September 22nd was an important day in the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed. The building was full of people, all celebrating the official opening of The Goods Shed Café. We were lucky enough to have the Mayor of Llanelli cut the ribbon to our hatch as part of a food-filled opening ceremony, and we also enjoyed the company of various council members as well as volunteers, and members of the general public.
This event has been years in the making. The Goods Shed Café has been talked about in the same breath as the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed for almost as long as there has been a scheme to restore it. The Railway Goods Shed renovation has always been a way to bring the community together in a beautiful building that is full of history, and what better way is there than in the comfort of a community café.
The café will be staffed by volunteers who have all undergone the relevant food hygiene and allergen awareness courses. Volunteers have been busy with Coleg Sir Gar’s Cook24 project, where they have been learning to make fantastic food, such as sumptuous soups, chunky chutneys and juicy jams, some of which will be available to purchase at the café.
There have been meetings to taste-test drinks and sample food, to ensure that we provide the best for our customers. After all, what better way to ensure quality than by trying it out ourselves!
After taste-testing, it was decided that Teifi Coffee were the way forward for their coffees and hot chocolate. Their blends are exquisite and provide gluten free and vegan options. They were even kind enough to lend us a coffee grinder and provide us with barista training, to make sure we know the difference between a latte and a cappuccino.
Castell Howell will be supplying further ingredients and have kindly loaned a catering freezer.
The decisions on the provision of tea were settled with a tea-tasting afternoon with Tea Traders. Several teas were tried, including Welsh Breakfast, Moroccan Mint and Cherry Trifle loose leaf teas. The teas were deemed to be delicious, and all attendees agreed that loose leaf tea was the preferred option, so this is what will be on sale in the café.
Long before the cooking and the taste tests, people have worked tirelessly on the café. Walls were painted, equipment set up, there has been hammering and sawing galore. The café is not an original building within the goods shed, it has been added recently. Yet to look at it you would not know. It has the beautiful lines of an old ticket office or café from a train station and has been painted in the old GWR colours. It’s been a labour of love, a dream that has finally been realised.
If you would like to sample the delights of the café then pop along between 10am and 2pm. We’d love to serve you something sweet and talk to you about your memories of the wonderful building.