Aileen stirs up a new ven­ture

The Oban Times - - Business -

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.’

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