Keys for the Elgin Library café have been formally handed over to a thriving catering company who have built a reputation for quality baking throughout the Highlands.
The café was closed last year when Moray Council decided that it could no longer support the losses being incurred. Hopes were raised that the facility would pass immediately into private enterprise, but ultimately negotiations broke down and no acceptable offers were made.
That changed, however, with interest being shown by Cobbs, a brand born as the Loch Ness Coffee Company in 2000 that has grown into a group that includes three hotels, seven coffee houses and three restaurants – plus the iconic Cobbs Bakery.
Moray Council’s convener Allan Wright handed over the keys on Monday to Deannie McMaster, who is promising books, boats and bakes when refurbishment of the café is completed in time for an opening on February 21.
Ms McMaster said: “The café has been closed for some time and we understand the library customers are looking forward to having the facility return as much as we are.
“The café in the library looks out onto Cooper Park pond and as a result our theme will be Books, Boats and Bakes.”
Ms McMaster added that the café will be opened seven days a week during the summer months.
After passing the keys to the new lease holders Councillor Wright said: “I am delighted that the library café is re-opening. It will be welcomed by library users and those who enjoy Cooper Park.
“It was a pity that it closed for a while but Moray Council found it difficult to cope with the continued, loss-making budget.
“I feel confident that the experience and commercial realism of the new owners will signal a new chapter for the café and I wish them every success.”