THE BRAINS behind a hugely popular roadside cake fridge near Aith is looking to expand her honesty box into a fully-fledged tearoom.
Lynn Johnson of Hayfield Croft Produce has lodged an application with the local planning service to renovate an existing cottage at East Burrafirth into a “quaint and quirky” cafe.
The building is located right next to the roadside cake fridge, which has locals and visitors alike flocking to it in the summer to sample Johnson’s homebakes and just about everything else.
The proposed tearoom would have enough space for 20 people and a dedicated car park would have to be created.
Johnson said she has had the idea for a couple of years, but the popularity of the 24/7 cake fridge this summer has given her the encouragement to go ahead with the venture.
Demand for her goods has more than doubled this year, with people regularly travelling across Shetland to stop by and some even visiting at one or two in the morning during the week.
“It’s kind of been mulling on in the background for a few years,” Johnson said about the tearoom idea.
“But I suppose the popularity of the cake fridge has just kind of emphasised that there is a need for more eateries, specifically rurally.”
The fridge is located on the single-track road between Voe and Aith and Johnson said she would aim to keep the cottage as authentic as possible.
“There’s an emphasis on keeping it quite quaint and quirky, like the cake fridge, so we’d be looking to keep the croft house as the croft house,” she said.
“[We want it to be] something a bit different to what Shetland already has to offer. We’d hope to offer takeaways as well.”
Johnson, who previously had planning permission for a farm shop near to the cottage, suggested that the tearoom could be the first part of a larger plan.
There are hopes that it could be open by October next year – or earlier – if it secures planning permission.
But whatever happens, it looks as if the famed fridge will still have pride of place on the roadside.
“The most important thing to emphasise is that it would be working alongside the cake fridge,” Johnson said.
“I have absolutely no intentions of it taking the place of the cake fridge. The tearoom would just be an added bonus.”