New Roath coffee shop, Cafe Rio, opened its doors this weekend. We called in for a coffee and a chat with Amanda Pritchard who is overseeing the launch.
This week will be a ‘soft opening’ for the cafe to test everything out, ready to be fully open next week.
Alongside the usual teas and coffees, there’s a wide range of pastries and cakes – including two or three gluten free options made by a local cake-maker. The cupcakes and a dark, deep chocolate cake looked particularly good. Savoury options on the menu include a range of filled baguettes, panini, quiches, pasties, homemade pork pies and a salad bar.
Amanda has brought her experience from working in one of Pontcanna’s delis to Cafe Rio. The deli counter has a good range of pasta, cold meats, locally made breads, coffees, teas and sweet things.
“Wherever possible we’re trying to use local suppliers and there’s a good organic selection. The deli range will grow as we find out from people what they want us to stock – if there’s a demand for different things we’re always willing to give them a try. We hope to be adding Welsh cheeses soon and are on the look out for a local supplier of jams and preserves,” she said.
The launch of the family cafe is being looked after by Amanda on behalf of her dad and his wife, Lucimeia, who have set up the business – her grandfather also owns the building.
Amanda told us: “When the shop that was in this building told us they were closing up, my parents decided that we should open a business here. I’m going to get things up and running and then we’ll look for a manager. I’ve worked with dad on other building projects of his so he also asked me to look after the design of the cafe too.”
It’s a deliberately different design, setting Cafe Rio apart from nearby places like Juno Lounge and Pear Tree. It’s modern – sculptural mesh light fittings, metallic wallpaper and marble tables – but warm and comfortable with a dark wood floor and leather sofas, stools and benches.
The cafe has a colourful kids’ area with chalkboards, toys and books which is separate from the main area but has a few nearby tables for parents to use while keeping an eye on the little ones.
There’s also free wifi available – ask at the counter for the password.
Cafe Rio is on the junction of Penylan Road and Albany Road next to recently opened wine and beer store, The Bottle Shop. It’s open from 8:30 in the morning until 6pm Monday to Saturday.
Let us know what you think.