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Kind hearted East Lothian restaurateur donates £250 to local food bank and plans to match customer donations

The owner of a family-run restaurant in East Lothian has kick-started a new charity initiative to help local people affected by the covid-19 outbreak by donating £250 worth of food and drink to a local food bank and promising to match any customer donations.

Published: April 1, 2020
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Graham Blaikie, who runs the independent Mercat Grill in Whitecraig, East Lothian said that as well as their own donation, they will match every food item donated by their customers, which they can do safely and conveniently, when ordering from the restaurant’s new take-away service, at time of their food being delivered.

Explaining the new initiative Mr Blaikie said: “We do a great deal in our bar and restaurant to help various charities and now more than ever, we really want to do everything we can to help in this time of crisis.

"We’ve obviously had to shut our doors to customers drinking and dining with us but now we’re bringing our delicious dishes to your door, which will help us try and stay in business, retain our staff and with our new foodbank collection service – bring much-needed sustenance to those in Mid and East Lothian, who really need it."

Graham with the donation point. Picture: MG

Mr Blaikie added that they intend to make a regular donation of food to workers at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, he said: “We’re going to be making some of our tasty, fresh and wholesome cuisine and dropping these dishes off on a regular basis for the incredible, brave and hard-working Edinburgh NHS workers to whom we are extremely grateful for their life-saving work.

"Last night, I dropped off homemade pizzas, lasagnas, fish and chips, cans of juice and chocolate, with a big thank you note."

To add a little more cheer for their customer the Mercat will also be offering customers (chosen at random) some wonderful gifts, he added: “Every week, to bring a little cheer to our customers ordering take-away, we’ll be selecting at random, a customer who will receive our Mercat Grill’s ‘Happy Hamper’.

"We’ll be putting together little surprises and dropping them at your door – it could be anything from a voucher for take-away fish and chips, cheese and wine to a bottle of bubbly.”

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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