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The Shop at Daviot: A coffee shop with quirky personality

Have you visited The Shop at Daviot?
Have you visited The Shop at Daviot?

Fancy having a coffee with an added dash of character? This is exactly what The Shop at Daviot is all about.

Pre-loved flooring, kitchenware, decor and much more makes up this cosy and quirky café in the village of Daviot near Inverurie.

As well as emphasising sustainability, this venue aims to showcase the best in locally sourced food and drinks from moreish home bakes to succulent teas and coffees.

Inside The Shop at Daviot, Inverurie.

The coffee shop’s owner, Karen Forbes, is smitten with how far her impromptu venture has now come.

“I love being here because it’s a hub for people in the community,” says Karen.

“We have the young kids in the village who are delighted to get their pocket money and buy some nice things in the shop.

“We have a lot of people in the village that live on their own, so those that do come have always got plenty of nice things to look at and people to speak to here.

“It’s really nice that people can feel that they have a home from home here.”

The Shop at Daviot owner, Karen Forbes.

New path

Karen has lived around the areas of Milltimber and Cults since she was born.

She gained over two decades of experience working in the oil industry after studying business administration at college and has been a keen music fan throughout her life.

But after having her two children, Baxter and Saski, her career path soon changed.

Irresistible Victoria sponge.

“I tried getting back into the industry after having kids, but I just got fed up to be honest,” says Karen.

“I thought, ‘what am I going to do now?’”

Little did Karen know that the answer to that question lay a little closer to home than she could’ve anticipated.

“My husband is a landscape gardener and we started renting out a building around four years ago that we intended on using as storage space for his work,” Karen explains.

“But after a while, I thought ‘maybe I can do something with the building’.

“The main vibe of the whole place is to be a wee bit different and very chilled,” Karen Forbes.

“A gallery space was the initial idea in our minds, so we started moving things around and seeing what it was like.

“But as soon as people saw that we were in there, they kept on asking us what we were doing with the place.

“‘Are you opening a coffee shop?’ they would ask. We kept on saying, ‘no, no!’

“But after what must’ve been the twentieth person to ask what we were upto, we realised we should maybe think about opening a coffee shop!”

The Shop at Daviot

Officially opening in July 2019, The Shop at Daviot has made a positive impact in its local village over the last three years.

It’s now a meeting point for people of all ages where a large variety of hot and soft drinks, home bakes and vibrant décor can all be embraced to the full in a welcoming atmosphere.

Bright interiors are a staple at The Shop at Daviot.

Locally sourced pantry items, artworks and gifts can also be purchased and Karen says that the venue’s vibe is reflective of her personality.

“The main vibe of the whole place is to be a wee bit different and very chilled,” says Karen.

“The look of the place has been dictated from our second-hand décor – right down from the sofas to the coffee machines to the kitchen and even the walnut floor which was reclaimed from somewhere else.

A selection of pantry items and gift ideas available at The Shop at Daviot.

“It’s such a mix, but that’s also very me as I like lots of different colours.

“We’re a dog-friendly café as well. There’s dog beds and water bowls and they often come in a lot as we have a good walking community around us through the Daviot Estate walk.”

Other features like environmentally friendly napkins and composting are a core part of the coffee shop’s sustainable ethos, which also focuses heavily on sourcing its ingredients as locally as possible.

Quality local drinks

“Our coffee is from Roaring Stag in Ballater, which we have a lot of positive comments about,” says Karen.

“The strongest blend they had was the one that we liked the best, which apparently no other local coffee shops had ordered before.

Tregothnan Great British tea.

“That was good for us – we’d rather be different.

“However, tea is probably our biggest seller. We have Tregothnan tea which is grown in Cornwall.

“It’s a nice blended tea that you don’t really need milk with and we also sell in bags for people to take home with them.

Turmeric super latte.

“We also have a wide range of different soft drinks to make things interesting for people.”

Despite being initially scared having never worked in hospitality before, Karen is proud of the way that the coffee shop has evolved and to have found renewed confidence in her baking abilities.

Cakes galore.

“I had three or four different people that I bought our food products from based around Inverurie and the north-east at first, which was fine by us as we were still finding our feet,” Karen explains.

Yvonne Gordon (left) and owner Karen Forbes.

“But over the last two and a half years, we (myself and shop baker Yvonne) now bake everything in-house ourselves.

“I make my own homemade quiches which are super popular. There’s vegan and vegetarian options and we’ve also made our bakes and cakes dairy-free where we can.”

Community feel

But above all, what Karen says she enjoys most about running The Shop at Daviot is revelling in its community feel.

Whether it’s having a chair especially set out for shop regular Freda (now in her 70s) or being the spot where the village kids want to spend their pocket money, it’s clear that the people of Daviot are central to its village coffee shop.

Tea is the biggest seller at The Shop at Daviot.

“It’s all about the community feel for me,” says Karen.

“Our regulars appreciate us being here and support us well. We’re so lucky to have them.

“At the end of June, we’re about to host our first pop-up tapas evening in collaboration with Mither Tapas.

A wide selection of home bakes.

“We’re also looking at developing our upstairs space into a private function room in the long-term.

“Then after that, I have my personal drinks licence now so we’ll hopefully get that for the shop and be able to sell drinks here sometime soon.

“There’s lots of planning for the future.”

The Shop at Daviot exterior.

A round of questions with Karen Forbes from The Shop at Daviot…

Most underrated drink?

Probably our iced mocha.

If you were a drink, what would you be and why?

I’d say a woo-woo cocktail – it’s colourful and will get you drunk!

Best coffee and biscuit pairing?

A caramel latte with a cappuccino flavoured cake.

Most unusual drink you’ve ever tried?

I’m not usually the most adventurous with my drinks I’m afraid! I think I’d have to say a Negroni.

Latte or espresso?

A latte, definitely.

Any secret tips of the café trade?

Try and be different.

Best food and drink pairing?

Of the options we serve here, I’d say one of our black pudding sausage rolls with a black coffee.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three drinks would be there with you?

Peach schnapps and lemonade, Baileys and Kahlua coffee liqueur.

You have to serve your favourite superhero or celebrity a drink. Who is it and what do you serve them?

Gordon Ramsay and I’ve give him a caramel latte.

Check out The Shop at Daviot’s Facebook page.