Scottish couple brings touches of home to Haymarket
As the story goes, way back in a little town in Scotland, two teenagers met, dated, and ultimately married. Their hearts desired to travel the world so they embarked on a trip to the United States, arriving first in New Orleans, then Roanoke, eventually settling in our little town of Haymarket three children later.
The Maclean family consists of Karen, Graham, and their three girls, Chloe, Emma, and Mia. Karen, whose personality exudes kindness and openness, and Graham, whose twinkly blue eyes and friendly demeanor make him immediately approachable, have set up shop at Dunbri’s Dessert Cafe, bringing a little bit of Scotland with them.
While they both desired to one day own a business, neither one of them knew what that would look like when it happened. But then the space where a former yogurt shop existed became available for sale in the Trading Square shopping center and the pair seized the opportunity.
Both Karen and Graham wanted this business to fill a gap in Haymarket. They also wanted something that used their individual skill sets but that would also be totally different for both of them. Karen is a physical therapist by day and Graham a soccer coach. Building on the already existing fro-yo (short for frozen yogurt) setup, they transformed the space into a comfortable, relaxing environment people would enjoy. Karen says she and their three daughters really enjoyed working together to design the cafe’s industrial/antique/rustic atmosphere.
In Scotland, people go out for coffee and cake, says Karen. It’s an event; a time where people meet to chat, hang out, and lounge. And that’s what they wanted Dunbri’s to be for our community. The bonus is that there is something for everyone: ice cream, cakes, donuts, coffee, tea, and even soups and sandwiches.
Once the vision was decided, then came the decision about naming it. Graham spent his childhood in Dunblane, while Karen’s was in Bridge of Allan. By taking the first three letters of each of these town names, they created Dunbri’s — a reflection of both their backgrounds and influences on the business.
While the menu and the design of the space will always evolve to keep it fresh, the feel will stay the same, and visitors will have the opportunity to experience even more Scottish items, like jams and other touches, from the family’s travels.
One such item, the Pure Barry, is a dessert the family experienced while on holiday in London.
Picture this: vanilla soft serve ice cream in a waffle cone, surrounded by a fluffy colorful circle of cotton candy. Named after a Scottish slang term, “pure barry” translates to “really good” or “really brilliant.” The treat has been so popular, particularly with kids, that sometimes they refer to Graham as Mr. Barry. One customer even gave out hugs because he was so happy the Pure Barry really existed in real life and not just in the Facebook posts he’d seen online.
“It’s truly been a lot of fun and great education for our kids,” says Graham with his charming Scottish accent. What brings him the most joy is being able to teach his daughters how to work with people and show them what you can accomplish with hard work. Karen’s eyes light up when conveying how much their daughters have put their ideas and creativity into the store.
In June, Dunbri’s will celebrate its one-year anniversary. While the future is bright, this quaint little shop will always keep its core: a place for conversation, entertainment, and getting to know each other. Let this be your go-to for after-dinner treats, a great lunch, or adult conversation while the kids play games.
Bring Dad in for Father’s Day!
Share a table and a rich, savory French press coffee, hot tea, or chocolate or even a flavored lemonade or hand-spun frothy shake. With the warmer weather coming, try the Dole Float, a refreshing choice made of pineapple juice, a swirl of vanilla froyo and pineapples, and designed like the famous floats served at Disneyland. Take a look in the pastry display and sample an array of delectable cakes, cronuts (a cross between a croissant and a donut), bite-sized cheesecakes, cookies, and more. And don’t forget the many delightful flavors of frozen yogurt available. Top them with your favorite candies or fruits and enjoy!