Our New Community Cafe was officially opened on Wednesday this week. Our café, which has served the school and the community since October last year is now run by Highland Council Education Department Catering Services. Staff from our own canteen run the café between 8am approx and 2:15pm each school day. The cafe is open to all pupils first thing in the morning, at interval and lunchtime.
After a number of proprietors failed to make a long-lasting success of the café or were unable to commit to the schools’ healthy eating policies and guidelines, Rector Mr Chris O’Neill approached Highland Council’s catering service to see whether they could provide a complementary addition to the school canteen. Mr O’Neill convened a small group to explore what was possible. It was important that the new Community Cafe delivered healthy, nutritionally balanced menus just like the school canteen, while at the same time providing a different atmosphere that would also attract members of the community and users of the Community Centre.
The implementation group consisted of pupils, Danielle Ross (2K1), Daniel Lamont (3K2), and Aidan Kent (4S1) who met over a series of lunchtimes with Rector Mr Chris O’Neill, Depute Rector Mrs Helen Hunter, Catering Manager Mr Bob Grey, Cafe Supervisor Mrs Angela Gribbon, Facilities Manager Mr Scott Anderson and Management Committee Chair Mr Tom Wall.
With the pupils at the helm, the group choose colours and furniture for the café refurbishment. They considered menus in consultation with the wider pupil group in the school and the local community. Since it opened in October 2013 the café has been a huge success with pupils, staff and members of the community are also using the café too. With a mixture of wood chairs and tables together with coffee shop style leather seats and sofas pupils love the café.
Senior pupils are able to use the café during study or free periods.
As the café has its own wi-fi network senior pupils can log-on and use their own phones, tablets and laptops to get on with their studies, while enjoying a snack and a coffee at the same time.
The official opening on Wednesday was attended by Provost Alex Graham, local Councillor Graham Ross, former chair of the Management Committee Mr Tom Wall and current chair Mrs Caroline Keiro-Kirk and Mr Colin Ross from Craig Dunain bowlers. Along with Danielle, Daniel and Aidan, a celebratory cake was cut, coffee, shortbread and cakes were served to school staff and members of the community. Danielle officially cut the cake. Aidan cut the ribbon to mark the official opening. Daniel Lamont meanwhile saw the fruition of all of his hard work in Graphic Communication pay off. Daniel had won a competition to design the logo, lettering and other imagery for the café. Daniel worked with the council’s graphics department to finalise his own work. On Wednesday he saw his work displayed on menus and noticeboards around the café. Mr Bob Grey presented Daniel with a digital camera as a prize in recognition of his work.