It’s the view that knocks your socks off as you walk through the door of Drift coffee shop. The glass wall facing you offers a panoramic view of the north sea, dominated by Bass Rock, which is constantly being pestered by thousands of tiny white dots, the sea birds, flying around its rocky top.

As locations go, this is a cracker. Drift coffee shop sits on the headland at Canty Bay, just outside North Berwick, which opened in June 2018. The brainchild of Jo and Stuart McNicol, cereal farmers from Castleton Farm, which sits just along the road.

The first thing I notice is that the place is going like a fair. Whatever they are doing, it’s certainly a popular choice with the locals.

Drift is a simple concept, providing top quality coffee, cakes and lunches within a flexible space. That space is connected shipping containers which means the space can grow along with the needs of the business. It doesn’t feel like you are inside a container, the shabby chic interior is warm and welcoming.

Jo and Stuart have been working on this idea for a few years after spotting a container in Bristol selling coffee and having a light bulb moment. They had always wanted to operate a food and drink related diversification, Jo had experience in catering, but never as an owner, so this is a huge learning curve for them.

Jo and Stuart are the directors of Drift, though Jo spends most time there, the key driver of the business, and we all catch up on the only available seats in the place on a Thursday morning.

They have a laugh about how naïve they were when setting up initially, they thought they could operate out of one container, they now need six. They are very conscious of making sure the business is walking before it can run.

“We have already developed our menu from coffee and cakes, onto savoury muffins and scone-based lunches, and now we have introduced soup to the menu too. The scones we make have a following of their own, people are going crazy for them.”

They are rightly chuffed to tell me that they can sell up to 200 slices of cake a day.

So cereal farming and coffee shop ownership doesn’t seem to have much in the way of crossover skills.

Jo says: “I’ve been running my other business, Castleton Events for the past seven years. That has given me lots of experience working with the public, organising weddings and high-end events, on the farm site, overlooking the sea, which gave me skills that have been useful while we have been setting up Drift.

“Basically, what has been happening over the years, is that Stuart and I have been building our confidence while running our businesses to get ourselves to this point and believe we could do this. When we managed to secure funding, some of which came from Leader Scotland, Tyne and Esk region, it gave us the green light.”

They both agree that they have surpassed their own expectations on where Drift would be nine months after opening. However, they know that there is lots of experience out there, that they could tap into to take the business forward, which is one of the main reasons they agreed to be one of the two new Agritourism Monitor Farm Projects, which are funded by Scottish Enterprise.

“Running a café is a new venture for us, and we applied to become monitor farmers to gain support, ideas and knowledge from our peer group to help maximise the potential of this new business. We also wish to share our learnings with others and take them on a journey with us as we grow our business.”

When we met, they had just had their first meeting, and Jo and Stuart were buzzing with suggestions, ideas and tips that came out of the get together. It was a chance to find out what others are doing, what has worked, what to change and there was fantastic advice on social media that they implemented that morning.

Part of the reason to get involved in the Monitor Farm Project was to help them incorporate their plan to educate the public on farming. They have ideas of being part of a food network, to work collaboratively with other rural business and food producers in the area, of which there are many in East Lothian. The ideas are flowing and with the help and advice from the people involved in the Monitor Farm Project they hope they can implement them.

Jo says; “It’s easy to get bogged down when you are involved in a business daily, you are running and running every day. The Monitor Farm offers a fresh set of eyes to look at the whole picture and make changes as needed along the way.”

Meanwhile, the café is cracking on. All the tables are full, however, there is seating for another 40 on picnic benches outside for when the sun shines. Every cake, scone, traybake, savoury muffin, batch of soup is freshly made in their own kitchen. Jo and her staff have developed a range of gluten free cakes which are tremendously popular, and they have started a range of lactose free cakes also.

Even though Stuart’s main role is as a cereals farmer, he works on the development side of the business of Drift, and they both tell me that he is the fire fighting service around here. If something needs done in a hurry, then Stuart gets the call. He is clearing tables when he notices they need attention today.

They are both really enjoying the café business. Jo says she loves it. They have a terrific team of young staff, with lots of energy. They finish up by telling me that there is so much scope here.

“We want to do this well, maintain the high standards we have set, and we will definitely take our time to do this right.” And as they are busy seven days a week, then they are certainly doing something right.