Case Study

Utopia Cafe

Location: Inverness

With a background in hospitality and entrepreneurial mindset, Kevin Paterson noticed an opportunity in the Hamilton area of Inverness to establish a neighbourhood food place to capitalise on the lack of fierce competition. Ever since he was a young lad he’d dreamt of opening up a community-focused food venture that challenges the existing scene and brings something fresh and new. This location ticked all boxes. Kevin prepared a business plan and approached Murray Marshall, our Inverness based Loan Officer, with a business loan application for £25,000. After a review of the business proposal, the loan was approved and the Utopia Café was established in 2019.

Utopia’s main aim is to become the place to be and the first choice for people looking for specialty coffee and quality food from artisan makers. Kevin has a clear ambition to make this a very much community focused venture and be the hub of the local community in Hilton.

The response from the community has been phenomenal. Within a year of opening, the Facebook following is in excess of 4,500. As part of Kevin’s long term vision, he plans to expand into the city centre and neighbouring local towns in the region.


“I would absolutely recommend DSL. Having a resource like that by your side able to guide you and support you, mentor you and hold your hand if necessary…” Kevin Paterson