A CONTINENTAL deli and wine shop is set to open this week in Pontcanna, which its owners hope will be a valuable addition to the community.
Karen Crews and her husband David are putting the final touches to Al Ponte, a specialist deli and wine shop on Pontcanna Street. And the couple are confident their combined skills will make for a good match.
“What I think will make our business a great success, is that we bring our different expertise into one shop,” said Karen.
“I’ve got my love of wine and food, while David is a very experienced butcher. It will be bringing all these things under one roof.”
David, 60, from Porth, has been a butcher for forty-eight years.
“I started working when I was 12 years old. My first job was at a butchers on Hannah Street, in Porth. I did meat rounds on a bicycle,” he said.
The opening of the shop is a long-held ambition for Karen, who came from Swansea to live in Cardiff in 1988.
“I originally came here to train as a solicitor, but I gave that up a while ago. I did a wine course at Uwic (now Cardiff Metropolitan University), then I went on to do a diploma course,” said Karen.
After years of teaching other people about wine, Karen finally decided to set up her own business.
“I’ve always had a passion for wine. I love the taste of it, I like studying it and I love the history of wine in Europe. For example, David and I like to go to Venice and I find the religious habits of consuming wine really interesting,” said Karen.
The name of the shop, she explained, was partly inspired by their love for Italy.
“Al ponte means ‘to the bridge’ or ‘at the bridge’ in Italian. The shop has an Italian influence, and there is an emphasis on Italian wines. Also, we are on Pontcanna Street, which is literally ‘Canna’s bridge’ in Welsh, so there is a link with the local area too.”
Along with the selection of wines, the shop will offer a range of cheeses, breads, cured meats and local organic vegetables. There is also a room at the back of the deli that the couple have converted into a wine tasting room.
“I’ll hopefully be doing some wine courses. I want it to be a place that people can come to get together.”