A Caerphilly town community café has marked its second anniversary by holding an Italian-themed week celebrating its continental origins.
After discovering the Tyfu building had been an Italian café in the 1920s called Antoniazzi’s, the staff opened up a memory book for people to share their recollection of their times there at a birthday party on April 11.
Now a highly-successful social enterprise, Tyfu was set up in 2012 by local charity Drugaid, with support from the EU-backed South East Wales Community Economic Development programme (SEWCED), to help people with previous drug problems get back into work.
Tyfu, which means “growing” in Welsh, has seen 16 volunteers gain valuable work experience since it opened
Andrea Matthews, a supervisor at the café, has maintained a long-standing family connection with the building.
Her aunt started work at Antoniazzi’s in 1949, when she was just 14-years-old.
She said: “Mr Antoniazzi and his brother’s son Pino were the owners.
“Pino’s dad died when Pino was young, so his uncle brought him up. There were links by marriage to another café on The Piccadilly – Mr Antoniazzi’s daughter married John, the owner of John’s Café.”
Lots of people used the café in those days, especially bus drivers and railwaymen who came in for their cups of tea.
As was common with Italian cafés, it had a juke box and a pinball machine.
People also used to come in for frothy coffee after “monkey walking” on a Sunday night.
“It was basically dressing in your Sunday best and parading up town looking for boys,” added Andrea.
For more information about Tyfu Cafe, based at 97 Cardiff Road, visit www.tyfucommunity.com.