Development Bank of Wales serves up £15,000 for gluten-free coffee shop to open in Whitchurch

Investment Executive
Business planning and strategy
Starting a business
Against the Grain

Cardiff’s first completely gluten-free coffee shop will open on Saturday, June 25 on Merthyr Road in Whitchurch.

The fit-out of ‘Against the Grain’ is now complete with owner Director Frazer Twigg having secured a £15,000 micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales to help fund his new business venture. Serving a range of Barista made coffees and cold drinks, light meals and home-made snacks that are all gluten-free, the coffee shop will allow customers with a gluten intolerance to safely enjoy food and drink without the potential risk of cross-contamination.

With a background in customer service, Frazer has been inspired to set-up the business by his long-term partner Chris who was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2018. The couple discovered that there  were not any local coffee shops or bakeries that were exclusively gluten-free so began planning the new business.   

Frazer has attended a number of workshops and courses run by Business Wales to help prepare him for running his own business and he has also completed the City & Guilds Barista Skills course. He expects to employ three people and with an ethos focussed on environmental sustainability, will be sourcing 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 coeliac disease yet it can be incredibly difficult to eat out without the fear of cross-contamination. There is also a growing trend that means the health conscious are increasingly choosing gluten-free products. In fact, the global market for gluten-free food is expected to expand considerably between by 2025, from $3.73billion to $6.43billion.

“Against the Grain is very personal to us which is why I’m particularly grateful to the Development Bank for their help in making it happen. As a start-up I’ve been keen to take advantage of all the support available so that we are in the strongest position possible to hit the ground running and build a successful and sustainable business. We can’t wait to open our doors and welcome our first customers.”

Donna Strohmeyer of the Development Bank of Wales added: “Frazer is a great example of how our micro loans can help entrepreneurs and sole traders to start-up or expand their business with loans of up to £50,000. Frazer’s commitment and passion stood out from the first conversation we had so it has been a pleasure to help him on his journey and we’re looking forward to our first visit to Against the Grain.”

The £30 million Wales Micro Loan Fund is financed entirely by the Welsh Government. Loans between £1,000 and £50,000 are available with repayment terms ranging between one and ten years.