Ella was born in the building, which dates back to 1800, in 1932, and still lives two doors away.
From starting life as a coach house, the building has been transformed by new owners, Joanne and Iain Stewart, into a café and gift shop selling arts and crafts, cards, stationery, gifts, books, ice cream, speciality coffees and freshly baked scones.
During the summer, there will be a special focus on eco-friendly products, when The Beehive Crail will offer plastic-free beach toys and will hire out buckets and spades, crablines, nets, handmade branded bellyboards and other beachy items.
Joanne and Iain had originally planned to open this summer, but supply issues, coupled with the Covid pandemic and availability of tradespeople, prompted them to delay the opening for a few months.
“We started work in February this year and it’s been a fascinating process of discovering more about this historic building,” says Joanne, who is originally from Durham.
“We kept finding hidden doors and windows that had been boarded up, and we’ve spent many long hours stripping back. We want to preserve the building’s heritage as much as possible, so the Victorian cornice work in the side room has been carefully cleaned.”
Moving to Crail from Edinburgh and deciding to open The Beehive Crail was a decision that Joanne and Iain took during the Covid lockdown. Both were in the same line of work as cultural tour operators, an industry that struggled during the pandemic.
“We would either have had to get ‘normal’ jobs,” says Joanne. “Or move to this idyllic place by the sea that makes us feel we are constantly on holiday and where we can exploit our creativity. We are enormously grateful for the friendship and support from the local community and tradespeople who’ve helped get us to this point. We hope that The Beehive Crail will become something to be proud of and honour Crail’s fine past.”
Ella Forgan, who was born in the building in 1932 as Ella Borella, is delighted to still be involved in the next phase of the historic building.