Monday, 11 July 2011


Nick 'n' Marlyn
Our second week has just flown in, with every day more packed than the last – we’re so, so thrilled to be this busy and to already have so many regulars!  Our second Saturday was our busiest day yet, with people waiting in the hall for tables and more customers arriving by the minute. Slightly scary, but thanks to the whole team for seeing it through!  It was pretty full on, but Nick, Marlyn and Mary-Jane rattled those pots and pans good-style in the kitchen and rustled up plate after plate of fresh, colourful, inventive food (the home-grown-by Turriff’s Roasted Beetroot Hummus served with warm pitta bread not only tasted amazing, but also matched the Jessie’s Kitchen vibe - being hot pink and all that! Nick doesn’t just throw the menu together, you know!!

Barista training
Our ‘wee ones’, Rowan, Heather and Maya were heroes, washing up around five thousand pots, clearing tables and working SO hard all day in the hot kitchen. And of course, our young front of house team, Matthew, Madi, Louise and Claire rose to the occasion too. All new to this, all suddenly working ten or eleven hours some days (with two jobs on the go in Louise’s case) and still managing to smile, charm customers, whip up ‘proper’ coffees and for the most part, offer the sort of service you could only wish some posh restaurants would offer. I promise that’s not just me being biased; we’ve had a LOT of compliments on the youngsters and we’re very proud of them all. While trying to stay just the right side of schmaltzy and clichéd, from now on, if I hear anyone grumble about the ‘youth of today’ I’ll be ready for them! 

I’ve just realised I haven’t said nearly enough about our magic Mary-Jane. As well as running her own bakery business, Kitschnbake, MJ has until now been working for the Police - as well as joining the Jessie’s team AND looking after three wee ones. Superwumman doesn’t even begin to cover it, it in my book! We call her our ‘Cake Crusader’ because if there’s a run on cakes any afternoon (which is happening more and more – they’re flying off the shelves and selling like, er, hot cakes!!) we text MJ and she stays up all night whisking up dreamy cheesecakes, fairy-tale cupcakes and those cakes I call the stunners, like her truly spectacular Red Velvet Cake, Lemon Meringue cake and Hummingbird Cake. It might be work, but you can tell she also does it from love - you just have to mention a tea bread might be nice and she’s off, creating a Ginger Cake with Sticky Lime Icing! She’s currently perfecting her own recipe for Breakfast Muffins to hopefully go on our new Sunday Brunch menu (coming soon!) and we can’t wait to try them. All that, and she’s slotted in to the kitchen team just perfectly. We’re lucky to have her around, along with help from her lovely husband Jack, who’s been known to do an emergency cake run before starting a hard day’s work!    
Setting out the cakes under the cake domes is one of my favourite jobs of the day – they already have the wow factor but showing them off the way they deserve is almost as satisfying as hearing people gasp hungrily when the cake display is the first thing they see as they walk in...
Talking about the team reminds me of something which I think shows that, despite the looooooooong hours everyone’s working (poor Nick hasn’t had a day off in weeks because we simply can’t do without him at the moment), the sore feet and sheer hard slog, we must be doing something right at Jessie’s, because we all turn up there on our days off! Marlyn’s come in for lunch on her own and with friends and also sat to have a coffee and friends long after she’s finished for the day; MJ’s brought friends and her beautiful family in for breakfast twice; my gang and I love our Sunday breakfasts at Jessie’s (Hope had the Fruhstuck – German breakfast – today and demolished it, although she did quibble the butter being Scottish; honestly, everyone’s a critic!!). If even we don’t seem to get fed up of the cafe, surely that’s got to mean it’s a good place to be...???

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