A couple has opened a unique vegan cafe in Aberdare this week. The Vegan Coffi House opened on Tuesday, April 18, on Weatheral Street and hopes “to bring something different” to the town centre.
Meirion Withey, 50, from Abercynon and his partner Jeraldine Waddingham, 60, from Cwmbach, have decided to bring their passion for veganism and love for animals together by opening a plant-based and animal-friendly cafe. Jeraldine has lived a vegan lifestyle for over a decade and has always dreamed of opening a vegan coffee house. After meeting Meirion, they decided to open a business in Aberdare together.
Meirion said: “Jeraldine has a massive passion for animals and thought that opening up a vegan coffee house would be good and different for the community where there are hardly any options for plant-based milk and foods. She did a lot of research over lockdown and found that there was a call for it in the area – there were a lot of people living a vegan lifestyle that were struggling to find a place to go and have something that they enjoy.”
He added that they had been on the hunt for a suitable premises for a while, saying: “It has been very hard, and it was only through word of mouth that we found somewhere in the end – through a friend of a friend. Our landlord bought into it with us and was quite excited about it. They agreed that Aberdare needed something different.”
The new cafe will sell vegan food from the Old Griffin Kitchen, a company in Caerphilly, which will provide a selection of cupcakes, pastries and treats. The cafe will also have gluten-free options and a variety of plant-based milk.
After the cafe has become “well-established” in the community, Meirion said that they hope to open a dog grooming parlour next door and hopefully expand the cafe to other areas in the future.
Since opening on Tuesday, The Vegan Coffi House has received a great response from the local community and those from further afield.
Meirion said: “Myself and Jeraldine were totally overwhelmed by all the positive and happy people that came to our coffee house on our grand opening day. It was busier than we ever expected and good to see a great mix of people from young to old and vegan and non-vegan which has always been our aim and not forgetting quite a few little doggies that came along for their treats too. Overall we could not have asked for a better first day and long may it continue.
“The response on social media went off the scale with hundreds of lovely positive comments which was amazing to see. A big thank you to each and everyone that visited us on our first day.”
The Vegan Coffi House will be open Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm. On the weekend, it will be open from 9am to 4pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.