Cardiff’s first fully gluten-free cafe will open on Saturday June 25 on Merthyr Road in Whitchurch.
The fit-out of ‘Against the Grain’ is now complete and owner-manager Frazer Twigg has secured a £15,000 micro-loan from the Development Bank of Wales to help fund his new venture. Serving a range of Barista-prepared coffees and cold drinks, light meals and homemade gluten-free snacks, the cafe will allow gluten-intolerant customers to safely enjoy food and drink without the potential risk of cross-contamination.
With a background in customer service, Frazer was inspired to start the business by longtime partner Chris who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2018. The couple discovered there were no cafes or from local bakeries that were exclusively gluten-free. -free then began to plan the new business.
Frazer has attended a number of workshops and courses run by Business Wales to help prepare him to run his own business and he has also completed the City & Guilds Barista Skills course. He plans to employ three people and, with a philosophy of environmental sustainability, will source as many ingredients and products as close to home as possible.
Frazer said: “As many as one in ten people are gluten intolerant and one in 100 have celiac disease, but it can be incredibly difficult to eat out at restaurants without fear of cross-contamination. There is also a growing trend that means health conscious people are increasingly choosing gluten-free products. In fact, the global gluten-free food market is expected to grow significantly by 2025, growing from $3.73 billion to $6.43 billion.
“Against the Grain is very personal to us, so I’m especially grateful to the Development Bank for their help in making it happen. As a start-up, I wanted to take advantage of all the support available so that we were in the strongest possible position to start and build a successful and sustainable business. We look forward to opening our doors and welcoming our first customers.
Donna Strohmeyer from the Development Bank of Wales added: “Frazer is a great example of how our micro-loans can help entrepreneurs and sole traders start or grow their business with loans of up to £50,000. £. Frazer’s commitment and passion stood out from the first conversation we had, so it was a pleasure to help him on his journey and we look forward to our first visit to Against the Grain.”
The £30m Wales Micro Loan Fund is fully funded by the Welsh Government. Loans between £1,000 and £50,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from one to ten years.