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Home / Entertainment / Welcome to the cafe where you can buy everything from tea and coffee to the wallpaper and light fittings

Welcome to the cafe where you can buy everything from tea and coffee to the wallpaper and light fittings


 

When you go to your favourite coffee shop you might take home an extra slice of cake but most people normally leave behind the chair they’ve been sitting on and the china cups they’ve been drinking from.

But at a new café in Newport that’s exactly what customers are encouraged to do because at Parc Pantry, chairs, tables, light fixtures and even the wallpaper is for sale.

The cafe and shop is the brainchild of two local men who have been friends from nursery school and wanted to bring the community spirit of cafés they had seen in other areas to their hometown.

Matt Ellis, 32, and Ant Cook, 31, form a partnership 27 years in the making. Matt said: “We wanted to bring something back to the area as Newport’s had a rough time the last couple of years.

“We have got something a little bit different and interesting. Whatever you see inside the shop you can also buy, not us but pretty much everything else.”

The pair hadn’t seen anything like it in South Wales but Matt admitted about their idea: “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t done over a beer one evening.

“I don’t think as a business you can always rely on one element.

“It just made sense to sell these things because we could add onto the business.”

Matt and Ant are sourcing as much as possible from local businesses with Cwmbran bread maker Bill King supplying the shop with artisan loaves.

They have also enlisted a local chocolatier, carpenter and a local metalworker who has made the table legs.

Matt said: “We tried to keep quite a lot of suppliers on our doorstep. They are all close links.”

The pair have also picked up ideas from some of their favourite cafés and restaurants including a Welsh pie in a box with crunchy onion, gravy and mature cheddar cheese inspired by Bristol-based Pieminister, while their New Yorker sandwich, full of local pastrami, pays tribute to popular Cardiff sandwich shop New York Deli.

Matt said: “Newport’s mostly got Costas and Starbucks. They all look the exactly the same. I know from personal experience I like to spend time at places where what you can see on the walls adds to the conversation.

“So much of those businesses that are successful in Cardiff are very community-based. We haven’t really got anything like that in Newport.”

After giving up their day jobs as a sales manager and property developer, the pair have been working non-stop to get the café ready.

Matt said: “It’s been the best part of 12 months to get everything we need in place spending time visiting suppliers, going to shows.”

Matt and Ant have taken care of every element of the design of the shop based in the Malpas area of the city.

Matt said: “Everything we’ve done in here we’ve done ourselves. If we’d got other people they probably wouldn’t have done what we wanted and we’ve done it on a shoestring budget.”

If they’re successful they hope to branch out to other areas of the city and further afield.

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