A Café in Gilgit where “Water and Smiles are Free”

Rabia owns The CherryTree Cafe in Juttial, Gilgit, runs the place herself, and works with her family there.

Mighty mountains, flowing rivers and waterfalls, clean air, cold freshwater, and beaming hospitable locals are among the things that drive thousands of domestic and foreign tourists to Gilgit-Baltistan annually.

These are the very things that brought Rabia Rizwan here from Lahore. However, she did not come alone but with her whole family, and launched a modern style café here.

Rabia owns The CherryTree Cafe in Juttial, Gilgit, runs the place herself, and works with her family there.

She makes baked biscuits, cakes, pastries, and many other delicacies daily.

Amidst the heavenly meadows and the charming valleys lies a Western-style café whose every corner is decorated. If you want to gauge the owner’s passion and delight,  just read this bold writing on a corner board: “Water and smiles are free here.”

Rabia said that she had done all the decoration of the café herself, and in some cases, her husband and children aided her as well, according to The Independent Urdu.

Rabia also remarked that this is the first modern café of its kind in the history of Gilgit, and was recently inaugurated on August the 14th.

As per Rabia’s own words: “I was really impressed with the café models of the Western countries, and wanted to open a similar cafe in a beautiful yet marginalized area like Gilgit. So, we did a survey and consulted with friends. Many people opposed us, but we had already made a decision, and left the life of Lahore for Gilgit.”

Rabia carries out all the daily responsibilities in her café with her husband and two sons.

Moreover, Rabia makes fresh bakery items daily, and the ingredients are brought from Islamabad. The ingredients reach Gilgit from Islamabad via public transport every morning.

In the end, Rabia says that her café will not only give an excellent feeling to the tourists coming from all over Pakistan but will also give a good impression about Pakistan to those coming from abroad.

“Most of the food in the northern areas is available at dhabas. That’s why I wanted to bring some different flavors. In addition to bakery items and fast food, all kinds of coffee are also available in my cafe.”, Rabia remarked cheerfully.

This story was first published in The Independent Urdu.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • More power to you; Allah ap ko khoob taraqqi de; Ameen. Will definitely visit when in the area.


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