Coffi Lab in Llandaff

New Llandaff coffee shop raises over £2,000 for Guide Dogs

Coffi Lab owner donates all its opening day profits to the charity

A NEW dog-friendly cafe on Llandaff High Street raised £2,300 for Guide Dogs on its opening day.

“The idea behind the brand is bringing two of life’s simple pleasures – coffee and dogs – together,” said managing director Hannah Gillard.

The Llandaff store opened on Saturday, November 27 and is Coffi Lab’s fourth to open since they started in Abergavenny this summer.

Owner of Coffi Lab, James Shapland, said: “My family has always had labradors and my father always supported Guide Dogs UK. It is a tradition I want to continue.”

Ms Gillard said: “James went to Llandaff Cathedral School so this store is close to his heart.”

The Fundraising Board in Coffi Lab, Llandaff. Image: Ellie Crabbe

They have collection boxes for Guide Dogs at every store and the opening day profits from all the stores have been donated to the charity. The first three stores raised almost £7,500.

Coffi Lab put £5,000 towards naming a puppy which they called Tony in memory of James’s father.

Tony was born two months ago and they will get updates of his training progress to become a qualified guide dog.

Labrador retriever Tony with puppy development adviser Rachel. Image: Guide Dogs Cymru

“We were delighted when Coffi Lab chose to partner with us to help change the lives of blind and partially sighted people,” said Jacquie Hughes-Jones, community fundraising development officer for Guide Dogs Cymru.

She added: “By naming a puppy, they become part of the Guide Dogs family and get ‘pupdates’ to follow Tony’s journey every step of the way.”

Siân Healey, who lives in Birchgrove and receives support from Guide Dogs, said: “I now have my second guide dog, Uri, who is a blonde Labrador retriever cross. The difference my guide dogs have made to my life is immeasurable.

“I’ve gone from being too anxious to leave the house without support to being independent enough to travel, supporting my family and friends and feeling more positive.

“Guide Dogs use the term ‘life-changers’ and that is exactly what my guide dogs have been for me.”

Ms Healey’s guide dog Uri next to a donation box in Coffi Lab, Llandaff. Image: Siân Healey

It costs £55,000 to support a working dog from birth to retirement.

Ms Healey said: “Guide Dogs ensure that whatever the financial situation of the visually impaired person, they do not have to worry about the cost and care of their dog.

“The charity not only supply guide dogs but also ensure that there is help and professional support available 24 hours a day.”

On the opening day, Ms Healey visited the store in Llandaff. She said: “The owners of Coffi Lab have wanted to learn about and invest in the work Guide Dogs do. I am very grateful to them.

“I know they have taken an interest in understanding the very special relationship and extra support guide dogs give to us their owners. Their coffee shops are dog friendly and feel very airy.”

Coffi Lab’s Fox Red Labradors Dylan and Brynmor in Llandaff. Image: Hannah Gillard

Mr Shapland said: “Dogs are part of our family. We want them to be welcome in our stores.”

Coffi Lab plan to open three more stores in Cardiff, the next being on Penlline Road, Whitchurch.

“Choosing locations is very important to us. We want to be based in leafy suburbs, places where people will be out walking their dog so they can stop by and bring their best friend inside,” said Ms Gillard.

Donate to Guide Dogs – £8 can support a working guide dog partnership for one day.

For updates on Coffi Lab’s partnership with Guide Dogs, follow their instagram.

Coffi Lab Llandaff opening hours.