Women’s community cafe returns, giving visitors a warm welcome and a hot meal

The Wales World Cafe in Riverside has now reopened and women in the community are meeting again for lunch after two-year break

Visitors to the Wales World Cafe enjoying their freshly prepared lunch. Credit: Megan Gaen

After lockdown stopped the ladies in Riverside meeting face-to-face, the Wales World Cafe has reopened and is serving lunch every Friday to local women.

Throughout the lockdowns, the only way food from the cafe could be shared was through a delivery service, but the doors have reopened and lunch is served, enabling women to come together once more and build relationships.

The cafe attracts women from over 20 different ethnicities to eat together, talk to each other and support one another.

Changes have been made to how the cafe is run. At the moment, attendees must pre-book an hour-long time slot, in which they sit and eat a three course meal. Project manager Amal Beyrouty explained while it is great to meet up again, it’s not without its challenges, due to Covid-19 safety precautions. She said, “[It] lacks the communication, people are not meeting, they are just eating and leaving.” 

The cafe, which is organised by charity Women Connect First, was created by women who were part of the Golden Years Project, a project helping BME women, to develop skills and share cultural dishes. 

Amal said the women in the community wanted to set up their own cafe to gain work experience and use their culinary skills. 

“These women were forced by the job centre to find a job and they were always unsuccessful because of language barriers, self-confidence, experience,” explained Amal, “but they are very good cooks…this grew their interest to start a cafe.”

A bond among females no matter what the background. We are all as one

Michele Ball

Michele Ball, one of the attendees, said she welcomes the return of the cafe after Covid-19 tipped everything on its head. “It has a nice atmosphere. It is friendly and giving. A bond among females no matter what the background. We are all as one. They make you feel welcome irrespective of culture or language,” she said.

Wales World Cafe is hosted at 7 Neville Street, Cardiff, CF11 6LP. Booking is essential via phone: 02920343154 / 07483112354.