Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Wake up and smell the coffee at Aberdeenshire cafe

Owners Jonny and Ali of Coffee Apothecary
Owners Jonny and Ali of Coffee Apothecary

From the beautiful location to the quirky interior, there’s something rather special about Coffee Apothecary.

Whether you’re a die hard coffee drinker in search of sweet nectar, or a passing cyclist in need of a feed, dedicated owners Jonny and Ali Aspden will keep you right.

It’s hard to believe that there is not one, but two branches which can be found in Udny and Ellon, given that the couple had to undertake huge renovations before they could even open.

We meet at the Udny base, where Ali and Jonny also happen to live on site.

Jonny and Ali were inspired by coffee shops in Australia.

From their passion for coffee of the highest quality, to delicious offerings which include beef brisket, we found out why they’re continuing to brew the ultimate dream in beautiful Aberdeenshire.

“It must have been 2014 when we undertook a huge renovation,” says Ali, having taken her first sip of, yes you guessed it, coffee.

“This place used to be a village shop, no drainage. It was a cold dump, but in the nicest possible way.

“Jonny is eternally optimistic, whereas I question if something is going to work.”

The menu offers everything from sweet treats to enticing meals.

Work it most certainly did, from the gorgeous low lighting to rustic style wooden tables, and the lovely seating area outside.

But what made the pair open a coffee shop in the first place?

“So, the Melbourne coffee scene is amazing,” says Jonny.

“That’s where we got our inspiration from. We always thought to ourselves, wouldn’t it be cool to run our own little place?

“So we’ve tried to recreate Melbourne, in Aberdeenshire. When we were travelling, we were in a camper van and we were just outside Niagara falls.

“We had a list on the wall of possible names, and there was a museum called The Niagara Apothecary.

“The name just clicked in my head.

“We wanted to bring speciality coffee to this part of Scotland.”

The speciality coffee is ethically sourced

Coffee Apothecary got up and running, and the team started out by serving basic  dishes, such as soup and bacon rolls.

The menu of today is slightly more fancy, and dishes include Moroccan beans served with poached eggs on sourdough toast.

The ingredients however, has been kept relatively simple, and more importantly, local.

“So when we started, it was just me and one chef,” says Ali.

“Now we have two other chefs and we wanted to get our food up to the same stand as our coffee.

“There’s more than 50 dishes across the two cafes, I particularly love the pork belly baguette which we serve in Ellon.

There’s a wide range of dishes on offer.

“We try our best to use seasonal ingredients, and we also back local. So our eggs come from Whiterashes only a few miles away.

“The meat is reared by local farmers and butchered by Ewan Morrice in Stuartfield, and our fish comes straight to us from Aberdeen harbour.

“The beef brisket is pretty amazing as well.

“Sometimes people are just popping past, and they end up staying for lunch.

“I remember when we decided to do afternoon teas, and I thought we might sell a few. We ended up selling more than 500.”

Fooie triumphs aside,  what makes an incredible cup of coffee?

Ali and Jonny believe that Aberdeen is running behind the rest of the country when it comes to offering a superior bean, but is gradually catching up.

“So Edinburgh and Glasgow are heaving with high end end coffee shops,” says Jonny.

“There tends to be more chain type shops in Aberdeen, but I think more and more independent coffee shops will start to happen.

The rustic decor adds to the appeal

“A speciality coffee is a coffee which is graded 80 points or above.”

This means that the coffee has been grown at the perfect altitude at the correct time of year in the best soil, and picked at just the right time.

“It’s almost like wine with tasting notes, and it’s traceable to farm level,” says Jonny.

“We’ll soon be offering an incredibly special type of coffee which can sell for up to £10 a cup, and costs more than £100 for a kilo.

“We’ll be offered a coffee that can be brewed from frozen in the coming weeks, so that’s exciting.

“Our food menu is also constantly evolving. We try to include rhubarb grown in our garden, and we also have a herb garden out the back.”

Local ingredients are used where possible.

Aside from the day to day challenges of running two busy cafes, Ali and Jonny also believe that not many people are aware that they can pop along for dinner at the Ellon site.

“I think people don’t understand the concept of the evening cafe, ” says Ali.

“The menu is a bit different, you can order a coffee or a cheeseboard. Whatever you fancy.”

With their eyes firmly trained on an exciting new project, which is currently top secret, Ali and Jonny are excited for the future.

“I think people assume that owning a coffee shop is quite romantic, and you spend your day talking to all the customers,” says Ali.

“That’s not quite true, it’s a lot of hard work.

“But we have absolutely no regrets.”

You can find out more about Coffee Apothecary via 


This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.