Rachel Howells

More choice for coffee drinkers

12 July 2016

Barista’s café has re-opened in a new unit inside the Aberafan Shopping Centre, and Costa has opened on its former site in the Central Square.

Barista’s new unit, based at a former card shop in the Aberafan Shopping Centre, has benefitted from a £46,000-pound investment to refit the shop, add a brand new kitchen and restyle it as a café and ice cream parlour.

Former customers of Barista’s will be glad to know the spirit of the old café remains. When Barista’s first announced it would be closing, loyal customers started a campaign to persuade the shopping centre’s London landlords Edinburgh House Estates to renew the lease, but contract deadlines had been missed and the lease offered to Costa.

Barista’s is owned by two local couples, Debbie and Ray Oglesby and Lynne and Tony Wintle, who together took the decision to carry on the business in a new unit.

“I am chuffed to be open again, but it’s been hell to get here,” said Ray Oglesby.

“We didn’t want to move, and it has cost us a lot of money, but we know we’ve done the right thing. It’s not about the money for us. This café is not ours, it’s yours. It’s the people’s. We felt very strongly that we needed to keep it open, to keep the staff in their jobs, to keep the service here for people.

“It’s not just a café. There are customers who need us. One couple, the husband has dementia and his wife drops him here and goes off to do her shopping. She knows he’s safe here and we know things like that are important to the community and the people that use Barista’s.”

Meanwhile, landlors Edinburgh House Estates, have said they are pleased to welcome Costa to the centre and are confident both cafes can sustain their success.

A spokeswoman said: “We are extremely pleased that a leading national brand has chosen to open a new outlet in Port Talbot, this is great news for the town – creating new jobs and putting their confidence in Port Talbot’s future.”

The statement went on to say that trade was benefiting from the new arrival.

“The centre has seen an increase in footfall [in Costa’s first week], especially from young people before and after school, with the free wifi on offer as a new attraction.

“Barista’s has re-opened in its new premises and we’re pleased to able to offer our visitors a variety of stores and now cafes to visit and are confident that both Barista’s and Costa will sustain good customer bases.”

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