Tell us about Scott’s of Alnmouth?
Scotts is a family owned business based in the beautiful coastal village of Alnmouth. We love food and we love coffee. We are a deli & café during the day and occasional wine bar & restaurant at night offering a different cuisine each month at our pop-up evenings – something unique to the area.
We are foodies at heart; our aim is to bring great tasting ingredients and dishes to our customers. We love experimenting in our modest kitchen producing our own homemade range – including our signature sausage rolls, jam, frangipane tarts and doughnuts to name a few!
We are always striving to find suppliers who create wonderful produce locally, and have curated our range from our locality. And then, we source fantastic produce from elsewhere that is hard to find in any place in the North.
We are proud to be in the heart of our village, and want to offer all of our customers somewhere they can be greeted with welcoming smile, a good cup of coffee, an interesting café menu, the warmth of a wood burning stove, or goodies for a beach picnic.
Describe a typical start to your day?
We are a very seasonal business – working at full pace for nine months of the year, and then recuperate and experiment in the other three. Our morning starts with our kitchen team baking fabulous treats such as fruit and cheese scones, sweet and savoury muffins, pastéis de nata, homemade cakes and tray bakes. Meanwhile the front of house team prepare the deli and shop – stocking up on cheese, charcuterie, wines, fresh fruit and vegetables, our award winning pies, jams and chutney.
What is the most rewarding aspect of running an independent business in the region?
When someone tells you we [the team] got it right. I don’t know any other career where you know almost instantly that you’ve delivered the right experience, its both rewarding and crushing (if you don’t) all at the same time!
And the most challenging?
When we get it wrong, and we do get it wrong sometimes, and it really makes me sad. But, these occasions always act as a catalyst to make sure we learn and improve.
What are the short and long-term plans for the business?
In the short-term, we have just introduced some new and exciting additions to our café menu, both for breakfast and lunch, and the feedback has been really positive. We have also expanded our coffee offer to include guest blends to give regular customers the chance to try something different. Having recently visited South Africa, we have curated a new range of wine and an evening menu. All very exciting!
And in the more long-term, we want to continue to up the quality and range of what we offer. We plan to introduce Scott’s Sunday suppers, a sharing supper for families hopefully offering a slightly different take on the traditional roast.
We plan to open more casually in our busy season to offer wine, cocktails and sharing platters. We continue to search for new products to stock on our shelves and sell in our deli counter. And of course, there are visits to food fayres in the planning, and we always come away with two or three great new ideas.
What advice would you give to anyone with a business idea?
Don’t take too long to think about doing it, be brave and get on with it. Your enthusiasm for what you do is infectious with both your team and customers. Running your own business is very exposing as its so personal to you – this makes is incredibly rewarding when you are getting things right and very challenging when you are not. Never more so exposed as in our world dominated by social media. You need to have resilience and humility to weather those occasions when you don’t get it 100% right, and to pick yourself up and improve for your next customer.
What do you like most about living and working in the North East?
I have a two minute commute to work and a 45 minute commute on the way home via The Red Lion! We are blessed with an incredibly friendly local community and beautiful countryside attracting visitors to the region. We are also lucky to have so many great, like-minded food producers and providers who are open to experimenting with us. Everything is possible here and there is so much opportunity to make a difference and bring something fresh to our community.