What I do for #Cafdgg Golden Cup Cafe….
So I have never worked in a real cafe or bakery, I missed out on the whole waitress or kitchen staff thing as a student choosing to work in Austin Reed as a summer job meeting some characterful customers and staff, but that is another post…..
A huge part of #Cafdgg is our friendly and glorious Golden Cup Cafe, where you can meet friends, ponder what to buy from the fab artists exhibiting with us or even just pop in over the weekend to enjoy the coffee, tea, cakes and buns. It is the heart of the Arts Fair.
I decided it would be interesting to work in a full time deli and bakery so I have spent the last two weeks working in the kitchen of the Temple wee Deli and Bakery in Northton in the Isle of Harris, https://www.instagram.com/thetempleharris/ what a learning experience!
The team started work at 5am making the breads and delicious goodies opening its doors for the first time at 9am on 1st August with a long socially distanced queue waiting for the artisan sourdough breads, rolls and baguettes, with freshly roasted coffee, pastries, croissants, delicious sandwiches, soups and a whole wall of homemade jams, chutneys and scrumptious food.
Each of the customers sanitised their hands using a lovely 70% ABV Mint & Rosemary Hand Sanitiser made by their sister company A.S.Apothecary https://www.asapoth.com/hand-sanitiser-and-hand-care/mint-amp-rosemary-hand-sanitiser
I learnt how to make plaited Machair buns, flavoured with Wild Rose and Chamomile or Meadowsweet, all picked locally from the Croft or Machair where windblown shell sand built up over thousands of years to give the Hebrides a narrow but productive rim of floral heavenliness.
The wildflowers of the machair are at their best during the months of June, July and August, reaching a fantastic crescendo in late July, with over 100 species identified as flowering in Harris one July day. Amongst the machair display are daisies and buttercups, thrift, clover, orchids (you might spot a heath spotted orchid, bog orchid, frog orchid or even a greater butterfly orchid), harebells, vetches, gentian, centaury, eyebright, chamomile and thyme.
Tufts of frothy Meadowsweet grow along the single track roads in profusion, scenting the air with its sweet floral aroma and the wild roses hunker down to protect themselves from the South Westerly winds.
Plants here are tough and low; the thyme is inches tall growing into carpets of purple on the sandy dunes with the roses growing into very prickly low thickets. Harvesting the flowers for the buns and preserves is great fun and local knowledge is imperative.
We looked back through the payment system and realised the gap between serving each customer was three and eight minutes – no wonder I was rushed off my feet!
It was a fantastic adventure and I am very thankful that the team of Ianthe, Matt, Connie and Amanda for letting me work with them to see how a full time bakery and wee deli function.
I realise that passion, organisation, co-operation and respect for each others skill base is paramount to a successful venture, using locally grown and sustainable fruit, vegetables and herbs, working consistently in producing the entire range of delicious goodies, the importance of keeping the customers informed through social media and for me, regular coffee from https://tindonkeycoffee.co.uk
It is definitely not the job for the work-shy or night owls, but worth every moment when you hear the audible sighs and lips smacking from the customers and recognising them as they return day after day, literally eating their way through the Wall of Loveliness!
I am sure they have sorted supply and demand by now, but as I left on my last day we had one solitary bread roll left….
Thank you to https://www.instagram.com/thetempleharris/