Whilst it’s only been a couple of weeks since the Ross-on-Wye Coffee #1 has opened it has seen a great deal of positive commentary.

The coffee shop which is decorated with quirky art and furnished with faux-vintage armchairs opened its doors Sunday, July 31.

On the site of the former NatWest Ross branch, which was vacant since 2018, it is only two doors down from coffee giant rival Costa.

Original plans were for the shop to open in 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, amongst other reasons. Plans were in place to bring the Cardiff-based business to the town as long as eight years ago.

Store manager Natalie Arden has said that she wants to keep local people involved with the business and for it to be part of the community.

Mayor of Ross Ed O’Driscoll told the Gazette: “It’s always good to see businesses investing in Ross. I must admit I love our fabulous, independent shops and restaurants but I’m genuinely delighted to see a building that has been empty for a good while brought back to life.”

A number of Gazette readers also shared their thoughts.

Leigh-Anne Gilbert said: “Popped in there last week before dropping the odd object competition off. Good to see an empty building being used. Nicely decorated and friendly staff.”

Paul William Hayward added that the building looks a lot better than it was before: “Nice to see outside tables and chairs as well.”

Sandra Brown added: “Love the fact that the inside decor is Ross themed, unlike costa where they all look the same, enjoyed my mango and raspberry smoothie.”

Chris Morgan said that whilst Coffee #1 is a superb coffee house, James Coffee next to Woodville at the Army Barracks is “very nice indeed” and well worth a visit.

Coffee #1 opened its first coffee shop in 2001 in Cardiff and had three shops by the end of that year. In 2011, it was bought by Cardiff brewery company SA Brain, who wished to diversify from their pub business. The move was seen as a symptom of the tough trading conditions in the beer market. Brains had previously had Costa Coffee outlets in several of its pubs. In mid-2018, SA Brain announced that they wished to sell a majority stake in Coffee #1. In 2019 Caffè Nero bought a 70 per cent stake in the business, which at that time had 92 outlets.