AliBob duo share their recipe for success with Perthshire’s businesswomen at latest PBN ‘Striving For Excellence’ talk

Team work and a great scone recipe are the secrets behind the success of the award-winning AliBob Café in Errol.

That was the upbeat message from Ali and Bob Abercrombie who were the latest high-profile Perthshire entrepreneurs to address Perthshire Businesswomen’s Network (PBN) as part of the group’s highly successful ‘Striving For Success’ inspirational talks series.

The couple were also joined by fellow guest speaker Lynn Cunningham from The Poverty Alliance at the well-attended event in the Cairn o’Mhor Winery on Thursday evening (July 27).

Ali Abercrombie held her audience enthralled with how she and husband Bob gave up high-powered jobs in UN procurement and the court service in Bosnia to follow their dream of opening a restaurant.

She also talked about the challenges of working with your partner 24/7: “We are both very different personalities but it works because we are passionate about the business.”

And revealed the meaning behind the quirky names she gives her home-made soups: “A customer asked why the soup of the day was called ‘Hole In My Bucket’? Obvious really … it’s full of leeks!”

Beforehand, the Poverty Alliance’s newly-appointed Living Wage Accreditation Officer Lynn Cunningham championed the business benefits of paying the real Living Wage of £8.45 an hour to PBN members.

Said Lynn: “When PBN board member Tricia Fox invited me to speak at this high profile business event I jumped at the opportunity to share the very real advantages of paying a real Living Wage.

“The link between paying the real Living Wage and what you get from staff in return is well documented. Research has proved that if staff are treated well, employers will reap the benefits of increased productivity, better attendance levels and a strongly motivated workforce.

“Becoming a Living Wage employer sends a strong message about company values, which in turn makes it easier to recruit – and retain –  top quality staff. It can also attract ethically responsible consumers and even extends to competitive tendering.

“By being accredited as a real Living Wage employer – like Perth & Kinross Council – companies and organisations can demonstrate their commitment to Fair Work when tendering for public sector work.”

And she added: “I’m keen to get the message across to the business community and am happy to come out to speak to employers, staff and business organisations. You can contact me by telephone 07846 375349 or email”

PBN board member Tricia Fox has been championing the real Living Wage since her award-winning  Marketing & PR Agency was accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, in partnership with the Poverty Alliance, in April 2015.

Tricia Fox, Managing Director of Perth-based Volpa, explained: “Being a responsible business is about making a difference to both your customers and your employees, it’s not just about delivering profit to the bottom line in any given year. Employees are at the heart of any business and it’s important to have a team that are focused on delivering your business exceptional results. Not only that, becoming a Living Wage Employer can boost the profile of your business and it’s a great thing to be able to shout about through the media and on social media. Modern employers really need to start asking themselves how they can pay a living wage, not if.”

PBN’s 2017 ‘Striving For Excellence’ series has attracted an impressive line-up of inspirational speakers including Iain Hutchison (Managing Director of world-leading drilling engineering experts Merlin ERD) and most recently Ali and Bob Abercrombie (co-owners of the award-winning AliBob Café at Cairn O’Mohr Winery in Errol).

The line-up for the rest of the year includes: Oli Norman (founder and owner of deals online site itison and Dada PR), Helen Smout (Chief Executive of Culture Perth & Kinross) and Chris van der Kuyl (co-founder of 4J Studios and developer of the Minecraft console editions).