An Aberdeenshire village’s farm shop that offered free food to children and the vulnerable during the pandemic has secured planning permission for a new coffee shop and bistro.
The Kemnay Farm Shop, located in the community’s former police station on Aquithie Road, will start work on creating its new facilities in early 2021 if all goes to plan.
The business, which opened in June last year, offered free soup every day for youngsters and those in need during the lockdown, and has become a popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike.
Michelle Clark who runs the café said she is very excited to expand the services on offer, and hopes the new bistro and coffee shop will be a “good asset to the village”.
She said: “It was the old police station in Kemnay, and we were initially going to turn it into flats, but we also have a farm that we farm Aberdeen Angus in.
“My husband thought it would be a good idea to open it as a farm shop, and initially we were only going to do it for maybe a year while we were waiting on plans for the flats, but it’s just taken off and people love the shop, we’ve really become a central part of the community.
“And when lockdown came around, we’ve been doing free meals to kids through that and people kept telling us we should try opening up a coffee shop.
“So the more we thought about it, the more we realised it would be a good idea, because we’ve got a big bit of land sitting out the back doing nothing, and we decided we would build a coffee shop.
“I think it will make a big difference to the community.
“Because we’re right in the centre of the village, a lot of people come into the shop, and we’re all such a friendly bunch that we just get along well with everybody.
“It’s become a popular meeting point for people, we have cyclists coming in, runners coming in, lots of different people popping in.”
She added: “We’ve been open for just over a year and half, and it’s just been brilliant to get the planning approved.
“Hopefully next year, all being well, we can get cracking and get started on the project.
“I really hope it will be a good asset to the village, a lot of people are really excited about it.”