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Popular Highland café announces closure due to coronavirus


By Andrew Dixon

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Kirsten Gilmour.
Kirsten Gilmour.

A popular Highland café has announced it will not reopen – but the owner is not giving up on her dreams.

The Mountain Café in Aviemore shared its decision on social media last night.

"Since 2004, I have given my all to my crazy wee café, the Mountain Café in Aviemore," said owner Kirsten Gilmour, who moved to the area from New Zealand.

"It is a success story built on passion, love and the desire to serve beautiful food in awesome surroundings.

"As with so many other businesses, Covid-19 snuck up on us and royally kicked us in the a**. As the crisis deepened it became clear that we would be forced into taking the devastating decision not to re-open our Aviemore site.

"Despite this I am determined not to give up on my dreams and I am working hard to forge a new adventure from the foundations that have been laid with care and commitment over so many years.

"I have made the decision to operate from my amazing home town of Grantown and engage with the local community there, strengthening relationships with our incredible local suppliers and showcasing the kick-a** products available on my doorstep!

"So Kj’s Bothy 'pop up' bakery has begun and I dream it will continue to grow and take shape day by day.

"I am incredibly grateful to all those who have helped me reach for the stars and kick café a** on a daily basis. I am so sorry that this horrible situation has reared its ugly head and left me with no option but to scale down the team, but I’m so proud and thankful for everyone who has helped me to come this far.

"We are not defeated and this is not the end of the Mountain Café!

"We like to think of this next step as MC going mobile – so don’t worry you will still be able to get your fix while in the area!

"We are working on a delivery and postal service as well as local collection so that we can bring the unique flavours of a Kiwi in the Cairngorms to you wherever you are: tent, caravan, holiday home, or your own front door anywhere in the UK!

"Sadly, we won’t be able to post you French toast or an all-day brekkie but we hope to be able to offer this from a van or bring it to your accommodation in the future.

"We currently offer freshly-baked bread, cakes, slices and scones but we have much, much more planned and will keep you updated over the coming months!

"For now, thank you for being part of our MC family, for all your support, kindness and custom.

"We have such a mixture of emotions as we look back gratefully on what has gone before and ahead with anticipation for this epic new chapter in the Mountain Café story.

"I really hope you will continue to be part of the journey.

"As you can imagine, after 16 years this is a huge moment for us. Now that we have made this announcement we are going to take a few days to let our emotions settle. We realise there will be a lot of folks who will be very sad to hear this news."

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