Updated: May 25
This is the first in what should hopefully be a series of posts showcasing the wonderful businesses we have around the Loch Ness area. Times are hard now for so many of us and small businesses in particular are really struggling due to the knock-on effects of Covid-19
With that in mind we feel that it's important to promote and talk about the wealth of great local businesses we have in the area. First up we have Glen Rowan Cafe owned by Aimi and Victoria Gdula. You'll find the cafe on the Skye Road heading out of Invermoriston and they're obviously very popular during the tourist season. Not only that, they've achieved a 5 star rating on Tripadvisor and their reviews range from, 'GREAT food and service', 'lovely friendly atmosphere' to 'wonderful food and hosts', which goes some way to show how popular they've become. I managed to get a few words with the Aimi and Victoria and this is what they had to say:
Can you tell us a little about yourselves?
We’re a small family owned cafe found on the road to the Isle Of Skye. We took on the business at the start of 2018 after moving up from London where Aimi was a Head Chef and Victoria was a Front of House Manager at a Theatre in London. After purchasing the business we redecorated the cafe, put a new fresh menu into place showcasing the best local ingredients and freshest produce we could find.
In the Front of House we have tried to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where we have a laugh with customers and enjoy making them smile every day, it’s our pleasure to welcome people from all over the world and try and give them an eating experience that they can take away with them. This is definitely one of our favourite things about running our own business. From behind our counter we have an excellent selection of drinks and Victoria enjoys serving the best local coffee we could find from the Highland Roast Company of Inverness. The baking is made on site by us and as such we never have to freeze or defrost our baking only freshly baked cakes. Aimi makes a lot of the Menu herself with delicious handmade burgers, stews, soups and everyone talks about the homemade chips! We have lots of variety on the menu with many dishes suitable for many dietary requirements/ preferences. In our first year we were lucky enough to be a finalist for "Friendliest Cafe in the North" at the Scottish Cafe Awards and last year we won "Best Casual Dining Restaurant in the North" at the Scottish Hospitality Awards, very proud and humbled of our achievements in he past 2 years.
What's your favourite time of year in the Highlands?
Favourite time of year has to be Spring, the weather is always that little bit more special after a cold winter and most tourists are surprised how sunny it can get in Scotland, it's not all about the sideways rain haha!
What music inspires you?
We have a vinyl player in house and have literally hundreds of vinyls that we have found in charity shops or local customers have very generously given us some from their own collection, a big shout out to the local ambulance service for the many boxes they donated because they are all amazing! We love listening to the classics like Carole King, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, the music that transports people back in time and makes them smile with memories, it always leads to happy chats.
Do you have any tips for anyone planning to set up a new business? Anyone starting up a new business I would say give it time, it always takes a while to get established with your intentions, if you do what you do best people will always come back! Concentrate on you and do the best that you can, it's hard work but so so worth it!
You can find the Glen Rowan Cafe on the A887 Skye Road in Invermoriston. We of course wish them all the very best and hope to see them reopen once the worst of the Pandemic has eased.
That said, they've not been taking easy during the lockdown and they have done their own little bit for the NHS. So let's give the final word to them from over on their Instagram page.
"With yesterday’s announcement on a further extension to the lockdown and the advice from the government remaining the same, we will unfortunately have to remain closed, our priority is to to keep our customers, our community and ourselves safe. Rest assured, our return will come and when it arrives you'll be able to drink as much coffee and eat as much cake as you like!
A huge shout out to Inverness Coffee Roasters for very kindly grinding and re bagging the beans we had so we could donate them to some key workers who really deserve them. We delivered half to the Ambulance centre in Inverness and the rest to the Portree community hospital (pictures above) who are working so hard right now."
A huge THANKYOU to all the NHS Staff and Key workers out there we really appreciate all that you do!! Thank you to everyone for all the messages of support and queries about reopening, We assure you we are remaining positive and can’t wait to see everyone when we are allowed to all be together again…