The Eggxorcist may have only launched in April, but already it’s set hauntingly high brunch standards in Aberdeen.
The business revolves around eggs – as you’d expect. But at The Eggxorcist’s core is its aim to provide healthy brunch options to people in the north-east, by making the most of fresh local food and ingredients.
Inspired by other food outlets in London and Edinburgh, The Eggxorcist operates a takeaway only service from The Cloud Kitchen space in Merkland Road East.
This allows the business to save money on overheads compared to traditional bricks-and-mortar locations, while also appealing to the increase in demand for food deliveries witnessed during the pandemic.
The Eggxorcist is the brainchild of owner Stuart Ross. The 35 year old currently has a team of five staff working alongside him, including Manager Chloe Raitt, 23, who told us more about the good eggs at The Eggxorcist.
Can you tell me about your own journey into cooking?
I’ve always really cared about food; my whole family growing up revolved around it. My grandfather was a chef in the army and a baker’s apprentice, so I was taught well from a young age. I recently worked for Roots Catering where I started as a chef before the owner allowed me to take on more responsibility. I think this helped me realise that I was interested in the management side of food businesses and people. I really care about small businesses. Big hotels and fine dining food have never captured me in the same way.
How did the idea for The Eggxorcist arise?
The idea for The Eggxorcist came from the owner, Stuart making brunch at home in his PJ’s. For years, brunch was a huge passion for him, and he was always being told by friends to make something out of his breakfast creativity. With lockdown, he quickly realised that they were right, and his ideas were different to what he felt he could get elsewhere.
How did your role with The Eggxorcist come about?
I originally applied for a role at another one of Stuart’s businesses, but he had seen my work experience and knew he had a different role in mind for me. When I first started with the company, we weren’t sure what my role was really going to be, but [being a manager] became something I was passionate about.
It feels great to be a manager so young. I definitely feel accomplished, but I always feel like there’s more to learn.
I have had some issues with people who really haven’t liked the fact I’m young, a woman and in charge, but that definitely reflects more on them as people than on me. “
Did you feel that there was a gap in the market for brunch offerings in Aberdeen?
There’s a gap for a good quality, healthy brunch anywhere. However, we did see a particular gap for a quality brunch in the delivery market – one that is not a classic fry up. We want to bring something you’d expect to see in a more competitive market, like Edinburgh or Glasgow, and also focus on what we can showcase from other local businesses.
What is a cloud kitchen? Should people expect to see more of them in future?
As a chef, I think they’re great. They allow small food businesses and people with big dreams to start out far easier with small overheads. On top of this, the delivery market is so big. People aren’t having unhealthy takeaways on a Friday anymore – they’re keen for a healthy but comforting option for delivery. New businesses that work with dynamic new models can create jobs and keep people working. I think there will definitely be a big trend in cloud and dark kitchens popping up.
What have been some of the main challenges you’ve faced so far as a business?
One of our biggest challenges to date would be finding chefs that are keen to be a part of such a new and dynamic young business. Being delivery only, I think it puts some chefs off that have been used to a classic way of working, pre-pandemic.
What would you say is the core ethos at The Eggxorcist?
Our main ethos is to produce a high-quality healthy brunch but keep it egg-xciting, fresh and local. We aim to provide a fun, dynamic and healthy workspace for budding chefs and keen foodies.
How would you describe the perfect egg?
Firm on the outside, gooey and golden on the inside and locally found.
What are some of the main offerings at The Eggxorcist?
We serve swanky toasts – using bread from Bandit Bakery – which are fun toasts built around poached eggs. We do a fantastic vegan one that’s composed of sweet potato and whipped cream cheeze, but other ones on the menu are aimed to be really healthy, like our chipotle and lime mackerel on toast with goji berries. We also serve smoothie bowls and clean supplemented smoothies which are all aimed at helping you healthily.
How important is it for you to make the most of local produce and ingredients in your brunch dishes?
It’s massively important to us. From day one, we have been invested 100% in sourcing local and Scottish. We currently use five local suppliers and will continue to use more as we expand. There is so much phenomenal local talent to be showcased and embraced.
How have customers reacted to the business so far?
Customers have definitely embraced us with open arms. I think the idea of cloud kitchens are also being accepted more and more. The best feedback we’ve received so far is that people have felt this is what Aberdeen has been missing. We can’t wait for more people to try us out and we’re very excited to start offering collection so people can meet us and see our kitchen in action.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best part about my job is having my ideas and creativity embraced and trusted. It’s passed onto everyone in the kitchen and trickles down to all the staff. There’s space for everyone to see themselves in some way in the menus and specials.
Are there any plans to expand beyond brunch?
We’re looking to open a fun salad brand. The plan is to create a classy menu with hearty and bespoke salads that you can add a fun treat too. Picture a grilled peach and gorgonzola salad with a bao bun to die for on the side. A bit of good and a bit of naughty!