Raven's Rock set to become new cafe and community hub at new state-of-the-art Ledge climbing centre opening in Inverness this year
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
A new cafe and community hub featuring regular events will be part of a new state-of-the-art climbing centre in Inverness when it opens this year.
Raven's Rock will open at the same time as The Ledge which is being developed in a former furniture store at the Telford Retail Park.
The cafe is being set up by Drew and Rachel Hardiman, owners of the Coffee Bothy in Contin, who say they are "beyond excited" to be part of the venture.
The Ledge is set to become Scotland’s national bouldering centre of excellence and will also include climbing walls, yoga and gym space.
Plans for Raven's Rock include using independent coffee roasters, offering seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, Highland home-cooked fare, a selection of Scottish beers on draught and using organic and fair trade items wherever possible.
Ms Hardiman, who is also owner of the Astar School of Traditional Music, Gaelic and Highland Culture, says the establishment will operate in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and plans to hold regular events in the cafe including music, art exhibitions, dances, open mic nights, film nights, and other events which the local community can enjoy.
They are also looking to partner with local charities to offer a safe and positive place for young people to socialise and will be committed to hiring young people looking for job opportunities in the hospitality sector.
The café will operate a zero-waste policy as well, whereby any excess food will be distributed throughout local food banks and homeless shelters.
The Ledge chief executive Duncan McCallum is looking forward to working with the duo.
"We are really excited to be partnering with Drew and Rachel as they really understand our audience and what we want to achieve," he said.
"They both love the outdoors, are deeply connected to Highland culture and our community, and share our passion for good food and coffee."
Mr Hardiman said they were beyond excited to be partnering up with Duncan and Alasdair Lawton – chief financial officer for The Ledge. "We felt incredibly humbled when they approached us about this awesome venture, which has been in the making for a good number of years now," he said.
"Having the opportunity to be in a more central position within the Highlands will give us all the tools we need to be able to achieve what we wanted when we first opened the Coffee Bothy at the end of 2019 – a space that brings the community together, offers organic, wholesome and traditional food to a wider audience, promotes zero-waste living and hosts a variety of events that celebrate Highland culture and traditional value and, of course, good quality coffee!
"We really can't wait to share all our ideas with the local area."