Truly up-Tempo: the cafe that helps cancer sufferers

It’s a new concept for a pop-up cafe: the food is free, but you pay for the time spent enjoying it. Best of all, the profits go to charity and support people affected by cancer.

Tempo, in Aberdeen’s Bon Accord shopping centre, is taking advantage of prime real estate with a high rental value, donated free by the centre’s operators to raise funds for cancer charity CLAN, which looks across individuals and their families in north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

Visitors pay 10p for every minute spent in the cafe – a new concept for the Granite City, which is proving a popular one.

Tempo is on trend and up to the minute, the kind of pop-up you’d expect to emerge in New York or London. When guests arrive, they find an equipped kitchen where you can help yourself to refreshments including tea, coffee, cakes, bowls of cereal and toast.


There is high-speed wifi, charging points, comfortable chairs and tables, and a large play area with toys for children.

The vibe of Tempo is that people feel at home, help themselves to food and drink, chill out for as long as they like, then simply tidy up and load the dishwasher before paying and leaving. A real home from home.

Craig Stevenson, Bon Accord centre manager, said: “The concept is unique and those who have experienced it have thought it was amazing. We are really excited to be able to bring this to the city. It’s designed to be a space for everyone, where people can relax and refuel and, at this time of year, when it can feel like you’re constantly rushing, we hope Tempo will be a sanctuary. ”

The cafe has brought out the charitable side of other Aberdeen companies at this time of goodwill. As well as the Bon Accord Centre providing the space, the kitchen was donated and fitted by local firm Alaris, while some of the children’s toys have been gifted by Ikea in Aberdeen.

Dr Colette Backwell, CLAN chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to be part of this unique pop-up concept and look forward to welcoming people to Tempo. Not only is it special in its own right, capturing people’s imagination, guests have the added reassurance of knowing they are making a difference, supporting CLAN in our provision of wellbeing and support services for those affected by cancer.”

Like all pop-ups, the time to visit is now. Whilst Tempo is open for the foreseeable future, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t a standard fixed lease, so time is truly of the essence if you want to enjoy – and help cancer sufferers.

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