Whether you’re looking for a hot beverage on your morning walk or a place to eat and drink the afternoon away, Swansea’s ever-expanding food and drink scene has something that will tickle your fancy. Eve Davies profiles three small businesses beloved by the communities they serve.
NOMAD BAR & KITCHEN
Swansea’s Nomad Bar & Kitchen pride themselves on using high-quality produce from small-scale producers not usually found on the high street. Following several years working in France, co-owner Jack began his foodie venture on Gowerton’s high street in 2017 with his first eatery, Station 86, offering brunch, treats and coffee. Six doors down, he continued his journey with Nomad – built from recycled and upcycled materials. His partner Sam, meanwhile, had a formal education in catering, then travelled through Greece, France, Austria and Switzerland.
In the wake of the pandemic, Sam describes his business experience as “a rollercoaster”, adding, “I don’t know if I would rush into it again in a hurry! That said, it is massively rewarding.” Those rewards come in the form of hosting BSL workshops, seasonal outdoor markets, quiz nights, and wine tasting evenings. Judging from Nomad’s touching postcard wall, displaying mail sent from all over the world by regulars, the community are certainly grateful. As for dish recommendations, Nomad’s meatballs are a favourite, sourced from a Gower farming family who helped create their secret meatball recipe.
Nomad Bar & Kitchen, Gowerton, Swansea.
GOWER COFFEE CART
Run by Anna Luporini, Gower Coffee Cart is in Singleton Park this summer, neighbouring Swansea’s iconic Swiss cottage. Continuing her family’s legacy of coffee-mastery from her beautifully decorated van, Anna serves freshly ground, sustainable coffee and snacks, including smoothie bowls and Portuguese tarts (from Natas By Max).
With over 50 years of experience, Anna’s family own Swansea’s iconic Kardomah Café, where she worked from a young age: “It’s in our blood as Italian restaurateurs”. Anna’s father began the Gower Coffee Co. by combining two of his greatest passions, coffee and surfing; GCC serves a variety of blends matching different surf breaks on the Gower, using recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
“In lockdown, I used the extra time to build a jewellery business,” Anna says. “I saved the money I earned from that to invest in my coffee cart. We refurbished an old rice horsebox rotting in a field into a unique work of art. I wanted to adapt Gower Coffee and move into the festival industry.”
She admits it’s been challenging, describing her experience as a young entrepreneur as “a massive learning curve”. But, enthusiastic as ever, she adds: “I absolutely love my job and being my own boss. I can’t imagine working for someone else now!” Currently, the Biscoff lattes are a big hit with customers but personally, Anna reckons you just can’t beat a vanilla iced latte when the sun is shining.
Gower Coffee Cart, Singleton Park, Swansea.
THE TOURING TEA ROOM
In Swansea Bay, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to hot beverages. But one business that stands out is The Touring Tea Room, nestled in the botanical Clyne Gardens along Oystermouth Road.
Owner Victoria Young’s café was inspired by her grandparents, replicating their comfort and homeliness. A vintage caravan serving a range of teas, coffees, cake, and all things lovely – with plenty of options for little ones – TTTR certainly provides these warm feelings.
Throughout school term time, Victoria also hosts stories for young children at 12.30 pm every Tuesday and organises garden tours with nature guru Tifion, including the Clyne In Bloom celebration.
“Community is really important to me. I’ve always wanted to create a strong one or be part of it, and the community and people of Clyne Gardens are just wonderful,” she explains. “They have fully opened their hearts to welcome us. I can’t wait to contribute more and more to the garden.” This comes despite her experience of being a business owner as “one of the most stressful and rewarding things” she has ever done. “I’ve loved many parts of it and hated others. But overall, it’s changed my life in the best way possible.”
TTTR sister van The Tiny Tea Room will be in Horton car park as well as events around Swansea this summer. Victoria recommends trying “a Welsh brew tea with milk and sugar, and a slice of lemon cake on the side, or a vanilla cappuccino.”
The Touring Tea Room, Clyne Gardens, Swansea.
words EVE DAVIES for BUZZ CULTURE
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