11 Sep Braw Porridge at Brochan
In the first of our series of showcasing the fantastic businesses that we work work with we head to Edinburgh’s Brochan Cafe…
We caught up with the inspirational Elaine Morrison of Brochan in Marchmont in a rare lull after the busy Edinburgh Festival drew an international crowd, including one or two celebrities. Clive Anderson and Hearts Goalie Zdeñek Zlamál are just some of the regular visitors that drop by for Brochan’sfamous Scottish, organic porridge and Glen Lyon Coffee.
Elaine took a radical career change three years ago from working in the social housing sector to setting up her own café, dedicated to producing the finest Scottish porridge on Edinburgh’s south side. At first she faced a lot of scepticism that the idea would take hold in a country fuelled by bacon rolls for breakfast.
However, inspired by porridge bars like GrØdin Copenhagen and Covent Garden’s 26 Grains, Elaine realised it was high time that that the humble bowl of porridge, or ‘brochan’ in Gaelic, made a comeback in Scotland. She devised a range of options, from a simple porridge cooked in coconut milk, to wonderfully complex dishes with different grains, fruits and nuts.
At the heart of it all is a dedication to the oats. At first Elaine found getting hold of organic, Scottish oats to be a real challenge but she now sources the less processed ‘groats’ through Green City. Groats still have their husk on, a high-fiber bran, or outer skin, which also contains antioxidants and B vitamins. The Brochanteam painstakingly hand roll the groats into oats using a counter-top contraction that looks a bit like a fresh pasta maker.
The results speak for themselves with her customer feedback. Everyone who tries Elaine’s porridge comments on its texture, how creamy it is. One of Elaine’s favourite comments was that her porridge it is ‘fluffy like clouds.’ No wonder that it has taken the local health conscious community by storm. Elaine has also branched into the world of gluten free granola and has taken external catering for the likes of the British Council and Creative Scotland.
What is all the more remarkable is that Brochan has built up such a huge following (including featuring on food channel sensation SORTED) from such a small space. The kitchen is so tiny in the café that Elaine has to cook everything from home and she only has three tables and a few extra stools by the window. She puts her success down to the fact that she never compromises on what she offers her customers. “Actually we go the other way. The food I offer has to look as great as it tastes.”
We’re so proud to have been supplying Brochan with our Red Stag espresso since it opened and wish Elaine and her team continuing success for their amazing café and their focus on quality. They have proved that small is indeed beautiful and that it can even be ‘fluffy like clouds.’