A NEW manager at a popular Dumbarton cafe is keeping it in the family by taking the business over from her aunt and uncle.

Former investment banker Alison Quinn has turned her back on the financial world to take on the Teashop in the Artizan Shopping Centre.

The former helper and regular visitor was the natural choice to take over when Reg and Catherine Barrett decided to hang up their pinnies and retire after 25 years.

And Alison has even paid tribute to the former owners by renaming the cafe Auntie’s Teashop.

The 47-year-old, who lives with her husband in Dumbarton, said: “The business was originally called Auntie’s – but I’m not sure why. Back then it was based in the town centre and when it first opened I was their Saturday girl for several years.

“I was also a pretty regular customer so the shop is pretty familiar to me as a customer. Then when they moved to the Artizan Centre they called it Teashop Artizan but I have decided to change it back to Auntie’s Teashop.

“People still refer to it as that and I’ve taken it over from my aunt and not only that I have two nephews who only ever refer to me simply as ‘auntie’ so it just seemed appropriate.” She added: “I worked in investment banking for 20 years so I’m used to working in the city and travelling around a lot but now I’m back full time in Dumbarton.

“It is a complete change. I’m pretty used to the long hours but it is a lot more physical.

“My mum taught me to bake but I haven’t had much practice since so cooking for people on such a large scale is a big learning curve too but I’m loving it.” Alison said she has no radical plans in mind for the cafe and plans to maintain the homely, familiar atmosphere.

She said: “I am lucky that we already have such a loyal and long-standing customer base who have been very supportive of the new management and I am really grateful to them.

“At the same time I’m keen to settle in to the local scene and attract plenty of new business too.” Helping maintain the family feel, Alison is also keen to support another family member, her mum’s cousin, Anne Marshall, who displays her paintings for sale in the café.

Alison said: “I’m delighted to be able to do that for her. They are all local scenes so very popular and many of them are painted from memory of places and things that aren’t there any more so people really like those.” Louise Scott, marketing manager for the Artizan Shopping Centre, said: “The Teashop is a real meeting place for the town and has become something of a Dumbarton institution.

“It’s great that Alison is taking over and keeping the family connection going and so it is very much Auntie’s.”