This is the first episode of our series where we shine a spotlight on some of our wholesale customers. We caught up with Jason and Viktoria Cross to check out their set-up, try some of their delicious coffee and chat with them about what it's like running a specialty cafe in Llanelli.
Walking through Llanelli town centre, you might not expect to find specialty coffee, let alone a treasure trove of plants, antique furniture and delicious food. But as you pass Market street, the eye is immediately drawn to HWYL.
HWYL stands out whilst somehow looking exactly at home amongst the old empty buildings and graffiti. The café/bar/restaurant invites you to walk in and sit down at one of their repurposed school desks, complete with engraved names of school children from years gone by.
Jason and Viktoria Cross opened HWYL in February 2020, only a month before the world shut down. This meant two years of continuous changes, challenges and setbacks, all of which the couple clearly adapted to; the space you walk into is warm, inviting and full of beautiful sights, sounds, smells and tastes.
What inspires you?
European travels, food, culture & architecture.
What made you want to open Hwyl?
We met in London, working in hospitality. I, Viktoria, used to work in the interior styling industry beside hospitality as I always enjoyed being creative next to my passion for food and service. I, Jason, used to work in fashion and design but then moved into hospitality as I wanted to work in the industry & we wanted to create something we both love.
There was a massive gap in the market and we wanted to bring the quality & service that Llanelli needs.
What do you love the most about what you do?
As easy as it sounds, it is a very complex question. We love coffee, food, service, music and with it all, creating the perfect ambiance with the interior but mostly we love seeing and hearing the satisfaction from our customers.
What’s your go-to coffee order?
2 x Flat Whites!
What’s your favourite coffee shop you’ve ever visited?
London Grind, that's the place where we met and our journey to HWYL started.
How do you brew coffee at home?
Coal Town Coffee Pods & Moka Pot.
What are you most excited about right now?
We absolutely love this place! Amazing food, ambiance and service! Viktoria and Jason are so welcoming and friendly they can’t do enough for you! If you haven’t been yet …. It’s a must!
Everything about this place from the decor to the food is Absolutely stunning, love it! ❤️
A fabulous place to visit for a coffee and a brunch. My favourite is the one which includes cockles and laverbread!
lovely food and great atmosphere with a friendly welcome, great place to meet up with friends.
Absolutely amazing,I am so proud of you both.Hwyl is my happy place .I Absolutely love it in Hwyl