A LOCAL entrepreneur is set to take the next step in expanding his food and drink empire by bringing Clickimin Leisure Complex’s café back to life this autumn.
Jigar Gangdev, who has run Coffee Culture at Harrison Square in Lerwick since 2019 and earlier this year opened Juice Culture on Commercial Street, is aiming to open Food Culture in mid October.
Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT) CEO Steven Laidlaw confirmed that Gangdev had been successful following a tendering process and, pending the formal signing of a lease agreement, the trust was “really looking forward to somebody opening up the café”.
It has had various different operators over the years including, most recently, Café Volare before the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in closure.
Gangdev told Shetland News he had previously bid for the café two years ago but at the time had no prior experience of cafes and hospitality. The track record of having established the two other outlets had strengthened their bid this time around, he said.
He will initially employ eight staff at Clickimin, taking his overall employee roll across the three sites to 18.
“I’m very chuffed and very happy,” Gangdev said, adding he envisions the café combining elements of both Coffee Culture and Juice Culture under one roof.
He aims to cater for a broad range of tastes and will offer healthy juices, smoothies and salads alongside burgers, fries and paninis: “We want to accommodate everyone.”
It will be open seven days a week from 8am, closing at 7pm on weekdays, 8pm on Saturdays and 6pm on Sundays.
Gangdev said the agreement with SRT would be renewed on an annual basis assuming both parties are happy with how it is operating, adding the trust’s staff and officials had been “very helpful” and supportive.
Most of the necessary infrastructure and equipment are already in place, though Gangdev is sourcing a larger coffee machine and some other equipment ahead of a projected 11 October opening.
He said the intention was to start slowly with a smaller capacity and gradually make additions to the menus including seafood and evening specials.
“We can cater for events, birthday parties, weddings – Coffee Culture is really small so this opens a lot of horizons for us personally as well,” Gangdev said.
“I’m very happy that Shetland is allowing us to do things like this – people in Shetland have been very accommodating, people are loving the idea, the way we think, and I’m more than happy to take it ahead.”
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