New coffee shop co-owned by George North gets the green light

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Friday, October 15th, 2021 8:00pm

By Saul Cooke-Black - Local Democracy Reporter

A group of motorbike enthusiasts – including Wales rugby union star George North and cricketer Andrew Salter – have been granted planning permission for a coffee shop in Monmouthshire.

Baffle Culture, founded by university friends Sam Daymond and Glamorgan cricketer Mr Salter, was formed as a way of meeting other people interested in motorcycling.

It started as a social media account, to share experiences about biking, and now with a base in Goytre it is proving a popular venue both for coffee and motorcycling.

The five owners, including Wales and Ospreys rugby player Mr North, came together at a charity event – The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – where they started their journey into owning a cafe, Baffle Haus.

They have since organised a range of events and hope to use the coffee shop as a platform to break down barriers around men’s mental health.

Mr Daymond said the venue off the A4042 at Goytre – a converted storage area – offers a meeting point for bikers and for the wider community.

“We are starting to get a bit of a reputation around coffee as well,” he said.

“It’s really nice to see it become a family friendly space where there are children running around, where there are bikers, car enthusiasts and locals.

“I think there’s a stereotype around biker cafes where you have to ride a bike to come in and we are trying to break that down and make it a space where everyone is welcome.”

The opening of the cafe will increase the number of employees from one full-time and four part-time to two full-time and 10 part-time staff.

A council planning report says it will have a “significant economic benefit”, with the venture expected to generate more than £120,000 through visitor expenditure.

The group are raising funds for Blood Bike Wales and Wales Air Ambulance, as well as working with Gwent Police to promote the BikeSafe initiative.

Mr Daymond said they are keen to organise charity events and opportunities for bikers to get together.

“It’s about the ability to jump on a bike and put on a helmet,” he said.

“There are no distractions, it’s just you on the road and it’s a great way to detach from technology and every day life.”

The cafe’s opening hours are 9.30am – 4pm on Tuesday to Friday and 10am – 6pm at the weekend.

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