You’d be hard pushed not to like Rebecca Carr, with her infectious enthusisim and wide smile.
She’s come a long way from her humble roots as a Saturday girl, and now owns her own thriving hair and beauty business in Kintore.
With people traveling from all over to get their hair seen to by Rebecca’s team, you may also recognize her as one of the esteemed judges for The Society Awards 2022, in association with Aberdeen Inspired.
Rebecca was called upon for her hair and beauty expertise, as she also owns The Residence where her team offer numerous treatments.
From weddings to facials, it’s a busy old time for the mum of two.
But she didn’t limit herself to keeping the people of the north-east looking glam.
And despite not having much experience in the world of hospitality, Rebecca realized that she could give her clients, not to mention local residents, the ultimate experience.
Step forward The Hummingbird Cafe, which has been on the go for two years.
From delicious sandwiches to signature salads, the cafe also offers a wide variety of hot and cold drinks.
Featuring outdoor seating and a children’s play area, you can enjoy lunch whilst having your tresses groomed, or simply sit down and relax as a family.
“So many of our clients travel from far and wide, and a lot of them come with their husband or family for a day out,” said Rebecca.
“It was the inspiration behind setting up a cafe, where you can order lunch whilst getting your hair done.
“It’s killing two birds with one stone.
My main vision was a friendly cafe where you can get delicious fresh food.”
The Hummingbird team is led by 20-year-old Aaron Barclay, who is affectionately known as Mr Hummingbird.
There are also three chefs who all have their own area of expertise, so it’s no wonder the menu is so impressive.
The focus is on simple filling food, and Rebecca is proud of the fact that nothing is brought in from elsewhere.
made in house
“We make everything, right down to our pesto,” said Rebecca.
We’ve now reached a stage where we can take the next step, so selling more of our products like our jams and chutneys in house.”
“I almost wanted people to be able to pick things up to take home with them.”
Supporting fellow local businesses within the community has also been a driving factor for Rebecca.
“We’re tweaking things just now, but from the very beginning I sat down with Team Carr and we talked about our favorite dishes,” she said.
“One of our most popular dishes is our brie and caramelized red onion panini.
“We did so many signature salads over summer, now we’re doing hotpots such as shepherds pie.
“All the meat we use is from the butcher, we use Dossett Butcher in Kintore.”
Warming soups include chorizo bean and vegetable broth, plus there are fine pieces like a milkyway crispy slice.
Not forgetting drinks, there’s the usual cappuccinos, lattes, and soft drinks.
Rebecca is particularly proud of the signature hot chocolate.
“It’s so so good,” she said.
“It’s made with pure chocolate and can be topped with cream and marshmellows.
“We also stock Summerhouse Drinks who are based in Fraserburgh.
“They are a fantastic business to work with, and collaborating with other businesses is something I want to do a lot more of.”
Challenges of pandemic
It hasn’t all been plain sailing, in part due to Covid.
Not only was Rebecca forced to close the hair salon, she also had to consider shelving her dream of the cafe – which was in the process of getting built.
“I invested in the business, then Covid happened,” she said.
“It was really daunting with no money coming in, but I pushed ahead to get everything finished.
“It’s only now that I’m able to tweak areas, and really focus on what we can push and drive forward.”
It’s not just those getting their hair done who enjoy what’s on offer at The Hummingbird Cafe.
Thanks to takeaway options and a tasty breakfast menu, Rebecca believes there are a wide range of customers.
“Some locals come in every single day to show their support to us,” she said.
“The village has been behind us from the very beginning.
“We also get an awful lot of families.
“On a nice day, our tables outside are full.
“The play area is gated so you have peace of mind, where else can you go on a nice day to sit and have a chinwag with your friends?”
Adapting to motherhood has also influenced Rebecca and her vision, as she juggles working with caring for her two young sons.
“Before having children, would I have built a play area?
“Probably not,” said Rebecca.
Influence of family life
“Motherhood has completely changed my thought process.
“We aim to entertain the whole family.
Our clients come from all over, I have one clients who comes from France to get her hair cut and another client who lives in Norway.”
“With free parking, there’s not the stress of getting parked like you might find in town.”
It’s very much a family affair with Rebecca’s parents helping out.
“They do all the flowers, and even the tradesmen have been in my life for years.
“Once the hummingbird wallpaper was up, it just brought so much life to the building.
“We also have a little gift shop within the cafe where you can get all kinds of nic naks.
“Where I’m from, you get married and have kids.
“So there’s times when I can’t believe I’ve done this and how much things have naturally grown.
“The best thing for us has been community support.
“Word of mouth still counts for so much.”
For more information, find The Hummingbird Cafe on Instagram or on Facebook.
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[Rebecca Carr on launching Kintore business]