Coffee has always been a favourite drink of ours. Frazer has always home-baked when not being a manager, and Chris has always been excited by good food and cooking as a hobby, when he's not being a doctor. Despite harbouring secret desires to run a café or restaurant, we only ever really considered this to be a pipe dream. Then, in 2018, Chris was diagnosed with Coeliac disease – a condition where gluten-containing foods cause significant damage to the intestine causing illness. Despite a medical knowledge of the condition, we had little personal experience of the condition and soon realised how difficult it can be to access good food when out and about.
The majority of regular coffee shops just didn't offer the range of foods that excited us. Opportunity presented itself when Frazer was given the option to take voluntary redundancy from his job as a Service Manager, and the pipe dream started to look like reality. The growing tide of food awareness indicated that there was an audience who were ready for something different.
Our home kitchen has always housed a section of good coffee machines, creating great coffees but it was now time to up the game! Through 2019, Frazer trained in the art of the barista, as well as flying through training in the world of business. The concept of “Against the Grain” came easily – offer a comfortable, interesting place to find good coffee and great cakes for all, with the absolute safety of a totally gluten-free environment. We believe that gluten-free food doesn't have to be boring, and we want to challenge gluten-eaters to spot the difference.
In early 2020, the global pandemic seemed to throw a barrier in our way and so we paused for a while. In early 2022 Against The Grain Cardiff found its home in Whitchurch and our steampunk-inspired coffee house and bake shop opened in June 2022. We can't wait to see you there.
We love good coffee. We like great tea too! We thrive on visiting new and unusual places. We are drawn to interesting architecture and interior design. We believe different is good. We want a warm welcome and good service. We expect excellence in food safety and understanding of different dietary needs and preferences.
We are intrigued by the visuals of the origins of science fiction and our inspiration for the interior of Against the Grain | Cardiff aims to draw from a broad base – clocks, steam-engines, china, stone, wood, pipes, matt paint, copper, brass, steel, airships, submarines, earth, fire, air and water, music and intrigue. It’s all about the coffee and all about the cake, but why not sit somewhere comfortable to enjoy them?
Our kitchen is entirely gluten free. We do not have any gluten-containing products on site and thus can offer complete peace of mind to people with Coeliac disease, those with gluten intolerance, wheat allergy and those of you who chose not to eat gluten. Our goal is to provide a selection of popular choices, but also to try out new and exciting ideas. Many recipes from around the world are naturally gluten-free and we’re keen to bring these to you. We’re also excited to reinvent traditional favourites without compromise on taste or quality.
We are very conscious of the preciousness and fragility of our home planet. It is not science fiction that our modern world is damaging the earth we live on and the air we breathe. We believe that buying from local suppliers (wherever possible), and minimising harmful materials and waste is vital. We believe in reusing ornamentals, recycling artificial waste and composting organic waste. We will strive to minimise our impact on the natural world. We believe in supporting fellow local and small businesses.