A VOLUNTEER-led community cafe had cause for celebration recently when it became the first place in Ellon to achieve the coveted EatSafe award for good hygiene practices.
Open in the town since 1996, the Kirk Centre cafe has around 70 staff members - mainly made up of volunteers - who pride themselves on serving homebakes and freshly made lunches to the local community.
Cafe manager Iris Murray told the Times that gaining the EatSafe award was a proud achievement for her staff.
She said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to get this award for what we do here at the Kirk Centre. It’s even more of an achievement knowing that we are the first place in Ellon to receive this title, and we have managed to keep it by upholding standards.
“The cafe is mainly led by volunteers who give up their time and work very hard to keep up the standards, they should all be very proud of themselves for achieving this award.”
Manager of the cafe for 15 years, Iris added that she believes organisation is key to the success of any business.
“Running the cafe in accordance with the FSA (Food Standard Agency) rules is common sense really. Keeping records on a regular basis makes it easy as it’s just part of the job.
“The Cook Safe Programme means we have a lot of records to keep and monitoring to do but this is not a problem as we have been doing it for some time,” she said. “We are the only eatery in Ellon to have received this award to date and are very proud.”