One of Courier Country’s most famous family-run businesses, Fisher and Donaldson, has opened an outdoor cafe linked to its flagship bakery in Cupar, Fife – and there’s a new sweet treat to mark the occasion.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Fisher and Donaldson has been unable to open any of its indoor cafes and eating areas across Fife and Tayside.
But marketing manager Chloe Milne has come up with a clever idea that will allow for almost 100 customers to enjoy their baked goods, by way of a marquee and two lorries renovated to create a serving area and toilets.
Chloe explained: “We opened our garden cafe on Wednesday (September 9) and there’s been a really nice buzz around it – loads of people have come out to see it. There was also a big queue at 10am when we opened.
“We haven’t been able to open our indoor cafe yet as we’re still working on the logistics and there are still a lot of changes we need to make in order for it to be Covid-safe.
“Because we have a field at the side of our flagship bakery in Cupar, we thought about utilising it. Initially we thought about buying a shed and cutting a hole in the side of it to serve tea and coffee through and rent a marquee so people could sit under it if it was raining. This plan just grew arms and legs and has become The Garden cafe.
— Fisher and Donaldson (@FisherDonaldson) September 9, 2020
“So we’ve got two former Co-op lorries and completely renovated them – one of them is our serving area with a full kitchen in it and counters where our cakes are on display, then the other lorry has been converted into toilets with non-touch soap dispensers and hand dryers.
“Everyone is really worried about Covid right now so we have made everything as Covid-friendly as possible – all the tables in the marquee are socially distanced and the booths are separated.
“Right now we can take around 80-90 customers in the marquee. Our booths just hold four people at a time, plus we have an outdoor decking area and picnic benches, so more people can sit outside when the weather is nice. We will have heating in the marquee over the winter as well so it’s something people can enjoy for many months.”
The bakery has also launched an ice cream-filled version of its popular fudge doughnuts, which sold in their thousands during the lockdown months.
The ice-cream creation is priced at £3 and is only available at the Cupar bakery for now.
Chloe added: “We did a Facebook post on the bakery’s account a few weeks ago with a preview of the ice cream-filled doughnuts and the reaction to it has made it our most popular Facebook post ever. But the idea behind it was to do something different from the confectioner’s custard in our famous fudge doughnuts.
“Over the summer I thought it would be a nice idea to include ice cream in the doughnuts – we have been investigating whether we could fill them as part of the doughnut-making process but for now we’re just making empty doughnuts and filling them with scoops of ice cream. We made some for staff a few months ago, when we were building the garden cafe and everyone loved them.
“So from that I thought it would be a nice thing to launch when we opened again, so we’re selling them now at the garden cafe and they’ll be on the menu here all year round and for as long as people want them. We will also look to sell these in our other stores once we’ve figured out the logistics.”