A former vacant betting shop on the outskirts of Cardiff has been turned into a dog-friendly cafe. Coffi Lab, which already has two other premises in Cardiff, has opened its newest site in the Rhiwbina area of the city.
Owned by Cardiff-born James Shapland, who ran Coffee #1 before it was sold to SA Brain & Co, the coffee chain has begun opening locations across the city. The first Cardiff site opened on the High Street in Llandaff in November last year, followed by a Whitchurch site earlier this year.
The Rhiwbina branch of Coffi Lab, on Heol-y-Deri, is the most recent branch to set up in Cardiff, and will open on June 25. The cafe takes its name from the Welsh word for coffee and and Lab a reference to Labradors and its chosen charity, Guide Dogs UK.
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The new branch took over the site of a vacant betting shop, transforming the unit into a modern café, complete with fairy lights, a blackboard and outdoor seating. Coffi Lab was inspired by James’s two Fox-Red Labradors, Brynmor and Dylan, and he runs the business alongside his partner Hannah Gillard who works as general manager.
Coffi Lab sponsors guide dogs in memory of family and friends through a partnership with Guide Dogs UK. His first sponsored guide dog for their Monmouth store is Tony, a Labrador cross Golden Retriever puppy born in September and named in memory of James’ father, Tony Shapland.
James has previously said he hopes to open the cafe in “several locations in Cardiff”, and a planning application has been approved for 32-34 Station Road in Llanishen to be turned into another chain of the popular cafe.