TRIBUTES have flooded in to the founder of one of Edinburgh’s most iconic tea rooms who has died following a cancer battle.
Gaynor Salisbury, 54, was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in mid-2012 and took the difficult decision to close Loopy Lorna’s tea house at Churchhill Theatre one year later on advice from her oncologist.
The tea house, renowned for its home-baked goods and afternoon teas in china cups, became a Morningside institution since its launch in 2008 and was named after Gaynor’s mother who also died from cancer. A picture of Lorna adorned one of the walls.
Gaynor nursed her dying mother for the last six months of her life and was herself diagnosed with breast cancer just two months after opening the first tea room, but was determined to keep the business going and won a string of awards including “Best Independent Eatery in Scotland 2012”.
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.
“Gaynor was a proud and loving mum to Hanneke and Rowan, loving sister, entertaining aunty, and fabulous friend to so many.”
Tributes have poured in to the popular businesswoman, who was originally from Liverpool.
One poster, Nicola Duncan said: “So sorry to hear this very sad news this morning, Gaynor helped me when my business was just getting started, she was an amazing woman”
Another, Loreen Pardoe, said Gaynor had been a “credit to all, to her mother and to herself” while Mandi Collins said: “Thank you Gaynor for all the wonderful hours spent putting the world to rights over a teapot with my pals. Sleep peacefully”
Ms Salisbury was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010, after her head chef Michelle Phillips won casual dining chef of the year at the Scottish Chef Awards the year before.
In an earlier interview with the News, Gaynor poignantly said: “If you are going to die from something, die from cancer,” she says.
“It gives you time to talk to people.”
A funeral is due to be held tomorrow in Mortonhall Crematorium at 10am.