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Eco-friendly food and drink business growth will create new jobs on Harris

Amanda Saurin.
Amanda Saurin.

The expansion of an eco-friendly food and drink business is expected to more than double its small workforce on an island in the Outer Hebrides.

Amanda Saurin, owner of the Temple Café, at Northton in south Harris, plans to develop a coffee roastery, smokery and food preparation facilities after acquiring a disused building in nearby Leverburgh.

The move will also allow her company, Temple Harris, to expand its recently launched Wild Eve non-alcoholic drinks range.

The growth of the business, which currently employs five people, is expected to create six new year-round jobs.

Ms Saurin bought the Temple Café and the croft across the road from it, near the remains of an old stone temple, after moving to Harris with her husband, Julian, two years ago.

With an interest in botanicals, as part of her previous apothecary business, she had been a regular visitor to the Outer Hebrides, working with the Isle of Harris Distillery.

The Temple Cafe.

Everything sold at the café is made by hand, using locally sourced botanicals, including baked goods, jams, teas and beauty products.

The Wild Eve drink is created using ingredients such as roses, oat tops and honeysuckle harvested from the couple’s croft, along with sugar kelp seaweed from the nearby shore.

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is backing the company’s expansion with funding of up to £124,834.

Ms Saurin said: “I started looking around for another building and found one in Leverburgh that had been empty for a few years.

“This additional building, which is not too far from our current Northton café, will allow us to grow the business and offer more food and drink ranges from locally sourced produce.

“We are delighted with the support received from HIE for our expansion project.”

HIE account manager, Gordon Macdonald, added: “This exciting project adds to the rich variety and high-quality food and drink offering found in Harris.

“There is growing interest in products that use local ingredients and promote product provenance.

“Providing year-round jobs in South Harris is great news and I am very pleased we have been able to provide support.”

To reduce the number of vehicles that drive through Northton, Ms Saurin is planning to offer bikes for customers to cycle from the main road to the café, with a discount as an incentive.

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