This Is Me: Mel Atkinson

The owner of Dotty’s in Morzine, Mel Atkinson shares her dream of the perfect coffee house in the mountains and how she made it a reality

Interview by Hannah Bailey

Dotty’s is basically where my friends and I wanted to go and drink coffee! France is behind the times a bit with cafes and there was nowhere in Morzine where seasonnaires and tourists could go for a chilled drink and snack after a hard day on the mountain! I want people to be able to come to Dotty’s for a lovely cuppa and slice of cake, or a light lunch when they don’t feel like going up the hill. It’s great to see people meeting friends in here.

I love making a good cinnamon bun! There’s something about watching yeast rise which is really satisfying!! Is that weird?? As for a drink/cake combo, a chai latte and an apple crumble muffin always hits the spot. Working somewhere like Dotty’s is really social. It’s easy to chat to people when you have a common interest, like skiing or snowboarding, so I just talk to people all day long. Perfect! I love trying out new recipes. Baking never gets boring.

Seeing people walk into Dotty’s and say, ”This place is really nice” makes me feel happy. I put a lot of thought into the decor, the crockery, the prints on the walls etc. Becoming part of someone’s holiday is really special. When people keep coming back you just think, ”Yes! This has worked.” I’ve had so much support from Laura, my friends and family, I couldn’t have done it without them. Lots of people will work for free coffee and cake it seems!

Living where other people holiday definitely comes with a smug grin! Morzine is not just a ski resort, it’s a town. You have your friends here year round but with a massive influx of seasonnaires and tourists every winter, it never gets boring. The mountains have really defined seasons, which is great. Winter is snowy and summer is sunny, it suits me perfectly! I couldn’t live without the mountains! Life would just be so boring without them and professionally, I couldn’t not do something I care about. Everybody needs job satisfaction and opening Dotty’s has given me plenty.

On a bluebird powder day, Dotty’s might open a bit late!! I love skiing. After getting a bit complacent having done so many seasons, very little time free time to get up the mountain has made me appreciate it so much more. I’m also looking forward to general summery things like bbq’s and swimming in Lake Montriond. And festivals! There is a great festival an hour away from here called Musilac, it’s by a lake and really small.

I dream of Dotty’s being a success. It’s going so well but seeing this years customers come back next year would be amazing. Having your own business is all consuming and exhausting but definitely worth it!

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