The building of a new coffeehouse right on the cliffs close to North Berwick has captured the imaginations of very many people already, and it only opened in June 2018, and the tables are rarely empty!
Stuart and Jo McNicol had the idea a number of years ago and after hard work, vision, creativity and funding, the project now comprises a stunning converted shipping container coffeehouse and outdoor seating area which employs two full time, three part time and four holiday/weekend staff.
Drift Coffeehouse is perched on the cliffs close to Tantallon Castle and is a farm diversification project by the family who own and run Castleton Farm. Having had the dream, the McNicol's secured funding from the LEADER initiative to make their dream a reality and the coffeehouse opened its doors in June 2018 to much praise.
All staff are local and a huge number of the suppliers are also local – namely Mungoswell Flour, Yester Farm Dairies, George Anderson & Sons (fruit/veg), Bon Accord (soft drinks), Taylors of Biggar (ice-cream), The Brand Family Larder (eggs) and more. All baking for the coffeehouse is done on site and so far, Facebook reviews are averaging 4.8 out of 5. In addition to food and drink suppliers, Drift has a policy of using local suppliers for all of its requirements; from the architect who designed it, to the web developer, to the light bulb suppliers, to the outside bench seating, to the company which provide the embroidered staff uniforms, to the gravel and more!
The containers are upcycled shipping containers clad in larch, insulated on all walls and underneath and with a Windgauger Firewin 12KW biomass pellet boiler providing underfloor heating and the domestic hot water requirements. The project has already won a highly recommended in the Energy Efficiency awards for small scale projects below 250K and next steps include the installation of solar panels and solar heat panels. Other efforts on the environmental front include the use of Vegware for take away cups, cutlery, cake boxes and blue roll and a plan to use “close the loop” Vegware food recycling option in the future.
Drift has provided a farming family with an additional source of income, many local suppliers and trades with an additional outlet/customer and many many visitors with delicious cake!