The vintage, antiques and retro emporium that’s expanding next year

A year after opening, Ragamuffins Emporium is renovating another two floors in an old bank rescued from neglect

Ragamuffins moved from a smaller store into the old Barclays Bank to become the multi-trader emporium it is today

Ragamuffins Emporium is adding a café to the second floor of the growing antiques business. 

Currently, it spans two stories with six to seven traders per floor. The business, located in the former Barclays Bank in Pontypool, is awaiting planning permission to take ownership of the remaining two levels of the four-floor building.

But Allun Davies doesn’t want to stop at antiques. He and the team are planning on converting a room on the second floor into a café.

“Most people, as soon as they go to the first floor, will smell the coffee coming from upstairs,” Allun joked. “We want somewhere people can grab a quality coffee and just sit and chill. There’s a demand for it.”

On the expansion plans, he said, “There’s five more rooms available which will be more traders. And then, what do you do with the third floor? We’ve got an incredible third floor. That’s more on the back boiler, though. Our main priorities at the minute would be getting the café sorted early next year.”

Starting with seven vendors, Ragamuffins Emporium now has 27 traders with three more planned to join this month. 

Allun said, “Initially, Ragamuffins was about making a bit of money and not having to work. It’s gone way beyond that, way above our expectations.”

The emporium contains an eclectic mix. If it’s old, shoppers can find it here. 

“It’s having these individual traders as a whole,” said Allun. “We’d like to see Pontypool become a destination for this kind of thing. Last week, we had traders travelling from Chippenham specifically to come and buy from us.” 

“We don’t allow any new because it waters down the brand,” said Allun. “It becomes a bit of a market then.”
Ragamuffins Emporium currently has 27 traders selling from the shop in Pontypool

Ragamuffins Emporium also boasts international reach, supplying stage props for blockbuster hits like Bohemian Rhapsody.  

Lara Manley, who works across the road from the shop, is looking forward to the addition of a café. She said, “Apart from the one in Tesco, there’s not really anything like it in Pontypool.”

And when the renovations are complete? “I never sit still,” said Allun. “Where would the next Ragamuffins Emporium be?”