Date published: 24 May 2023

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity is delighted to announce that its café, Caffi HEMS, has received a 5 Star Hygiene rating at its new premises.

The Food Standards Agency Inspectors routinely visited Caffi HEMS last month and gave it a glowing report.

Based inside the new Wales Air Ambulance’s Caernarfon Retail Hub, in the former Argos store in Pool Side, the relocated coffee shop sells sandwiches, pasties, homemade cakes, speciality teas and coffee.

Since its opening on Monday, 20 March 2023, Caffi HEMS has become a popular meeting place for customers of all ages as well as local community groups.

The Caernarfon shop is the first community retail hub in Wales for the lifesaving charity and not only offers preloved clothing, homeware and furniture items, but also attracts people to its café as well.

Forming part of the Charity’s new retail blueprint, the multi-functional shop offers supporters, volunteers and the wider community a communal space to meet.

Rob Coles, Head of Retail at the Wales Air Ambulance, said: “It is fantastic news that Caffi HEMS has been given a 5 Star Food Hygiene Rating. It was so important for us to achieve this and it is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our wonderful team.

“Since Caffi HEMS reopened, it has proven to be a success in the community and is growing in popularity. It’s a great social space and the team even hosted a local WI group’s coffee morning recently. Come and pay us a visit where you’re guaranteed to receive a warm welcome, a hot cuppa and delicious locally sourced food.”

Caffi HEMS is managed by Wales Air Ambulance staff Tracey Axford and her deputy Jessica Bailey, both of whom have previous experience working in the catering industry.

Speaking about the 5 Star Food Hygiene Rating, Tracey said it was an honour to receive the recognition.

She said: “Both Jessica and I are over the moon to receive the highest food hygiene rating for Caffi HEMS. We both work very hard to ensure the café is successful and always maintain high standards.

“It is very rewarding for both of us and it is also good for our customers to know that the café is clean and hygienic.

“There is a lovely atmosphere in the café and we have a variety of customers. It is very family orientated and we have a lot of ideas planned for the café going forward.”

Caffi HEMS uses locally sourced products from local suppliers and businesses including The Bakehouse - Ty Becws, Coffi Dre, Jones of Anglesey and Brakes while sandwiches are made fresh on the premises.

Jessica said: “It’s lovely that the cafe supports other businesses and suppliers in and around Caernarfon by sourcing their foods. As a community café we are all focused on supporting and serving our local community. Our customers are so friendly and we are now starting to have our regulars in, so we have a good chat with them.

“We have plenty of choice on offer at Caffi HEMS, including vegan and vegetarian options. We have some customers who look around the charity shop and then come into the café, we have people who come in while on their lunch, some who have a quick coffee while waiting for the bus outside as well as family and friends meeting up while out doing their shopping.

“We are delighted and proud to receive the 5 Star Food Hygiene Rating. I love my job as everyone is so friendly and I think the customers like coming here as it has a lovely, happy environment."