Allegedly the highest café in the Highlands, The Apiary @ Dalwhinnie sits just off the A9 in the centre of Dalwhinnie. Serving homemade cakes, delicious meals and our Peak & Wild coffee, it’s a popular choice amongst cyclists, hikers, dog owners and the local community. We popped in to speak to the owner Mike, and his team, about their business and why Peak & Wild was the right fit.
About the Owners & Café
Mike and his partner, Nikki, opened the Apiary in October 2022. With a few cafés in Norfolk, over 10 years in the industry and having visited the Scottish Highlands for over 15 years, the pair decided it was finally the right time for their next adventure.
Between December and March 2022, Mike travelled the NC500 and beyond in search of the perfect place, with no luck. Whilst on the bi-annual trip to the Highlands on holiday, the site for the Apiary @ Dalwhinnie was found. Mike told us –
“Dalwhinnie has always been significant to us. When we reach the Distillery, we finally feel like we have returned home to the Highlands. When we came to look at this place, before we even reached the end of the road, I already knew that this was the place for us”.
Not without its challenges, Mike commented “everyone told us it won’t work and we were mad”. Despite seasonal trade and staffing challenges in a remote location, Mike has thoroughly done his research and the café is certainly thriving. From the locals to outdoor enthusiasts and tourists on their way up North, the Apiary @ Dalwhinnie offers the perfect destination stop for delicious cakes, coffee and meals with ambitious growth plans for the future.
The Perfect Fit for Peak & Wild
Matthew Algie is proud to supply the Apiary @ Dalwhinnie with our sustainable Peak & Wild coffee, supporting the conservation of the Scottish rainforest and working in close partnership with the John Muir Trust.
We asked Mike why he chose Peak & Wild:
“Having owned and still own previous cafés back in Norfolk, we knew from the very start to learn from our mistakes. Ensuring that our coffee offering is always of a high quality was an important factor. We tried various coffee from different suppliers and considered using a more local supplier, but it was not of the same standard or quality.
That’s when we tried Peak & Wild from Matthew Algie. The quality of the coffee, consistent roast and taste, it’s not a cheap coffee that you can buy anywhere else. The perfect amount of sugar and acidity, perfect in a flat white.”
Mike tells us in more detail why Peak & Wild was the right fit for the Apiary:
“What flipped Peak & Wild was not only the quality but everything the brand stands for. We chose Peak & Wild over local suppliers, we already knew about the John Muir Trust, having walked many of the paths and with the youth work Matthew Algie helps to support, it’s our way of giving back. It’s worth paying more for a good cause. With nine beautiful Munros surrounding the Apiary @ Dalwhinnie, it makes sense for us to want to support something that is going to help conserve the land.
When we explain to our customers about Peak & Wild, it fits in with our ethos and everything we want to do. We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, increasing our recycling, planting bee-friendly flowers, and trying to support local as much as possible with chutneys, jams and crafts made in the local village and available to buy. We are looking at how we can create our own charitable initiatives for Cairngorm Mountain Rescue, but for now Peak & Wild helps us to give back.“
A Very Unique Approach to Peak & Wild
As a keen nature enthusiast, Mike has an unusual approach to his coffee offering.
“It’s the way my mind works. We love all three blends of the Peak & Wild range and wanted to incorporate them into our coffee offering. As Bracken grows in the Spring, we have served the Bracken blend through the Spring months. At the moment, we are serving the Santa Izabel single origin in the Summer. As Bramble grows in the Winter, we follow the seasonality of the plants through our coffee and will look to bring this in around October.
The quality of the coffee does get complimented. We get amazing feedback and reviews on Google. We serve great coffee, not just a good coffee (even to the standards of coffee snobs). Our customers have commented on the changing seasonal coffee and enjoy the variation in flavour profiles and trying something new.”
What’s next for the Apiary?
When we asked Mike about his plans for the Apiary and Peak & Wild, there is sure to be a busy future ahead. With plans to expand to an outdoor coffee bar offering takeaway, tease of a farm shop and retail offering. Mike has grand plans to create “a destination, not a drive through with an aim to develop the wasteland around the area and supporting a hub for the local community”.
“We are excited for the growth of Peak & Wild and introducing future blends launched to continue developing our ever-growing seasonal coffee menu and hopefully expand into retail. We would recommend Peak & Wild to any of our customers and pass on recommendations. The great thing about Peak & Wild is the consistency, every time we open a bag of coffee, we know it’s the same freshness and quality as the last bag. Hand roasted and handled with care.”
Visit The Apiary @ Dalwhinnie
The Lodge, Station Road, Dalwhinnie PH19 1AB
Make sure to pop in for a delicious coffee and treats from Mike and the team at the Apiary @ Dalwhinnie on your next trip. If you are thinking about changing your coffee offering or would like to find out more about Peak & Wild, get in touch with us.