Day in the Life: Tearoom owner

Anita Collin, 43, shares what a day in the life is like as owner of Teacake, a coffee shop located within Scotland’s largest new town, Chapelton.

My morning
I start my day at 6am by preparing the daily soup, baking a batch of cakes for the day and getting my four children ready for school.
I leave for the school run at 8.30am and then continue onto Teacake where all of the cakes have to be iced and put on to display stands.

Teacake is located within the visitor centre at Chapelton, Scotland’s largest new town and allows visitors to take a seat and sample a sweet treat whilst finding out a bit more about what the town has to offer.
The shop opens at 11am ready for morning coffee. It’s during this time that my coconut and lime slices usually sell out – some of my customers even make a special trip just for these alone.

My lunchtime
The morning rush continues into lunchtime when we offer soup and sandwiches as well as paninis and of course more cake. I try to juggle between the roles of cook, barista and waitress at this busy time but usually manage to grab something quick to eat in between customers.

Teacake customers have often travelled from Aberdeen city centre or neighbouring towns including Stonehaven, Portlethen and Newtonhill. The on-site housebuilders and sales teams often pop in for bite to eat or chat.

My role changes to ‘dishwasher’ as I start clearing the tables from lunchtime. My 13-year-old daughter often comes in to help me at this time during the weekend or school holidays. She’s very good at just getting on with things which is a great help.

My afternoon
Things usually pick up again around 3pm when we see a flurry of visitors coming in for afternoon tea. Opening Teacake has allowed me to get creative with baking.
It’s the creative aspect of baking which attracts me, that’s why I enjoy watching exhilarating and inspiring programmes such as Masterchef and the Great British Bake Off.
I learnt the basics from my mother who was a home economics teacher, as did my sister who today runs her own coffee shop, Taste, which is located in Braemar. Perhaps baking is in the blood.

Teacake closes at 5pm which is when I tidy everything away, clean the shop and do some prep for the next day. This usually doesn’t take me too long and then it’s back home to see the kids.

My evening
I try to be home for around 5.30pm to help the kids with their homework, cook dinner and bake for the next day.

Once all is calm in the house, I try to take some time to myself to think of new bakes and ideas that might work well at Teacake. Who knows, perhaps we will see a Teacake recipe book in the near future?


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