As Aberdeenshire sweltered in the glorious heat and sunshine, Collieston Gala showcased a trio of food enterprises based in the picturesque seaside village. The Smugglers Cone opened for business on Thursday in the shelter beside the beach; the Coastal Café, an award-winning teenage community social enterprise is open every weekend over the summer; and Loaf Face Cookery Co-operative resumed the sale of their award-winning artisan ‘loafies’, through a collaboration with Murdoch Allan of Hatton.
The Smugglers Cone offers ice creams, sweets, snacks, drinks and toys. It has great support within the village as it provides a much valued service to visitors and locals alike. Villagers especially have been feeling the lack of a general store, since Collieston Post Office closed its doors several years ago. With the wonderful weather of late, let’s hope that Nicole Bell and Katy Smith develop a thriving new retail outlet providing a very welcome cool down opportunity with Rizza’s ice cream. Gala day saw a never-ending queue of eager ice cream purchasers which was a delight to Nicole and Katy, “we are over-whelmed by the amazing support of this wonderful community we call home; we have been rushed off our feet each day we’ve been open; it really is fabulous!”.
This has been a superb year for Collieston Coastal Café so far. In April, the teenage café staff visited the Scottish Parliament to be presented with Saltire Awards for volunteering, presented by our First Minister Alex Salmond. In May, Collieston Action for Teens won the Best of Formartine Award from Aberdeenshire Council, one for the Coastal Café, one for Rainbow Recycling; two teenage projects in the village. Both projects illustrate the strong community ethos which is being nurtured in Collieston’s young people, alongside the development of valuable skills in customer service, food hygiene and business skills required to run a successful enterprise; skills which should assist our teenagers on their life journeys beyond Collieston’s shores. Sally Sheehan said: “our young people are an asset to our village; we on the Community Council are delighted to support them and give them a good grounding in the benefits of living in a fun-loving, socially-minded community”.
Gala Day saw the return of Loaf Face to the pier to sell their award-winning loafies. The Cookery Co-operative launched their artisan bakery on Collieston Pier in 2007 and went on to win various awards, including the Formartine Forum’s Dragon’s Den Competition in 2007 and two gold medals for innovation in their produce in 2009. Since 2011, Loaf Face has been running bread bakery courses with The Friendly Food Company near Oldmeldrum. This year, they have entered a collaborative partnership with the Murdoch Allan Bakery near Hatton to resume baking and to jointly distribute the Loaf Face produce alongside Murdoch Allan’s bakery produce. Loaf Face were delighted with the welcome comments they received from former customers who had been missing their hearty, wholesome, tasty and quirky produce. One happy customer, Sarah MacPherson said: “Loving my toasted loaf this morning, very glad you came to gala. Yum Yum!!!”.