Today was my first time, a late arrival, nevertheless, to the new coffee shop that’s situated just off Queen Street, in the city of Cardiff.
Founded by Jeff and Chloe Smith, the story behind the new cafe is tragic but heartwarming. Former Devils star, Jeff Smith, set up Big Moose Coffee in the name of his friend who sadly passed away from cancer in 2007.
What warmed my heart even more was that ‘moose’ was the nickname of Smiths’ friend and he was large hence the ‘big’ and so put those together and you get ‘big moose’.
In 2010 both Chloe and Jeff Smith, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise money for their charity Big Moose Coffee.
Both father and daughter, spent 2 years going around the city centre giving what they could to the homeless from tea and coffee to getting hairdressers involved to give haircuts. It came to a point where they were seeing the same faces every month and this led them to desperately want to make a change and so Big Moose Coffee Co was set up.
I spoke to Megan Lewis, one of the managers at Big Moose Coffee Co, who informed me that they work on many things that can affect many lives.
In 2014, the team went about enabling children with disabilities to take part in a triathlon with special equipment that enabled them to take part.
In 2016 the team ran the 10k run for Emily, who sadly passed away at the beginning of the year.
Why? You may be asking, Megan explained “It’s about helping all kinds of different people” and that is exactly what they are doing.
Targeting issues, one being mental health in 2017 when they raised money for mental health charity MIND, a year in which Jeff Smith had come across numerous souls who suffered with a kind of mental health illness.
This year, they have partnered with charity Llamau that is solely for young and homeless people. They will work with the charity to employ candidates who will be with them for a 6 month period. Big Moose Coffee Co will then go on to either keep on said candidates or help them into employment elsewhere.
Big Moose Coffee Co is a non-profit organisation and so the profits made will be used to help the homeless get back in to work.
It’s early days yet and rightly so, Megan went on to tell me “We wanted to know what we were doing first rather than bring them into chaos when that’s what their life is already filled with. Once everything is in place, it’ll definitely have a positive effect”.
I truly think it’s an incredible idea, solely based on helping other people and it’s something we need more of in a world filled with tragedy and wrong doings.
People like Jeff and Chloe Smith and the team are the ones who make this world a better place.
When asked on future plans Megan was keen not to give too much away but said that she “Hope to set more cafe’s up once the process gets going”.
Do I recommend it? 100%. I spent a very pleasant hour in the cafe today, I would’ve spent more had I not made plans beforehand. The staff were friendly and approachable and the service was very quick, the menu was simple but plenty of choice including vegan and vegan options.
It is situated on Frederick Street which is between Starbucks Coffee and the EE shop on Queen Street, Cardiff.
My ultimate favourite was the light up sign situated inside the cafe that said – ‘Leaving the world better than we found it’ and that really does sum up the motives and intentions of Big Moose Coffee Co in one.
P.s they also have their own beer too!
Ciao for now x