Loopy Lorna's Tea House owner Gaynor Salisbury dies

Loopy Lorna's Tea House Gaynor Salisbury (L) in Loopy Lorna's Tea House at Churchill Theatre in Morningside

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The owner of an award-winning tea room formerly based at a theatre in an Edinburgh church has died.

Gaynor Salisbury, 52, who owned Loopy Lorna's at the Church Hill Theatre in Morningside, died from secondary liver cancer.

She closed the cafe's doors in November 2013, saying it was a very difficult decision, but one which her oncologist would be "pleased about".

She closed her other cafe in 2011 after launching the brand in 2008.

A statement on the cafe's Facebook page said: "It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss to announce that Gaynor Salisbury founder of Loopy Lorna's died peacefully at home on the 21 February.

"Gaynor was a proud and loving mum to Hanneke and Rowan, loving sister, entertaining Aunty, and fabulous friend to so many."

Single mum

In November Ms Salisbury told the BBC Scotland news website: "Due to my health I have not been able to visit Loopy's very much and my manager has been running the place.

"When I came in today, I just burst into tears, but it is the right decision.

"It is very stressful running a business but it was a very difficult decision.

"The cafes were a tribute to my mum who died in 1997, aged 66, of lung cancer. She was a single mum, called Lorna, and she was poor so the big treat when we were growing up was when she baked.

"I believe we were the first cafe of its kind, it is very close to my heart."

The tea house provided traditional home-baked afternoon teas served on china plates and with hand-knitted fun tea-cosies.

In October 2010, Ms Salisbury won an Entrepreneur of the Year award. Her head chef, Michelle Phillips, won casual dining chef of the year at the Scottish Chef Awards the previous year.

When her first tea room opened in October 2008, Ms Salisbury had to shut the doors for two days to recruit and train more staff due to the number of customers.

Her funeral will be held at Mortonhall Crematorium at 10:00 on Thursday.

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