Peterhead’s popular Mission Cafe is in search of a new owner after the current incumbent left without notice.
Having enjoyed a particularly busy festive period, owner of the Fishermen’s Mission building on the town’s Union Street, Alicia Smith, said she was left stunned when leaseholder of the cafe, Lorraine Greig, ‘up and left’ on December 31.
“She literally just bundled everything up and left after the cafe closed on Hogmanay,” explained Alicia.
“On that same day she posted a letter to me, which I got on January 2, saying that she was not carrying on with the lease and was giving me notice from that day and that the keys had been posted through the letter box.
“As to why Lorraine left we have no idea. I have tried to get in touch with her but she hasn’t answered any of my calls or texts. It was quite a shock as she’s been at the cafe for the past three years. As far as I’m aware, her staff hadn’t a clue about the situation either.
“There was even a fish left in a fish tank, which everyone was very concerned about and was feeding, but now it has been reunited with its owner.
“In the meantime, we’ve had no option but to close the cafe temporarily and put the lease up for grabs,” she said.
Alicia is now hoping that the cafe can start with a fresh perspective for the new decade and believes it is a wonderful business opportunity for the right person.
“It has been incredibly popular and on some days I’ve seen people queue outside to get in,” she said.
“I think it is a good business opportunity for anyone who can run a kitchen and has a bit of business acumen.
“Whoever takes it on will inherit all the existing equipment, although some of it may require replacing as it’s getting on a bit now.
“I’ve already had a couple of notes of interest so I’m hopeful that someone will take over in the not too distant future.
“It would be good for someone to have a vision for the cafe as it’s a great space and it could be utilised in a host of other ways – it’s a blank canvas really and it’s potential is unlimited.
“I’d be more than happy to discuss any proposals and who knows, it could be the next big wedding venue!
“It has such a history in the town it would be good for it to continue not just as a cafe, but as a meeting place and an integral part of the community,” she added.
Lorraine told the Buchanie: "I never 'upped and left', my lease states that I only require to give 48 hours notice and so that's exactly what I did.
"I posted the letter to Alicia on the 31st and she received it on the 2nd.
"Leaving the cafe wasn't a decision I took lightly as I had been there for three years but for personal reasons I felt I had to.
"I've been offered two jobs since leaving so will be looking for a fresh start in 2020," she added.
Anyone interested in taking on the lease of the cafe can call Alicia on 07798 842848 or get in touch with the Mission.