The pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for those in hospitality, however, there have been some entrepreneurs who have managed to open their doors during it.
Not wanting to hold off from chasing their dreams any longer, a handful of determined people have managed to successfully open their own restaurants and cafes at a time when hospitality was badly hit by restrictions and rules.
In Aberdeenshire alone, we’ve seen seven firms thrive and to nod to their success we have shared a little about each of them below.
La Casa Bella – Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Opening his restaurant in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire just three days before lockdown, Hassan Adrif, owner of La Casa Bella had to think on his feet fast if he wanted his business, something he has spent months developing, to survive.
Moving to offer takeaway for the majority of its time open, it recently welcomed customers to sit-in, which has gone down a storm with locals.
Hassan is the former owner of popular Aberdeen Italian eatery Mi Amore, which he sold after 10 years.
Address: 4A North Street, Inverurie, AB51 4QR
Hazelnut Patisserie – Braemar, Aberdeenshire
Mathilde Lacouriere and Ros Evans launched Hazelnut Patisserie in spring last year offering up fancy patisserie to the locals of Braemar.
Their products have been in hot demand since, and they have seen huge success as a result.
Hazelnut Patisserie launched in the premises of Ros’ previous cafe space, Taste, which she has owned and run for the past 17 years with her husband Dave.
The venue reopens for the season on April 1 after a much welcomed break.
Address: Airlie House, Chapel Brae, Braemar, Ballater, AB35 5YT
Almondine – Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Sticking to the patisserie theme, the sisters behind successful French patisserie, Almondine, in Aberdeen opened their second venue in December last year.
The town of Inverurie welcomed them with open arms and have continued to support them by purchasing their beloved macarons and highly sought after cakes.
Address: 2 Burn Lane, Inverurie, AB51 4UZ
Trellis Coffee Shop – Newburgh, Aberdeenshire
Trellis Coffee Shop was the first part of local woman Lorna Younge’s multi-stage property development in bringing back the Udny Arms Hotel in Newburgh.
The cafe, which is adjacent to the hotel opened in May last year.
At the head of kitchen operations is Mechelle Clark, former owner of Aberdeen’s popular cheese toastie firm Melt. As well as her famous toasties, customers can also expect Instagrammable baked goods that almost look too good to eat.
Address: 50 Main Street, Newburgh, Ellon, AB41 6BL
The Hill Deli – Westhill, Aberdeenshire
Louise Morgan opened her cafe inspired by some of London and Edinburgh’s top “Instagrammable” venues in August last year.
The newer addition to Westhill was much needed with minimal options for breakfast available within the town and locals have been indulging in a variety of the dishes on offer.
Serving food all day, it is the perfect breakfast, brunch or lunch spot.
Address: Kingshill commercial park, Venture Drive, Westhill, AB32 6FQ
Duncano’s Bistro – Westhill, Aberdeenshire
Another new addition to Westhill, Duncano’s has taken the town by storm.
Bringing plenty of cocktails and wine to the area, you’ll find a dedicated lunch menu as well as a tapas dinner menu to work your way through.
Their Sunday roast offering has also been launched to huge success with people across the north-east flocking to get a bite of the action.
Address: Unit 17, Westhill Shopping Centre, Old Skene Road, Westhill, AB32 6RL
The Bank Restaurant – Huntly, Aberdeenshire
Opening today (March 23) The Bank Restaurant has had a full makeover by its new owners Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky.
The Huntly-based whisky brand took over the venue in July last year and have been hard at work renovating it over the past eight months.
The restaurant is all set in one space and has a capacity of 42 and dishes available include ham hock terrine, battered hake, three-cheese macaroni, a vegetarian burger and more.
Address: 2 The Square, Huntly, AB54 8AE