Case Studies

Café dream comes true

One-to-one advice has enabled the owners of Tea at 63 in Tillicoultry to make a success of their dream to run a café.

About the business

Since opening in May 2017, Tea at 63 has welcomed visitors from around the world. Just two months in, the Tillicoultry tea room already had a raft of five-star reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook. By 2018, the team needed to grow to keep up with demand. Owners Marina and Alex Stewart took on their newest employee so they could stay open seven days a week.

Marina had always wanted to run a tea room, but Alex’s Army career kept them constantly on the move. When Alex left the Army in 2015, Marina’s lifelong ambition at last became a possibility. The couple began working towards the dream in October 2016, taking advice from Business Gateway Clackmannanshire.

I didn’t know the ins and outs of starting or running a business, so turned to Business Gateway. Our adviser has been a legend.

How Business Gateway has helped

“I didn’t know the ins and outs of starting or running a business, so turned to Business Gateway,” Alex explains. “Our adviser, Mandy Campbell, has been a legend. She highlighted what we needed to be aware of, what research we should do, and she helped us secure the services of a local lawyer to draw up employee contracts.”

To do their research, Alex and Marina visited every café they could find from Falkirk to Dunfermline. Seeing what others were doing – and doing well – helped them to make crucial decisions about their own business. Groundwork like this is now paying dividends for the couple.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received since opening and I am beyond proud of Marina and what she has achieved already,” says Alex. “The tea room is always full and we have an established loyal customer base. Now that we have a new member of staff we can expand our opening hours and welcome even more people through our doors.”

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