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Our Cafe Story

by Gill de Oliveira for Storytelling Week 2020

By Gill from The Olive Tree Cafe

Gill & Weller de Oliveira run The Olive Tree Cafe at Logie Steading. This story weaves together the threads of Gill & Weller's histories to give a clearer understanding of how the Olive Tree Cafe came to be how it is today...

 

Our Cafe Story

A Scot and a Brazilian Meet in Florence

When we were asked to write a story about how we arrived at where we are today, it was honestly so difficult to know where to start. Part of me feels like the last ten years of owning the café have flown by and then I think of everything that has happened and it’s easy to believe that a decade has passed. The café is certainly all encompassing in its many wonderful ways.

Weller and I met in 2003 whilst we were both living and working in Florence. We had both moved there after university, Weller from Brazil and myself from the west of Scotland. I inherited a passion for good home cooking from my mum and attended a culinary school in Florence and then worked in a restaurant in the city centre. That Italian drive to create dishes that are so simple but full of flavour is still to this day what I love.

Brazil & Coffee; Coffee & Brazil

Weller’s passion is his absolute love for great coffee, an abundance of which he enjoyed in Italy. His grandfather in Brazil had owned a small coffee plantation in a rural village called Itapura and Weller spent many years as a young boy helping him and baking with his grandmother (Weller is the second boy in the photograph, holding the big spade). Our coffee beans in the café are 100% Brazilian, as there is of course no better kind! Florence is certainly a place that still remains close to our hearts due to our love of the culture, lifestyle and cuisine.

Weller at his Grandfather's Coffee Plantation in Brazil for Storytelling Week

Food, Coffee & Family in Scotland

After we met each other, we moved back to Scotland for work opportunities and for Weller to learn English. Once married we initially bought an old farm steading that we renovated to sell on, certainly a healthy introduction to Scottish life living in a two-berth caravan for two years in the north of Scotland! It taught us that hard work and perseverance always pays off and we knew then that we wanted to work together.

Owning and running a business involving our love of food and coffee was what we were so excited to achieve in 2010 when the café came on the market. After five years in its initial location (the current art gallery) we moved across the courtyard, literally wheeling the fridge across the cobbles to the bigger premises where we are today. Our ethos is to remain true to what we love, homemade food using the best quality ingredients we can find. We enjoy making and baking everything from scratch and feel that the customers can taste the difference.

Now with three wonderful children we have spent the years like any other family, juggling work and family time. Running the café that’s open seven days a week has been a challenge and a sleep deprived decade of menu planning, rotas, accounts etc! It has been worth it due to having the most wonderful staff and being surrounded by the most supportive Logie Steading community. Here’s to another great year of creating lots and lots of food, drinking gallons of coffee and welcoming our many loyal customers with a smile!

cafe courtyard for storytelling week