Name: Brian Colley

Business name: Caffi Wylfa at Glyn Wylfa

Opening hours: Currently takeaway and delivery from 10am until 4pm from Monday to Sunday

Address: Castle Road, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5BS

When did you open your business and why?

It OPENED in 2013 as a social enterprise to develop a site there. It was a café and the house there. It was fully-funded by the Big Lottery. The business itself is Glyn Wylfa Ltd, but the café operates as Caffi Wylfa.

Why in this location?

The site had been left to go into disrepair at the time – they were offices for a while but it reached a point at which they were no longer required.

The house had fallen into disrepair, the café wasn’t there, and it was overgrown.

Residents came together and said they would like to see it developed for community use, because the alternative would have been to build housing on the site.

Before 2013, people who were looking to find a use for the site formed a committee and sent out a questionnaire to Chirk residents, asking what they would like to see there.

They said a café and a community centre, so that helped us to start with plans and put together a business plan. After getting funding from the Big Lottery and then the planning stage took a few years before things got started.

Tell us about your business

The café offers hot and cold lunches and drinks – we don’t have an alcohol license.

We cater for residents within the community, especially in the winter months, but also because of our location we cater for a lot of visitors from afar in the summer months.

A lot of visitors come to visit the World Heritage Site.

People stop with us during their visit for lunch, teas and coffees, so it is very popular.

We have increased the amount of outside seating and put a gazebo up with heating underneath. We did this during the pandemic so people feel more comfortable when we are allowed to open.

We have changed enormously during the pandemic – during the lockdown we have been operating a takeaway and delivery service offering hot and cold food.

The food is pre-cooked and then chilled, so people can order what they want to their door and choose when they want to eat it within three days – it has proven to be very popular.

The support has been fantastic – the café’s trade has increased in sales year-on-year since it started.

What is your proudest moment?

We HAVE some very good reviews which is great.

Because we’re a social enterprise, we like to sponsor local sports teams and children’s football, so that’s been tremendous too. We give a lot of money back out into the community.

We’re also in the NatWest Top 100 Social Enterprises after winning that a year ago which is also great.

We also regularly hold events in aid of Nightingale House, who are our main charity partner. We support them continually by raising money for them and holding events here.

Any strange requests?

We OFTEN get visitors coming here asking if the aqueduct is nearby – we have to say yes, it’s a few hundred yards away.