THE new premises of Inverurie based charity Fly-Cup Catering were officially opened by First Minister and Aberdeenshire East MSP Alex Salmond on Friday, (February 22).
Fly-Cup Catering were founded in 1995 to help adults with learning difficulties to get training, experiences and ultimately employment within the catering sector. The charity moved to the new premises at Blackhall Industrial Estate in 2012, that provide larger training facilities, including a bigger kitchen, and also houses a community cafe and shop. The charity managed to raise around £100,000 from local and national businesses and charitable funds to relocate to the purpose-designed unit.
As well as providing comprehensive training, Fly Cup also operates as a commercial business venture, and provides quality homebakes and celebration cakes, along with catering for business lunches, wedding receptions and buffets, and work closely with local catering establishments to develop work placements for trainees.
Mr Salmond, unveiled a plaque at Fly Cup’s new premises in Inverurie to mark the official opening.
Commenting on the new facility, Mr Salmond said, “I was extremely impressed by Fly Cup’s new facility and I’m certain it will really help the charity to reach its full potential.
“Fly Cup represents the very best of charitable initiative and it is clear that the young trainees get a lot out of the experience.
“I’m delighted to offer my support for this excellent local project and appeal to residents and businesses in the North East to offer their support too.”
Fly Cup Catering are now seeking volunteers to help out in their café and training kitchen and to sign up as occasional volunteers for large-scale events, and Mr Salmond added, “What Fly Cup needs now is a solid customer-base for their superb homebakes and more willing volunteers to give generously of their time to make sure that the café continues to flourish.”
Fly Cup Catering’s business manager Louise Sutherland said, “We all thoroughly enjoyed the visit from Alex Salmond on Friday – it was fantastic!
“What we really require going forward are more volunteers to support our trainees in the kitchen and a bank of volunteers that we can count on for large functions. Whether you can offer to help for an hour every day or an hour every second month, you will be warmly welcomed as a Fly Cup volunteer.
“Now the new café is up and running we want people to come and visit us. Every penny spent here is money well spent – improving our training programme, and improving lives.”
Friday’s launch celebration was also attended by regional MSP Mark McDonald, who said, “I was very impressed by the turnout for Friday’s grand opening, the new café was packed to the rafters, and I sincerely hope that business will continue to boom for Fly Cup.
“I have no doubt that the greatly improved facilities at the new site will help trainees with learning difficulties to develop their skills, and I would urge the local community to support this project fully.”
Inverurie and District councillor Hamish Vernal added, “What a superb facility and well deserving of broad support from the community.”