07 June 2021

The Isle of Man is spoilt for choice when it comes to independent businesses. These businesses have often grown into well-established favourites for locals, with many being family-run businesses that have been passed down through generations, and others founded by families looking to build something of their own.

LoveIOM have collated just a few of these independents that have ‘kept it in the family’…


Danny and Claire Quirk-Kermeen, owners of Kermelly Seafoods Ltd, took ownership of Manx fishing vessel Ramsey Jak in 2018. However, COVID-19 forced the business to stop their off-Island fish export.

During the first COVID-19 lockdown, Kermelly’s diversified its offering and launched a delivery service for those in self-isolation and an off-the-boat service selling fish to customers. Social distanced queues stretched along the quayside to the Ramsey Jak to collect their produce.

Throughout the past year, Kermelly’s has experienced high demand so the decision was made to open a fishmonger shop offering takeaway food and drink in the heart of Ramsey.

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The Tartan Group (The Boutyard & Vibe)

The Tartan Group, founded by the Mowat family in 2013, opened The Boatyard, a lunch and dinner restaurant based in Peel, which offers seafood straight from the boat and meat from local butchers. The family also owned a second successful restaurant, Tanrogan; a seafood restaurant aptly located by the quayside in Douglas.

Partners Joan and Graham ran both restaurants before handing the reins to their daughter Laura, alongside her brother Robin..In an ever-changing world, The Tartan Group is close to launching ‘VIBE’ a plant-based café replacing their seafood restaurant, Tanrogan.

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Roy Newson founded Newson’s Trading Company Ltd on the North Quay in 1955 having access to the United Kingdoms’ biggest suppliers of outdoor clothing.

In 1969, Roy’s son John Newson began working full-time at the business. John ushered the business into a new era in the 1980s by introducing payments via credit cards, whilst increasing the range of goods the business offers.

More recently, John has kept the business moving forward by adding famous outdoor brands such as Berghaus to their product line and in the last 18 months, Newsons have moved their premises into the centre of Douglas.

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Mann Vend

Patrick Leahy moved to Kenya to start the very first Tea Auction in Africa 1956. Patrick was accompanied by his son Brian Leahy.

In 1966, Brian moved to Papua New Guinea to run a coffee plantation, before returning to the Isle of Man to establish Mannin Tea & Coffee in 1967.

The business began importing tea and coffee to the Isle of Man whilst providing businesses with hot drinks machines. Fast forward to 2006, and Mann Vend received the Company of the Year Award at the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence. In 2008, Brian’s daughter Tracey Leahy became a Managing Director of the business.

In its third generation, Mann Vend launched digital screens for advertising on all vending machines.

Through their innovative marketing efforts, MannVend was awarded the award for Marketing PR at the 2015 Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence.

In 2016, Mann Vend became a driving force for the use of Vegware, a compostable range of products used for their vending machines, and furthered their sustainable stance  by securing a composting license at a local green waste facility.

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Rileys Garden Centre

Previously known as JR Riley LTD on Quines Corner until 2004, JR Riley expanded the business and launched Riley’s Garden Centre in March 2005 on Cooil Road, Douglas.

Established for 139 years and now in the hands of the family’s 5th generation Riley’s Garden Centre continues to offer quality garden, home and lifestyle products and a café providing a range of homemade and locally sourced meals.

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