Honesty boxes in Shetland
by Allison Christie -
Driving through Shetland, you’ll see signs saying ‘eggs for sale’ at the roadside. It’s a simple case of stopping to take your eggs out of a box, note what you bought in a notepad, if there is one, leave your money in a tub and off you go!
Some of our honesty boxes take it a step further and also offer jams, bread, fudge and home baking. Honesty boxes started as a good way for locals to share the bounty of eggs produced by their own hens and ducks, and those who bake use these free range eggs in their baking too.
Usually a hobby juggled between work and family commitments, our much appreciated honesty bakers may only be stirring up delights on certain days or at certain times of the year. We suggest you find them on Facebook and check what they have on offer before you visit, but when you do find one, you’re likely to be met with a gorgeous selection of tiffins, cupcakes, bannocks and biscuits.
Like most things in life, the majority of people will not only act honestly, but will show their appreciation in other ways, perhaps by leaving a good review or leaving a tip. But let’s not be naïve – the small risk of petty thieving or vandalism is minimised either by honesty boxes being within sight of the owners or some honesty boxes go as far as installing cameras to guard against those risks. We know you’ll do the right thing!
Here’s where to find out more about Shetland’s most popular honesty boxes and cake fridges, but keep your eyes peeled wherever you’re driving and take a look in any produce boxes you find.
Hayfield Croft Produce (above) on the west mainland of Shetland on the B9071 between Voe and Aith is credited as the original Cake Fridge, and now also runs a gorgeous tearoom on the site. You’ll find eggs and croft produce here as well as a huge range of cakes and bakes here, and an excellent range of gluten free, egg free and dairy free/vegan options.
Marina’s Kitchen Cabinet (above) in West Burra, just before you reach the Shetland Pony Riding Club near Bannamin, is another fantastic cake fridge to visit. On Sundays you’ll find fresh puddings, and through the week you’ll find cupcakes, tiffin and bannocks.
Transition Turriefield is a working croft with a farm box, definitely one to check for fresh eggs and seasonal fruit and vegetables. They also operate a vegetable box scheme throughout Shetland and classes in growing your own here in Shetland.
Sand Honesty Box (above) is another great place to try, next to a bus shelter on the road to the Gairdins of Sand on the West Mainland. Open through the summer, you’ll find fabulous homebakes and eggs here.
Astrid’s Cakes in South Nesting is another delight to visit through summer. Astrid is probably our youngest baker and bakes regularly through the school summer holidays in July and August. She specialises in dairy, egg and gluten free cakes and beautiful pancakes!
Emma’s Cake Corner (above) is in Sandwick, next to the Hoswick Visitor Centre, and another fantastic place to visit. A great selection of tiffins, home bakes and gluten, dairy and egg free cakes, it’s well stocked and always a delight.
Da Barn, Hillswick in Northmavine is a new one to check out for fresh vegetables and home produce too. Popular with horses, we hear…
The Norwick Egg Box in Unst is another one to check out. A great place for fresh eggs, jam and homebakes too.
Katja’s Cakes you will find in the Unkenwagen, a converted bus that will bring you barista coffee, tea, hot chocolates as well as savoury and sweet cake options. The bus is often open for business on North Lochside in Lerwick but also travels to various spots throughout Shetland, including Sumburgh Head Lighthouse.
We hope you find some surprises in our honesty boxes across Shetland, and if you find any that aren’t listed here, do let us know – a trip in the name of research is always welcomed!