Getting The Lass O'Gowrie Open!

by The Lass O'Gowrie in Perth, Perth and Kinross, United Kingdom

Getting The Lass O'Gowrie Open!

Total raised £19,540

raised so far



We want to create an amazing space for the community of Errol and our customers. Help us get the doors open so we can get you fed & watered!

by The Lass O'Gowrie in Perth, Perth and Kinross, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th February 2022 we'd raised £19,440 with 269 supporters in 57 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Additional sums will allow us to create a starter fund for a new production kitchen to expand into retail 


Our Project Aim

Feed Absolutely Everyone & Anyone - we need to get folk caffeinated again!

How you can help us:

Please consider buying one of the reward options showing to the right. They make great gifts for friends and family and there is absolutely no law against the latest trend called "self-gifting" - it's all the rage!! It's your chance to make a real difference to a small, rural, community business. If you have any questions at all, please just use the contact page on here to get in touch with us. 

We've tried to include a good range of options from a small cash donation to larger reward levels for deeply invested contributors. This is based on feedback from our amazing customers who are waiting so patiently for us to reopen and feed them again. If you think we have missed something, please just get in touch. We can always accommodate other ideas. 

What will the funds be used for?

Getting us open!

A seed fund for community projects in Errol

Opening Stock - food, bar stocks, packaging, retail stock etc

Furnishing - outdoor seating, tables etc

Kitchen Installation - including staff training, hygiene etc

Bar build - we've got the coffee machine, we just need something to put it on

Our draft beer system to bring craft ales to the Carse

What will the funds NOT be used for?

Director's Salaries

Employer Salary Costs, NIC, Pensions etc

Debt Repayment

Leasing or other Financial Investment

Personal Costs 

2 x one-way tickets to the Maldives



All the best stories start with "Once Upon A Time". So, we guess this one is no different. 

Once upon a time........we changed our entire lives and decided to fulfil a lifelong ambition to open our own cafe so we could make people happy through food, drink and exceptional customer service. In 2014, we opened the doors to AliBob Cafe in the Carse of Gowrie, halfway between Perth and Dundee in Scotland. 

Ali baked her heart out. She won Scotland's Baker Of The Year in 2016 and is entirely self-taught. Bob ran front of house, developed a nerd-like obsession with coffee and together we built this amazing wee business that put the customers at the forefront of what we were doing. We made sure that they were taken care of and that they were justly rewarded for entrusting their hunger pangs to what we had to offer

Our staff were fundamental to what we wanted to do and we made it a happy and fun place to work with the sound of laughter often overshadowing the grinding of the coffee beans and the churn of the dishwasher. Some of our previous jobs had horrible bosses so we wanted to show our staff that work could be fun and create an atmosphere that they enjoyed coming in to. The hospitality industry had a terrible reputation for how it treated its staff and we wanted to be at the leading edge of the movement of change for the better.

Slowly but surely, we found a way to get the word out into the world that there was something different to offer people who were looking for tasty food in rural Perthshire. We went from strength to strength and the core of our business was repeat customers who loyally returned time and time again, safe in the knowledge that we genuinely cared about what we did. 

Our passion extended beyond the normal boundaries of cafe food and our mission to 'feed absolutely everyone and anyone' saw us gain a reputation for accommodating allergies and dietary lifestyles better than anyone else. We tirelessly retrained and updated our knowledge of allergens and plant- based options to ensure that - for once - a group of friends or a family could go out for lunch confidently knowing that they could eat safely - we had their backs.

We developed our food around local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients and worked with the Slow Food movement in Scotland to showcase some of the great producers in our area and in Scotland as a whole. Our understanding of how things moved with the seasons was a fundamental part of what we wanted to share with our customers to lead the way for a new style of café.

We racked up some amazing awards and it was so wonderful that others understood what we were trying to do and how much this mission meant to us.

Awards & Customer Reviews

  • Visit Scotland "Taste Our Best" 2020/21, 2019/2020, 2018/19, 2017/18, 2016/15, 2015/16
  • Cafe Of The Year 2019: Courier Menu Food & Drink Awards
  • LUX Awards 2019 Best Family Café (Perth & Kinross)
  • LUX Awards 2019 Culinary Excellence in Healthy Cuisine
  • TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award 2020
  • Scottish Food Guide 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Visit Scotland Thistle Awards; Regional Finalist "Best Informal Eating Experience" (Central, Tayside & Fife) 2019/20
  • Visit Scotland Thistle Awards; Regional Winner "Best Informal Eating Experience" (Central, Tayside & Fife) 2016/17
  • Scotland's Best Baker 2016
  • Scottish Baking Awards Accreditation 2015, 2016
  • Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards: Employee of the Year Finalist 2016 
  • Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards: Most Promising New Business Finalist 2015

CoVid Lockdown

If you've made it this far, many of you might be expecting to read on to find that we lost our business due to CoVid like so many other hospitality businesses that didn't survive lockdown. We have heard many tales, some of which were businesses of close friends, who were not able to be sustained through the ups and downs of the pandemic for a number of reasons. 

When lockdown hit in March 2020, we were on the brink of hosting over 200 afternoon teas for Mother's Day, served on vintage china in our cafe, to make lots of families happy and create amazing memories. When lockdown was announced, in a flurry of activity overnight, we converted those afternoon tea bookings to takeaway orders for collection – we couldn’t bear the thought of those families and mums missing out on their special weekend, especially with the national uncertainty of what was still to come. 

We were all in shock about what was happening and our subsequent discovery that we were not eligible for business grants or financial support meant that we were faced with the possibility of losing our business. We were hugely conscious of the humanitarian situation that was developing and that so many of our customers were having to self-isolate and shield for the sake of their health. After a long brainstorming meeting with our staff, we came up with a new plan to find a way that we could help. The AliBob mission to 'feed absolutely everyone and anyone' just took on a whole new meaning. Instead of our customers coming to visit us, we would need to go THEM instead! 

We developed a delivery service that started off with veg boxes (to also provide critical support to one of our own suppliers - our greengrocer who supplied schools, hotels, restaurants etc had seen their business all but disappear). We then added essential groceries to our veg boxes, like milk, bread, eggs etc. and on our opening weekend we made over 300 deliveries to people unable to leave their homes. It was absolute carnage, but somehow we made it happen and our customers were thrilled. Over the course of 2020, our deliveries grew to include our own café products like our range of award-winning homemade soup, cakes, scones and evening meals and for nine months we diversified AliBob Cafe to become AliBoberoo for the masses. 

Slowly but surely, lockdown was eased and were able to open again for outdoor seating, then some indoor seating and we thought we were getting back to some semblance of normality. Our staff had stuck by us, we had received huge support and help from volunteers and we had - literally - knocked our pans in just trying to keep our heads above water. We paid all of our bills, we continued to pay rent, we paid our staff, we kept on top of things, we helped, we supported, we just tried to do our bit to make sense of what was going on. 

The Crunch

We made it. The end of 2020 was in sight. There was hope. There was light at the end of the tunnel. We started to plan for what 2021 would look like.

But then we opened our emails on our day off, a few weeks before Christmas. Our landlord had messaged. They wanted us out. They told us to leave by the end of the year. We were lied to. We found out shortly after that it had been planned for months but they hadn't told us. We had been utterly betrayed by an ever-widening group of people who were all in on what was going on. They wanted what we had for themselves. Our beautiful business and honest ethos was no match for greed.


Our New Reality

What do we do? How does this work? Where do we go? What happens to our staff? 

It's not possible to list the number of questions we had about what on earth was happening but suffice it to say, we were devastated. Once we realised what was going on, we knew that we were better away from people we couldn’t trust, but in the process we had lost everything we had worked for. Our staff lost their jobs. Our customers were without an essential service. The business that we had worked so hard to create was dismantled overnight. We had nothing. No income. 

Finding alternative suitable premises was impossible due to the new 2021 lockdown. So our only option was to start again from scratch. 

Learn from our experience and move on. But how?


The Victoria Hall

When we moved to Errol in 2012, the Victoria Hall was operating as a restaurant called The Picture House. It closed shortly after and the building had lain empty ever since. It was owned by Errol Park Estate and after a previous brief attempt to form a community pub, we knew that the Estate were open to suggestions of using the building for a community focused project. 

We approached their agents Savills and, to our delight, they were eager to hear more about our proposals. We wanted to bring the building back to life and use it to benefit the village and the local community. It would be hard, the old gal wouldn't come without a fight – we just didn’t realise HOW hard and just how LONG it would take to work around the minefield of difficulties in the post-Covid, post-Brexit, post-lockdown marketplace. 

We sold our pension to raise the capital needed to get things going and got some amazing grant assistance from Perth and Kinross Council, but gradually things started to unravel as the effects of 2021 took hold and before long we were falling further and further behind. 

Trades were impossible to find, materials even harder. We lost our main contractor and things were starting to look bleak. 

But we found a way and we carried on and we are now closer than ever to opening our new business. The chairs are here, the kitchen has been delivered, the coffee machine is just waiting in the wings - we just need a front counter to sit it on, some tables and a push to get us over the starting line! 

And this is where you all come in. By supporting us you can secure a future reward to indulge yourself at our new cafe bar "The Lass O'Gowrie". We've always wanted it to be about you, so now is your chance to get in on the action. 

Some general information on our new business:


The Lass O’Gowrie

Our new business is named after a variety of apple that was first discovered right here in Errol. 

We have used the concept of the apples and apple tree to develop the philosophy behind what we want to bring to our customers. 

The roots: we live in Errol and have put down fresh roots here since Ali’s family were last settled here over a century ago. Our business is established here in the village and it is firmly rooted in the local community.

The growing tree and branches: our business will grow to support the local community and our branches will reach out to make a connection with our customers both old and new. We will also branch out to make connections with local suppliers, artists and other small businesses to help support them too.

The apple blossom: a new beginning, a fresh start, new growth, life, energy and focus on growing something amazing.

The apple fruit: we feed our customers and the local community with the results of our hard work and provide sustenance and sustainability through our business.


Education, Ethics and the Environment

In addition to feeding people, we believe that one of the best ways to encourage our customers to explore new ideas is through education. This also supports our belief that people should have the fundamental skills to feed themselves and their families. A great deal of Scotland’s historic food knowledge is in danger of being lost through today’s lifestyle habits and eating choices. 

One of the key components in educating people is to make information accessible and affordable. Ali has appeared on the Scotland’s Larder Live stage at the Royal Highland Show demonstrating a free scone masterclass and sharing knowledge to encourage others to recapture long-lost baking skills that should be an essential part of every family. She shared her award-winning cheese scones, marked 10/10 by the Scottish Baking Awards when she was named Scotland’s Best Baker. 

Further to our use of seasonal and sustainable food, we promote ethical sourcing and provenance through our membership of the Slow Food Network. Ali was invited to become a member of the elite Slow Food Chef’s Alliance group in 2017 and is now working with fellow chefs to develop strategies to showcase the finest food that Scotland has to offer. We’ve developed close links with Good Food Scotland and are working together to promote the use of ethical and sustainable produce. 

We have an active policy of reducing food waste to zero and scored in the highest category when audited by the Scottish Food Standards Agency Waste Team: 

Reduce: Flexible menu; customers add or remove things to reduce food ‘picked out’ and left by customers. Feedback from dishwash about trends in leftovers adjusts portion sizes to reduce waste. 

Reuse: Often a taboo subject in the industry but we are not ashamed to discuss how we use good quality leftover food in soups like excess baked potatoes; salad, veg. Bread crusts and scones are fed to our egg supplier’s chickens to lay bigger eggs for Ali’s scones! We donate soups to Errol Fun Run each year: when it was cancelled with snow in 2019, we donated them to Dundee Survival Group who care for homeless and resettling young men. 

Recycle: Proactively recycle and compost food waste: rural businesses aren’t legally obliged to recycle but by choice 100% of our food waste is recycled through PKC or added to a compost pile. 


Our ultimate aim is to create a sustainable and accessible community-focused business that provides a welcoming and comfortable space for everyone to enjoy. If the past two years has shown us anything, it's that the future cannot be assured. However, we know that the business model we have created can stand the test of time and our ability to adapt to an international pandemic proves that we can make this work. 

With the loss that we have suffered over the past year, many others might have given up and walked away: but we know that this is what we were born to do. We miss our customers too much to let you all down and so we hope to be back again soon to be able to welcome you all to The Lass O'Gowrie.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any contribution you can make. It does - literally - mean the world to us.

Ali & Bob ♥


This project offered rewards

£20 or more

VIP Cake Tester Club

FREE CAKE? Yes! We will be testing new creations and equipment before we 'officially' open so you get first dibs priority access. Definitely better for folk living nearby as you may only get a few hours notice of when things are available. Collection only. It's about testing stuff, so it's not going to be perfect. Feedback always welcome. Sorry, but we can't guarantee dietary or allergens during testing phase. Valid for 3 months

£5 or more

The Scuba

A salty diver, come on in, the water's lovely. This might be the smallest amount but you all have the biggest hearts ❤ Your reward is the warm tingly glow of knowing that you did good. We'll also add your name to our Crowdfunder wall ribbon.

£10 or more

Jeremy Renner

A crisp tenner for the cause. It's not without it's rewards. This sum gets us open quicker and gets you caffeinated !! WIN WIN !! We'll also add your name to our Crowdfunder wall ribbon.

£10 or more

Team Beers

We have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people and our most loyal staff have stuck with us throughout this torrid journey. If you want to let them know how much they are appreciated, we've included this option. Funds from this reward specifically will be ring-fenced for the staff to be justly and rightfully acknowledged for being the most beautiful cogs in the machine that is taking us on this life-changing journey.

£25 or more

Gift Voucher

A snazzy gift voucher to spend on amazing stuff in The Lass O'Gowrie. Anything goes - food, drinks, booze, shoppy: it's your money, so spend it your way. Valid for the whole of 2022 but we guarantee they won't make it past a few weeks once we are open. Available to send to you by Christmas - so a great present option for the person who has everything apart from great cake in their life.

£40 or more

Afternoon Tea For Two - Designated Driver Edition

Spend precious time with a friend catching up in person over a seemingly endless array of savoury snacks and sweet treats. We feed you until you say stop, but with two soft drinks or unlimited tea & coffee per person, this one is perfect for those having to drive home afterwards. You can mix and match these with the boozy option that is also available so designated drivers don't miss out. Valid for the whole of 2022.

£45 or more

A Year of Cheesecake

Two slices per month of our award-winning baked cheesecakes that also happen to be GF (and utterly scrumptious). Flavours change with the seasons. This is pretty much half price cheesecake. For a whole year. We might even just buy this one ourselves. Valid for 12 months from our opening. Not able to be swapped out because why would you NOT want cheesecake??

£50 or more

The Golden Apple

Bar Blocks - the chance to have your name as a dedication on our new bar so you can caress it gently when you pop up to order a round of delicious, thirst-quenching beverages. Invite your friends round to show off your snitch? You'll get your own golden apple with wings. It looks a bit like something from the thing that rhymes with Parry Hotter but we don't want JK to get her lawyers on to us ..... We'll get in touch to arrange the details

£50 or more

Gift Voucher

A snazzy gift voucher to spend on amazing stuff in The Lass O'Gowrie. Anything goes - food, drinks, booze, shoppy: it's your money, so spend it your way. Valid for the whole of 2022 but we guarantee they won't make it past a few weeks once we are open. Available to send to you by Christmas - so a great present option for the person who has everything apart from great cake in their life.

£50 or more

Afternoon Tea For Two - The Booze Edition

Spend precious time with a friend catching up in person over a seemingly endless array of savoury snacks and sweet treats. We feed you until you say stop, but with a whole two glasses of prosecco per person this one might take off. Can be swapped for a beer or G&T, non-boozy option also available. Valid for the whole of 2022.

£50 or more

LOG your DOG

Our previous customers will all know that we LOVE a doge here, so it seems only fair that your best friends get in on the action as well. This is your change to induct your furry moochers into the Lass O'Gowrie (LOG) Hall of Shame. You get to send us your favourite snap and we will proudly frame it and mount it on our wall.

£50 or more

Vegan Afternoon Tea for Two

We pride ourselves on being able to adapt all of what we offer to suit every dietary preference, so it seems only right that we can also offer a fully plant based Afternoon Tea option. We provide both sweet and savoury treats that are fully vegan. If you have any additional dietary needs or allergens, we can also accommodate this. Valid for the whole of 2022.

£50 or more

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea For Two

We pride ourselves on being able to adapt all of what we offer to suit every dietary preference, so it seems only right that we can also offer a fully coeliac-friendly Afternoon Tea option. We provide both sweet and savoury treats using gluten free ingredients. If you have any additional dietary needs or allergens, we can also accommodate this. Valid for the whole of 2022.

£50 or more

Good Soup!

One tradition that we will be continuing is committing to three soups every day, so this naturally means that our much-loved soup meze will be BACK with a bang! Here you can receive a year of mezes - one a month for a whole twelve months from when we open. If your cockles need warming then you've come to the right place. Even in the summer time our soups are amazing (it is the Scottish summer after all !) We're flexible though - give it a whirl ♥

£50 or more

Scone & Done It

Due to popular demand, yes folks, it's here. Fun fact - before we opened our first cafe, Ali had never made a scone in her life ???? And now look at her - all fancy pants and getting awards for them! Now, cheese scones are the main deal here, but if that's not your bag then any of our scones are up for being snaffled. Up to four a month for a whole year. Yes (we hear you) you can take them away. But where's the fun in that :-) ♥

£75 or more

Gin Up - It Can Only Get Better

An exclusive gin-tasting evening where you get the chance to taste a whole range of Scottish, small batch gins with mixers and garnishes. We'll pair these gins with tasty food samples and just generally have a right royal old giggle. The bar will be open once the sampling has concluded so the rest of the night is yours to practice what you've just trained for. The current plan is for a series of dates in Spring/Summer 2022. Minimum Age applies.

£100 or more

A Year Of Buddy Beer Cheers

Imagine this - you and a mate. Ice cold beer. Snacks. Shooting the breeze. Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool ..............Catching up with friends is long overdue so let us do the hard work for you. Your first two beers are on us along with bar snacks, a scone, cake or traybake. The eagle-eyed ones amongst you will have noticed that there is no obligation to bring a friend #redsolocup Drinks cannot be exchanged. Minimum pricing adhered to.

£1,000 or more

Lifelong LOGger

If you're in, you're in. We're not going anywhere, so why should you? This is the top tier of our VIP club. Only a privileged few! You get a permanent 10% discount for the first 12 months of membership, exclusive early access to event tickets and one free event ticket per year for the rest of your membership term. Some other terms and conditions apply about fair use etc but if you've read this far then you're already in. And we love you for that.

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