Cardiff - A Hub of Creative Businesses
I've wanted to write this blog post for a while. I've lived in Cardiff for 10 years and I'm always amazed by how creative the city is. It really inspires me. In this post I've picked a few of my favourite Cardiff creative businesses to tell you about. I must admit that when I was scrolling through my brain-rolodex of businesses I love I could've purely written about food places - there are so many amazing ones. Perhaps another blog post? Here I've included a variety of businesses. But why not start with food...
This place has the most amazing baked goods. They have a tea shop in the centre of Cardiff - right next to the castle (in Bute Park) and a bakery just outside the city in Victoria Park. They can also be found at the regular farmers markets around the city on various days. I find them inspiring not just because they make extremely delicious goodies but because they've made such a go of their business and become a beloved brand in Cardiff. They started with the tea shop in Bute Park. This could have been just another tea shop. But no. They baked their own cakes on site. Yummy cakes. And they built up a reputation for quality goods and fab afternoon tea. They really did build a great name for themselves in the city. So when they opened their bakery in Victoria Park people knew the name and knew the reputation - they already had a loyal following. I think it was a great way to do things and they've made Pettigrew baked goods sought after and loved amongst us Cardiff folk. Plus their social media posts make you just want to eat everything they make. Serious food porn. If you're ever in Cardiff make sure you taste something Pettigrew - you won't regret it.
I met Jess, the brains behind Jecca and The Tran Space when I was on the NatWest Entrepreneurial Spark course. Jess in a transgender make-up artist. She's so passionate about what she does and she's brilliant at it. She's just launched The Tran Space and she's even working on a transgender make-up range. Jecca is the make-up arm of her business and The Tran Space is a safe space online for the LGBT community to socialise with friends, meet new people, arrange events, join groups and much more! To say she's busy is an understatement. This is the kind of business that I wouldn't come across in my day to day life but speaking to Jess and learning about what she does makes me even more proud of this creative city and the brilliant people and businesses that exist. I know Jecca will one day become a brand we're all aware of - paving the way for the future of make-up. #makeuphasnogender
I mentioned The Printhaus in my previous blog as they were the place that printed my original pillowcases. That was six years ago. The place was great back then but what it has developed into now is brilliant. It's based in an old warehouse on Llandaff Road in Cardiff - about 5 minutes outside the city. It's not just somewhere you go to have prints made. It's so much more than that. You can learn how to screen print on one of their fab courses. You can become a member and use the facilities to your hearts content. You can rent a studio for your creative business. You can go to one of their Snapped Up Markets and buy something truly unique. And/or you can eat the most yummy pizza ever from Dusty Knuckle (see next business!). So it's not just a place for printing, it's a community that welcomes everyone in and encourages creativity. I feel so lucky to have it on my doorstep. If you're a Cardiff resident looking to get creative and meet some fab people then definitely check out The Printhaus. We're so lucky to have this facility in our city.
As mentioned above, Dusty Knuckle is the pizza company that's based at The Printhaus. Starting as a street food vendor, they've taken the outside space at the Printhaus and made it into this magical hidden gem of a restaurant. Think outside heaters and twinkly lights and you're heading in the right direction. And the best bit... the pizzas of course! Prepared and baked in front of you in their clay pizza oven you can't get fresher. They also have some interesting seasonal toppings to mix things up if you want something other than your usual margarita etc (which you can of course still have). They've had accolades for their pizzas since they popped up and I can tell you, the hype is real. Make sure you book so you're not disappointed!
Created in a little house in Cardiff, My Perfect Brew is a unique product range that celebrates the zillions of ways we can enjoy our tea. They personalise gorgeous individual Japanese teapots and supply the most delicious tea to go with them (from the Brew Tea co). They're a fab creative business that have tapped into the nations love of tea and made a quality product that's perfect as a gift - such as their 'Naughty Dunkers' or 'Cwtch & Cuppa' gift sets that can be personalised. I was given mine as a gift and everyone always comments on how cool the teapot is. I can't wait to see what they develop next. A great creative business that like me, started from their kitchen table.
Based in Kings Road Court, off of Kings Road in Pontcanna, this coffee house is a hidden gem. I'm very lucky to live around the corner from this place and I always love visiting for a cup of my favourite coffee. It's a little place in coffee shop terms. But little cafe doesn't mean little ambition - all of the roasting is done on site. Where else does that happen? But it's not just that, or the very delicious coffee that they serve that makes this place special. It's the welcome you get when you go in and the relaxed atmosphere that comes over you when you visit. I particularly like the wooden outside seated area as it's a little sun trap and adds further to the relaxed feeling a visit to Lufkin. On top of all that they do coffee brewing courses and sometimes have people in to talk in the cafe. I've not been to either but how cool? I also love that the coffee is Fairtrade. A great place to take people that's a bit different to your everyday coffee shop. And they're sure to be impressed you know where it is - get down there.
This place used to be where the council maintained all of the public service vehicles. I'd taken my car there for an MOT a few years ago. It was a huge space with buses, rubbish trucks, street cleaners etc. Think huge mechanics garage. Then the council moved out to a newer premises and the place was left empty. But not for long. It is now The Tramshed and it's amazing what's been done with it. Firstly, a brilliant music venue has been installed. I've been there to see Michael Kiwanuka and The Hot Eight Brass Band. Both were great nights and I'm always looking out for what's coming up. I've also seen that they're doing these fabulous exercise classes where you all dress up in 80's gear and have a disco with a live DJ!- looks amazing - but not for me in my current condition (I"m preggers). So it's not just music - they're being creative with the space, which I love. They've also got a cinema. I've not been but hope to soon. And that's not all. They've got a new studio for things like yoga and pilates, and they've got Tramshed Tech - a place where people and businesses can work from - and it's a really gorgeous space to be in. Plus I think there's more to come! I'm just so impressed that this old warehouse has become something that we'll wonder what how we once lived without. A fab addition to the city.