Aileen stirs up a new venture
ACATERING company boss is looking to cook up an experiment of her own after taking over the Ocean Explorer Centre café at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).
Aileen MacPhail, owner of Dalrannoch Foods, based near Barcaldine, has taken on the lease of Café Scientifique and will sell home-made ready meals, platters, sandwiches, soup and home baking from the Dunstaffnage base.
She said: ‘I am really looking forward to our new venture at Café Scientifique, where we will be serving a similar menu to the one that has become so popular at our tearoom near Barcaldine.
‘Dalrannoch Foods was only established three years ago.
‘But thanks mainly to our ready meals, we feel ready to expand the business further.’
Aileen admits to being inspired by SAMS’ work on seaweed cultivation and now the former support worker is looking to experiment with the superfood.
Aileen, who lives at Inverawe, near Taynuilt, said she would love to re- create some Scottish recipes using the traditional ingredient of seaweed.
‘I ate seaweed when I was a child and so did a lot of the generation before mine,’ she said.
Since starting the business, Aileen has been joined by business partners, Steven Greener, and childhood friend, Aileen MacCartney.
Steven continued: ‘The move out to SAMS seemed like the next logical step for us and will allow us to get our products out via another outlet.
‘ We have a strong potential customer base with students and staff, people living in the Dunbeg area and visitors to the Ocean Explorer Centre,’ he added.
As well as welcoming Dalrannoch to the Ocean Explorer Centre, SAMS has removed the entry fee for the interactive visitor attraction, inviting donations instead.
Dr Anuschka Miller, Ocean Explorer Centre director, said: ‘We were thrilled to have Dalrannoch take on the running of the café, as their commitment to healthy food made from organic and fair trade products fits in with our own values.
‘We have made a few changes at the centre which are designed to improve the running of the facility for visitors and encourage more local people to come and see what we do.’