Freelance-friendly cafés: Little Man Coffee, Cardiff
When I first took a high dive into the scary-but-awesome life of freelancing, there weren’t many places in Cardiff to spend the day with a laptop and a decent supply of coffee.
Sure, we had the obligatory Starbucks and Costa branches lining the high street, but for those of us who prefer to support independent businesses with our hard-earned cash, it was slim pickings.
Fast forward three years and the Welsh capital’s indie coffee scene is almost unrecognisable. Loads of independently-owned coffee places have opened up, from the effortlessly cool Quantum Coffee Roasters in Cardiff Bay to cosy hygge dens like Brød (AKA The Danish Bakery) nestled in the leafy side streets between Canton and Pontcanna. Even the city centre has stepped up its game, with 200 Degrees, Corner Coffee and Uncommon Ground grinding some of the best beans in town.
But let’s step back for a minute. Before any of these flat white-frothing establishments opened their doors, Little Man Coffee was there for me. On my very first day of freelancing (6 July 2015, in case you were wondering), I set my sights on this light and airy café on the corner of Bridge Street and David Street for my inaugural ‘Make a Move Monday’.
This was a ludicrously lovely gesture for freelancers and remote workers: a workspace to use for the morning, plus your choice of coffee, for free. It was a brilliant way to link up with other likeminded freelancers, get out the house and kick off the week productively. Fuelled by caffeine and the generosity of Cardiff’s friendliest baristas, I powered through my first freelance projects while enjoying the company of likeminded creative folk.
Understandably, the crew at Little Man couldn’t keep handing out free coffee forever, but trust me: their tasty beverages are well worth paying for. As well as serving up quality small batch espresso from the likes of Coaltown Coffee Roasters and Welsh Coffee Co, there’s a varied selection of teas including orange blossom oolong, Yunnan green tea and Cloud Catcher (a fruity infusion featuring cherries, cranberry, kiwi and coconut flakes).
Then there’s a cracking selection of homemade cakes and lunchtime options: easily enough tasty treats to keep the average creative freelancer powered up for a full day of remote working.
I haven’t even mentioned the amazing gallery space downstairs, or the converted bank vault that can be hired out for meetings, or the regular creative meet-ups and social gatherings that happen at Little Man throughout the week.
But that’s the kind of place this is – somewhere that genuinely values its customers, that continues to support the local creative community however it can, and that people (including myself, apparently) can’t say enough positive things about.
I’m now three years into my freelance career, and still a proud regular at Little Man Coffee. If you’re the laptop-toting type and enjoy spending your days in good cafés surrounded by good people, I strongly recommend that you become one too.
Little Man Coffee is located at at Ivor House, Bridge Street, Cardiff CF10 2EE.