When Paul and I got married in 2000, Paul was working as the Duty Manager in a local hotel and I was working in a Nursery run by a Peterhead charity. Within a couple of months, Paul was to be moved to a sister hotel, at the other side of Aberdeen which we knew would be tricky (I can barely stand to be without him for about an hour these days, at that time, it was more like ten minutes).
In the end, Paul didn’t take the relocated job and instead began to work at the same charity as me, in a different department. For the first year, he drove trucks, collected and sorted donations and did whatever else was required. Hospitality is what Paul was born for though, and within that year he had been itching to reinstate the old ‘coffee shop’ portacabin that I had spent a lot of time while growing up and throughout my teenage years. Without too much convincing, Paul persuaded his then boss (my Mum) to let him gut the place and then get creative developing his first shop (as long as he did it in his own time).
While I remember….I was around 8 months pregnant with our first daughter in the summer of 2001 when we began this project and one day while we were renovating, I stuck to the gluey floor in the kitchen (where we’d just lifted the old vinyl tiles) in the flip flops I was cleverly wearing. I took a step, stuck, laughed, caught myself PHEW, and then took another step – and fell face first and burst my nose on the floor. We rushed to the local maternity unit to have baby and me checked over (we were both totally fine) and I realised that I was still wearing my grandfathers oversized shirt and shorts (the only thing I must have had that fitted for me to paint in) and no shoes on – no change there I hear you say!
The same week, on a different day, Paul asked me to pull wires through from one room to the other (does anyone remember the Salon??) I did as asked, after being reassured several times that the electrics were DEFINITELY off…..cue electric shock and yet another trip to Maternity (we reckon this is where Ellie got her curls from!)
After hard work and the first of many business plans, The Coffee Shop was relaunched. We’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities we had way back then….and for the ability to work hard to make the most of them!