Harris food business in expansion move

An island business, which has gone from strength to strength since lockdown as a result of the owner’s unique approach to using local produce, is delivering an eco-friendly expansion.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 6:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 6:04 pm
Amanda uses natural ingredients found in the local environment

The Temple Café is a bakery and deli business built near the remains of an old stone temple in Northton, South Harris.

The business is owned by Amanda Saurin, who relocated to Harris from Sussex with her husband Julian after buying the café and the croft across the road in 2019.

Amanda very quickly started running out of space in the café since reopening last year following restrictions.

She said: “I started looking around for another building and found one in Leverburgh that had been empty for a few years. This additional building, which is not too far from our current Northton café, will allow us to grow the business and offer more food and drink ranges from locally sourced produce. We are delighted with the support received from HIE for our expansion project.”The company secured up to £124,834 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to develop and bring back into use the new building in Leverburgh.Temple Café has enjoyed a successful season under the new management and five people are currently employed there. It is expected that once the Leverburgh building is converted, six new jobs will be created.It will offer the extra space Amanda needs to launch the coffee roastery, smokery and for food preparation as well as to expand the drinks range.A new non-alcoholic drink was recently launched by Amanda called Wild Eve, made from ingredients such as roses, oats tops and honeysuckle, harvested from her croft, and some sugar kelp seaweed. The product is already proving popular with customers.

Gordon Macdonald, account manager at HIE, said: “This exciting project adds to the rich variety and high-quality food and drink offering found in Harris. There is growing interest in products that use local ingredients and promote product provenance. Providing year-round jobs in South Harris is great news and I am very pleased we have been able to provide support.”