EXCITING plans to develop a flagship ice cream parlour and coffee shop in the heart of Aberdeen will herald a new chapter for one of Scotland’s best known family firms.
Mackie’s of Scotland has formally announced that it will open its first branded retail unit at the £107 million Marischal Square development – signing a 15 year lease and joining All Bar One, Marriott Hotels and Aberdeen Journals as an early ‘scoop’ on the developer’s client list.
With plans to open next summer, the 70 cover venture will provide discerning customers with a choice of more than thirty flavours of ice cream, plus a growing range of chocolate now produced in the £600,000 chocolate factory at the family’s Westertown Farm near Inverurie.
The firm hopes the combination of its produce from the farm, paired with artisan coffee and fresh local foods will eventually become a familiar fixture in many of Scotland’s towns and cities.
Karin Mackie, Marketing Director with Mackie’s of Scotland, said: “The last few years have seen us travel around the UK and further afield, including Italy and the United States to sample and experience some of the world’s best ice cream parlours and gelateria chocolatiers – and we are looking forward to bringing all we have learned to Aberdeen.
“Our developments in chocolate and ongoing experimentation with new ice cream flavour combinations mean that we are particularly excited to have taken one of the new retail units, which will contain a range of new and familiar products from Mackie’s.
“We are proud of our North East heritage and we will work hard to make this a real positive addition to the centre of Aberdeen. We are very much viewing this as the next chapter for the business and want to create the flagship branch in our home city.”
The transformational Marischal Square development is led by Muse Developments, Aberdeen City Council and Aviva Investors.
Aberdeen City Council Deputy Leader Councillor Marie Boulton said: “It is fantastic that Mackies, which is one of the best-known food and drink companies from the north-east, is opening up its first café in the Marischal Square development.
“The £107million Marischal Square development will help develop the east end of the city centre as part of the City Centre Masterplan plans for the area.
“We want to attract prestigious brands to Marischal Square so having Mackies which is a truly home-grown success and is now a country-wide name is a brilliant first to have.”
Muse Regional Director for Scotland, Steve Turner, believes the deal to attract Mackie’s represents another key moment in the development’s progress.
He said: “We are delighted to have another major and iconic North-east brand name join the list of occupiers at Marischal Square. The Mackie’s plans are exciting, innovative and exactly the kind of business proposition we are looking to bring to the project.
“The ambition from day one was to make Marischal Square work for all involved and deliver a transformational development which would provide significant employment and business opportunities for this vital city centre area. As part of the wider City Centre Masterplan ambitions, this is another important deal which will deliver against those ambitions.” he added.
Derren McRae, Managing Director for CBRE Aberdeen, said: “In Mackie’s of Scotland, we are delighted to have secured a quality local operator for such a key unit in Marischal Square. It is positive news that another occupier had committed to the development 10 months ahead of practical completion. Their offer will be of great benefit not only to the office workers but also to visitors to the wider development, Provost Skene’s House and Marischal College.”