On Monday 2nd of July, the ‘Iona Abbey Refectory Café’ opened its doors to the public.

I think it was Business Director Bénédicte Scholefield’s idea to run a café in the refectory, to open it up to visitors to the Abbey. I loved the idea immediately, and having been very much involved in setting it up. I felt very proud when we welcomed our first customers on the Monday morning.

We have an amazing international core team: in front of house there are Hylke from the Netherlands and Miriam from Spain. In the kitchen there are Paty, a very talented and warm young woman from Paraguay, and Stina from Finland, who worked with me previously as a volunteer and is now employed as second chef. Community members, associates and former staff have joined us, or will be joining us, to make up the café team. There is lots of hard work to come, for sure, but we already love the interaction with the colourful variety of people coming through our doors. It’s like in the ‘olden days’ when the Community ran a coffee house.

So, if you are on Iona this summer (we will be open until the end of September) come and see us and have a big piece of cake.


Photo © Anja Jardine

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4 Responses to The ‘Iona Abbey Refectory Café’ is now open!, from Abbey Cook Anja Jardine

  1. Mary Vance says:

    Are you back open to volunteers now? How about the spring of 2019?

    • Pat Bennett says:

      Hi Mary, thanks for the enquiry. At the moment we have no plans to take on volunteers for Spring 2019 as the refurbishment works at the Abbey Centre will still be in progress. When we do open again for volunteer applications, we will advertise that across our various public platforms to get the news out to those who have been enquiring. In the meantime our Camas centre on Mull remains open and will be running a full programme in 2019 and looking for volunteers to support that.

  2. paul rendle says:

    Hello and greetings.
    Will the cafe be open in early April and will it serve light lunches?
    Thanks and best wishes

    • Pat Bennett says:

      Hi Paul, the Refectory Café was a ‘one-off’ whilst our centres were being refurbished so it won’t be happening this year I’m afraid.

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