Working closely with Nia Evans we have together created (the first of what we hope will be many) a unique concept in the shape of ‘caffi bodlon’ situated in Whitchurch, near Velindre hospital. The shop is an extension of Nia’s existing on-line home-wares and Welsh gifts business together with a great coffee and a food offer which draws on our vast experiences of running restaurants and coffee shops. In addition we also feature a huge array of local and other food products from across Wales and beyond in our deli section, which is a must for interesting food options as gifts or for including in your cooking. Most of the staff speak Welsh and it is this point of difference which makes native Welsh speakers and learners of the language comfortable that they can converse in either Welsh or English as they prefer
The shop fit was done almost entirely by our own fair hands, with much blood, sweat and tears as we completely ripped out what was a convenience store and off license. As we ripped down the false ceiling to expose the high ornate ceiling of the original shop, we continued to discover more and more hidden gems in the shape of the original fire place and chimney breast. Lots of dust and 2 skips later we stood back and admired what once was a living breathing fireplace. If up-cycling is the buzz word of the moment, we certainly were buzzing – corrugated tin roof sheets from Nia’s family farm, old floor boards from a mansion in Usk, old school chairs, old chapel pews from Carmarthen and vintage crates, all giving the place a unique atmosphere that people come back for again and again
The food and drink offer is slightly different to the major coffee chains because we have our own kitchen, sure we do cake but we make a lot of it ourselves, either at the production kitchen in Bedwas or actually in the shop – the gin and tonic cake is simply to die for! Innovative salads and freshly made paninis have been the staple since opening in July 2015 and throughout the summer as we wrestled to get the small kitchen firing on all cylinders; we still have work to do as we look at changing the menu as the seasons dictate – look out for some interesting twists on old classics as well as some modern trends. So when you pick up a 3 day old sandwich in one of our competitors sites think about visiting us next time for freshly prepared food every day (except Sundays – thank the nice council planning people for that one!) – we look forward to welcoming you
Plans are now in the pipeline for another couple of sites to extend the business a little further, so if you know of a suitable site please get in touch, we may well be opening near you soon!!