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New business venture is off to a smooth start with help of funding

A new coffee shop in Bridgend town centre has become the most recent beneficiary of funding from Bridgend County Borough Council and UK Steel Enterprise to help kick-start their business.

Owned by husband-and-wife team, Louise and Matthew Elston, Coffee@12 in Derwen Road opened its doors eight weeks ago, realising Louise’s lifelong ambition to run her own coffee shop.

The couple received support from the Bridgend Business Start-up Fund provided by the Council’s Employability and Enterprise Team, in partnership with UK Steel Enterprise, which they used to invest in a professional coffee machine and electrical and plumbing works at the new premises.

The business owners spent a long time renovating the premises, which was damaged in a fire, to create a warm, friendly environment for people to enjoy coffee and a bite to eat.

Owner, Louise said: “We’re very grateful to Bridgend County Borough Council and UK Steel Enterprise for supporting our new venture. Owning my own coffee shop has always been a dream of mine, and having worked in the NHS for 32 years, I felt the time was right for that dream to become a reality!

“Our first couple of months of trading has been really encouraging. It’s always nerve-wracking opening a new business, as you don’t know how it will turn out – but we’ve built up a steady flow of regular customers, who come in for a cuppa and a chat.

“We started with tea, coffee, and cakes, but now we offer sandwiches, paninis, as well as afternoon teas, and a full-cooked breakfast – which is going down a treat with our visitors!

“We are child-friendly and dog-friendly too, so there’s plenty of space for everyone! We’re also open on a Sunday, which we think is unique for an independent town centre coffee shop.

Regular visitors, Gerald, and Madeline from Litchard, walk down to the coffee shop from their home at least once a week. They said: “We really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the coffee shop, it’s warm and cosy with very comfy seats!

“We come down for a walk and a coffee and Gerald has also tried the all-day breakfast which is delicious! And the prices are very reasonable too!”

We are delighted to have been able to support the launch of this brand-new coffee shop in Bridgend town centre.

Accessing funding for a new business can be difficult, particularly in the early stages, with unexpected costs among some of the issues.

We understand the value of this extra support, no matter how small, to start a business like Coffee@12. It’s great to see new enterprises reaping the rewards of the Bridgend Business Start-up Fund.

Councillor Neelo Farr, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration

The coffee shop is currently open Thursday to Sunday, but Louise and Matthew already have plans to extend its opening hours to seven days a week in the future, alongside offering the venue to private bookings.

For more information on the Bridgend Business Start-up Fund, visit:

To enquire about your eligibility for the scheme, email

To find out more about Coffee@12, visit their Facebook page.

Councillor Neelo Farr, Louise and Matthew Elston and Council Leader, Councillor Huw David.
Louise and Matthew Elston and Councillor Neelo Farr with the new coffee machine.
Councillor Huw David and Councillor Neelo Farr enjoying a coffee at the new premises.

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