Meet: Mary's Milk Bar
March 25, 2021 - Alice Barnes
We know our recent giveaway with the tastiest chocolate shop in Edinburgh caught the attention of anyone with a sweet tooth, and we certainly enjoyed our treats on the shoot! So we thought let’s catch up with Mary and find out more about her shop…
Hey Mary, can’t wait to hear more about Mary’s Milk Bar!
Can you sum up Mary’s Milk Bar in five words?
Tweeny, Weeny, Sticky, Happy and Sweet
How did you come to start Mary’s Milk Bar?
I was looking for a new challenge and simply wanted a nice place to work. One thing led to another, I attended Gelato School at Carpigiani's Bologna, then found a shop and within a few months opened Mary's Milk Bar. Looking back on it now, it was a huge risk but it never felt like that at the time. I had a small dream to open a small, nice place and I hope I've achieved that.
You definitely have!
We know you love to experiment with all different flavours, what are the top three you’ve made?
So difficult! Salty Liquorice, White Chocolate Thyme, Peanut, Chilli Coconut, Walnut & Fig, Gooseberry to name a few...
That was a bit mean to make you pick just three! They all sound AMAZING, how do you come up with new flavours?
Loads of different things help me come up with flavours from reading old recipe books, customer stories and going on holiday. A holiday to Japan brought Black Sesame, Kinako Powder and Miso while a trip to New York brought Dill pickle and Old Bay seasoning into my kitchen. All we do at the Milk Bar is discuss what we're going to have for our tea so we're pretty obsessed.
Sounds similar to our office. When we are allowed to visit Edinburgh obviously our first stop will be you, but where else should we explore?
Lockdown has given us the opportunity to explore all the nooks and crannies of Edinburgh. I love all of Edinburgh's graveyards, cobbled vennels, seaside and volcanos. We can't wait to go back to Armchair Books' paperback mountains, buns from Nice Times, vintage clothing from Herman Brown, Carnivale and Armstrong's, sarnies from Albys and a pint from the Blue Blazer or Bow Bar.
We’ve also heard through the grapevine you have a great story about how you came to discover Tatty Devine, please tell!
Tatty Devine was recommended to me many, many years ago by an old gent in a pub. He came up to me with the name Tatty Devine written on a beer mat and said he thought I was the kind of person who'd appreciate this kind of jewellery. I think he was a proud relative or friend but I think it sums up how things work in Edinburgh - word of mouth goes a long way and although Edinburgh is a capital city, it's very much a village in character. We all like to chat.
What’s your most coveted Tatty Devine piece?
I have many old favourites which I wear all the time - the Crinkle Crisp Necklace, the Chip Fork Barrette and my Lobster Necklace in Red. I would have loved to own a Pretzel piece but I was too slow!
What a collection! Time for some quickfire questions, we’ll start with another toughie...
If you had to give up either chocolate or gelato, which would you pick?
Impossible question! I can't pick between my children!
What song do you love to listen to in the shop?
We love anything by the Pointer Sisters or S Express plus some good old Bessie Smith. I'm a big Eurovision fan which I inflict on as many people as possible.
Who do you find inspiring that you follow on Instagram?
I have an eclectic mix of accounts from history, fiction, cookery, art, fashion to sumo. Following local businesses like Armchair Books, Bearded Baker, Grow Urban, Century General Store, 101 Bakery, Lovecrumbs, Little Fitzroy and many more have really helped keep us all going throughout lockdown - even if it's just to realise that you're not alone and other people have the same thoughts as you.
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