WeeCOOK to Open Shop in Wellgate CentreNeil Hardie
Popular artisan pie maker and restaurant The WeeCOOK will finally open its shop in the Wellgate Centre tomorrow.
Dundee folk can get their ehs on the pehs on Saturday May 1 when the WeeCOOKthrows open the doors of its Dundee shop.
Well-known for their signature pies, which they sell at farmers’ markets and deliver all over the country, the Barry-based restaurant won a retail unit in the city’s Wellgate Centre in a competition more than four months ago.
But they only managed to host a couple of pop-up events before being forced to close when the second lockdown was implemented.
Now, however, The WeeCOOK team are licking their lips at the prospect of bringing their mouth-watering pehs, and more, to the people of Dundee.
Chef and proprietor Hayley Wilkes, said: “We only managed to pop-up for two days at Christmas to give it a road test, see what it would be like and see what we needed to do.
“We have never done retail before so this is all brand new for us, but everyone at the Wellgate has been so amazing and supportive. There’s really nice buzz and it’s a really friendly place to be.”
While The WeeCOOK will be selling their own produce, they will also be providing an opportunity for other traders to visit and host pop-ups within the premises.
“The opening will be as grand as we can get and we have Dundee Cheesecakes coming along. We will have Fudge and Fancies coming along at some point, Artisana, Sacred Grounds, Fournos Greek food, all local Angus traders who frequent the Dundee markets and ones that we have built relationships with,” enthused Hayley
“They are little businesses throughout lockdown who have delivered and supported their local communities the best they can. So we are giving them the stalls for free, as it is nice to be able to give something back.
“We have been next to Dundee Cheesecakes at Dundee Market and they sell out because they are so, so popular.
“We are hoping to get some strawberries in, too.”
Rachel Forbes, 21, will be running the Wellgate shop. She has a background in hospitality and is going on to study events management, so Hayley said she is “perfect” for the role.
“We will be doing cold pies, hot pies and click and collect on the pies,” Hayley continued.
“It’s just an extra way for people to get to our pies – maybe people who don’t drive or can’t get out to Barry or maybe can’t get to the market.”
And they will also be selling other merchandise for pie fans, like mugs, which are very popular, and T-shirts.
“We get so many people asking for them. We have been forced to nick them from the restaurant,” added Hayley.
“We did sell a few before Christmas and T-shirts, we got lots for the staff, and people were asking for those as well.
“It’s another little bit of branding, it helps to promote awareness of us and it’s a bit of fun as well, for our loyal supporters. We have got some leaflets printed up, too, so people can get a 5% discount if they are spending £25 or more and in the restaurant. It is giving something back to people who have supported us.”
The Wellgate pie shop will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, said Hayley who added: “We don’t know what the footfall will be for us, plus we want to make sure that staff have a good work-life balance.
“They will have Mondays and Tuesday off, and we will bake Wednesdays and Thursdays to stock up ready for the busy days.
“I know retail is changing and everyone is buying online, but it is trying to get a little hybrid model which fits around our staffs’ lives and the way the world is working just now.”