunday opening

There will be two late night (nocturnes) shopping days in Nyon over the Christmas period, on Friday 20th and Monday 23rd December, the shops will be open on those days until 22:00. On Sunday 22nd December, local family run shops will be open in Nyon from 10:00 to 18:00