Journalist Ben Newman explores four sustainable businesses on the west side of town.
Cardiff, in our (sort of) biased view, is full of businesses that give back to the city, community, and the entire cultural fabric of the Welsh capital. From cafés to corner shops, many of the people and businesses of Cardiff are charitable and utilitarian, so to celebrate that, we’ve collated four Canton-based business that have been giving back in a big way recently.
Hey Clay! At Cardiff Pottery Workshops
Everyone, at some point in their lives, has said to themselves that they want to try pottery “one day”. Who knows what it is that attracts so many people to ceramics, but for some reason, the discipline feels oddly impenetrable, reserved for arty types and the creatively-inclined. However, Hey Clay!, an event at Cardiff Pottery Workshops, is an attempt to bridge the gap between ceramics and the people. Essentially, the event is a free lesson to allow anyone, especially those who are disabled, to have a chance at pottery and learn a thing or two. Hey Clay! is a Crafts Council national celebration of clay which aims to give people across the UK the chance to unleash their inner potter, so Cardiff Pottery Workshops deserve commendation for providing an insight into a tough industry that’s open for anyone.
Bee & Honey
Just off Cowbridge Road, in the heart of Canton, you’ll find Bee & Honey, a café that, on the surface, looks like a quaint place to eat. However, under the surface, Bee & Honey provides some of the best food in Cardiff, as well as acting as a support for other businesses in Cardiff. You’ll only find Bee & Honey goods here, but goods from other Cardiff-based businesses, including Canton Tea Co. and Riverside Sourdough. Additionally, the café has recently staged meditation lessons, diversifying its appeal beyond cuisine. Bee & Honey are an example that businesses in Cardiff, however small, do their best to support their neighbours financially and mindfully, as well as making a pretty banging dish along the way.
Lufkin Coffee is a little hard to find, located down a small alley near the Co-Op in Pontcanna (where they have the Pipes Beer Festival). It joins a cluster of local, wonderfully small business (Canna Deli, etc.) The owners along with the rest of the staff are always open for conversation, lending to the comfortable and pastoral feel of the entire business. After recently hosting a small ceramics exhibition for Frances Lufkin, a student at Cardiff Met, the business has showed that its small location has a wide reach. However, this is not the reason why this small café is on the list. Lufkin deserves this place, quite simply, because of the quality of its roasted coffee beans and product. It’s not the only the best quality coffee in Cardiff, but it’s also, according to Brian’s Coffee Spot, one of the best roasters in the entire United Kingdom. It may not be flashy, but Lufkin has all that’s needed to succeed as a community coffee shop: excellent coffee, even better conversation, and a cruelty-free product.
Green City Events/Green Squirrel
This one may be cheating (a little bit) as they’re not strictly Canton-based, but they deserve a mention anyway! Green Squirrel, as part of Green City Events, brings together a myriad of different practices underpinned by an environmentally-friendly ethos. Essentially, these events range from Wasteless Kitchens, which involves the cooking of food with no waste, to food foraging, to carpentry and yarn spinning. By bringing together the multiple skills of Cardiff-based professionals and tutors, the events help form links between vastly different businesses in the city. The skilled local tutors teach practical sustainable living skills that benefit people and communities, and bring rural and traditional skills to the heart of Cardiff. Loads more info can be found on the Green Squirrel workshops page, with events that span the entirety of the city. Green Squirrel not only give back to Cardiff communities, but to nature.
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