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Business / Baker and chef to take over at Peerie Shop Cafe

Photo: Shetland News

A PASTRY and cake specialist and a chef are set to take over the reins at Lerwick’s popular Peerie Shop Cafe.

Amy Henderson, who has been selling baked goods through her Fyanna business since 2020, will be joined by her chef partner Chris White.

The doors are expected to reopen on Tuesday (4 April), but initially it will be takeaway only to allow things to bed in slowly.

The Peerie Shop Cafe has been closed since the start of March after long-standing chef and manager James Martin moved on to pastures new.

Speaking to Shetland News, Peerie Shop owner Emma Gibson said it was “really exciting” that Henderson and White will oversee a new chapter for the cafe.

Customers can expect a fair a bit of continuity – barista Karen Laidlaw will keep the coffee flowing, for instance – but Henderson’s baking is set to be on offer alongside breakfast and lunch options.

Amy Henderson pictured back in 2021. Photo: Shetland News

After a stint in catering college Henderson was involved with pastry and afternoon tea at the Ritz in London, and worked in boutique kitchens before moving to Shetland in the 2010s.

More recently she worked at the Scalloway Hotel and the Mirrie Dancers chocolatier.

Gibson said things will be “starting slowly” to begin with in the cafe.

Henderson incidentally has been working part-time at the cafe for a number of months.

“We’re sticking to all the same things we’ve always had, so we still have Karen our barista making the coffee, and that’s always been one of our main things,” Gibson said.

“We’re still all local produce where we can, and [being] environmental and all that – but it will just be takeaway. But they’ve got ideas for lots of pop-ups, and eventually we will have sit in again.”

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There is still a long bench and stools downstairs, so folk will be welcome to come in and have a bit of banter with staff.

Some workers have left since the cafe closed, and Gibson said getting more is “really, really difficult”.

“Everywhere is short staffed at the moment,” she said.

“So that’s one of the things why we’re kind of starting with takeaways. We will start slowly so we know we’ve got the staff that we can manage with at the moment, and then as we can find more staff we can open up a bit more, and a bit more.

“At the moment it will be the same hours as it was before, but just concentrating on the food and the coffee. And then as we get more confident and find more staff we will open up more.”

Gibson also paid tribute to now departed chef Martin, who put in a “good innings” in what she described as a “relentless” job.

“He put his stamp on it absolutely completely, and I’m hoping Amy and Chris will do exactly the same,” she said.

In a social media post the cafe said there will be vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options too.

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