Dundee cafe owner inspired by generosity and act of kindness from local girls

A kind message and a little generosity lifted the spirits of a Dundee cafe bar owner last week.

When WBS Growing Your Business Member, Kelly Fairweather ,opened the door to her Dundee cafe and bar last week her heart was filled with joy to see a card with a lovely message inside it and a £5 tip.

But the moment of kindness from two girls, Kayleigh Anderson and Hannah Coventry, who had visited The Selkie a day earlier, was in response to Kelly’s own generosity.

And now a young man who is heading off to study medicine at university will also benefit from the cafe with kind-heartedness as its watchword.

One of the owners of the popular Dundee eatery, Kelly Fairweather, explained: “The girls came to the door looking for gluten-free cake. If you are celiac in Dundee then it’s quite difficult.

“They were asking if we were open and I was only in doing the cleaning, but we had started baking for an afternoon tea we were doing so I asked them what they were looking for.

“I just gave them some nice boxes of gluten-free cakes and then when I went in the next day they’d left a wee card, a bar of chocolate and £5 which made me happy.

“We probably have the kindest customers in Dundee. We have not been there long and we have a lovely community.

“It made me laugh, it was like running a speakeasy for cake, smuggling it out the door.

“When you’re in the service industry there are always stories about grumpy customers, but it’s so nice when customers realise that you’re human, too.”

(L-R): Sophie and Kelly Fairweather at work In The Selkie.

Kelly and her hard-working team at The Selkie have been busy in the community themselves handing out free meals to families struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

And the generosity of Kayleigh and Hannah will benefit a young man who The Selkie helped with their community food project, as the money they donated has been gifted to him to help with his university pot.

She continued: “When we were doing the community meals we were helping a young boy who had had a hard time. He has actually been accepted to do medicine so the fiver will go in his post for university.

“We have been keeping all the tips for him, as it has just been family working just now, to get him set up for uni.

Co-owner Paul Fairweather prepares food for The Selkie’s community meals project.

“He had a bit of a hard time and he contacted us through the community meals and then his teacher got in touch and told us how much a difference it had made and that he got accepted for medicine. I was like ‘Wow! That’s great.’

“You can’t solve everything but you can make people know that you care. I have never met him but I am so proud of him.”

The Selkie’s community meals provided a lifeline to many families who were struggling due to a change in circumstances during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Kelly said that many people saw their situations sometimes change overnight and they were glad to be able to help.

She said: “When we were doing the community meals we were always going to fund it ourselves, the first 1,000 meals anyway (they ended up doing more than 1,600), and then people were coming in to buy a cup of coffee and putting the money from another cup of coffee in the pot to help.

A meal ready to go out.

“Some families were really needing a hand and some of the people who were getting meals were our customers who ended up losing their jobs.

“They were coming in spending £40 on coffee, cake and lunch and then suddenly it all changed and within a month they needed help.

“They have helped us by putting money in the till when we were starting up so it felt right to be able to help.

“There are a lot of people who don’t fit in the traditional boxes for help because they do work or live in a house with a mortgage. No one saw Covid-19 coming so it is a case of but for the grace of God for us all.”

 

The full original article can be found HERE > THE COURIER

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