Environmentally-friendly, Highland Farm Café has opened near Inverness, creating 20 new jobs.
Highland Farm Café, which is part of the five-star Highland Farm Cottages complex located on the North Coast 500 cycling route, has opened thanks to a £150,000 funding package from Royal Bank of Scotland.
The café and cottages are equipped with a number of environmentally friendly technologies, including biomass systems for heating, photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, and electric vehicle charging points for cars and bicycles.
The business, run by husband and wife team Kenneth and Lesley McKenzie, has been recognised for its eco-credentials, with the cottages winning the FSB Best Ethical Green Business award in 2018.
Family-owned since the cottages opened in 2004, the new café has created 20 full-time positions, including an in house baker. The café serves a range of fresh pastries, meals and snacks made from locally sourced ingredients, with a number of options geared towards Route 500-weary cyclists.
The café was officially opened by Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont in August, who completed the final 90 minutes of the North Coast 500 route with local cycling groups and school children, before cutting the ribbon at Highland Farm Café.
Kenneth McKenzie, co-owner of Highland Farm Café, said: “The idea for the café was borne from a love of cycling, as well as lack of cyclist-friendly establishments along this stretch of the North Coast 500. In the last few years, we have provided space for a number of large groups to set up trestle tables and serve their own refreshments, and realised we could offer all these things and more to passing cyclists.
“The café is open to everyone, but we wanted to make cyclists welcome. As a cyclist myself, you sometimes get funny looks eating at a restaurant in Lycra! The café has electric bike charging points outside, as well as a shed full of tools to fix minor problems.”
Tom Garner, relationship manager at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Highland Farm Café is situated in a beautiful part of the county, and attracts people from across Scotland and the rest of the world. Ken and Lesley have put everything into this venture, and it shows with little details that truly make visitors feel welcome. We wish the team at Highland Farm Café the very best for the future.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement