Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (‘SREF’) has signed a deal to bring The Apprentice winner Alana Spencer’s new By The Sea café concept to Mermaid Quay, the popular 150,000 sq ft mixed-use destination on Cardiff Bay’s waterfront. The new café, which is set to open in April/May 2021, will be the first of a Wales-wide roll out of up to 10 new “By The Sea” venues in 2021.
Work has already started on fitting out the prominent 2,230 sq ft venue which sits at one of Mermaid Quay’s main entrances. The café will operate as a takeaway with seating available for customers to use after having ordered. It will feature the Ridiculously Rich by Alana’s famous range of luxury cakes, as well as savoury meals such as vegan happy chicken, super loaded Reuben sandwiches with loaded fries, shakes & sundaes, sweet treats of cookie pizzas, cookie dough, all washed down with a selection of hot and cold drinks.
Alana Spencer’s professional love affair with sweet treats began at the age of 14, when her Mum bought her a book about making chocolate. She was a self-taught chocolatier by 16, selling her luxury chocolates to friends, family, and teachers and then to two shops in her hometown of Aberystwyth. In 2010, Alana set up Narna’s, making tray-baked cakes alongside her chocolates and selling them at food events and shows. In 2016, Alana decided to take her business a step further and applied to become a candidate on BBC One’s The Apprentice, seeking a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar. Her passion for her business and delicious cakes sealed the deal and ‘Ridiculously Rich by Alana’ was born.
Alana opened the first By The Sea café in Aberystwyth in October 2020 and is now looking to roll the concept out to key locations across Wales.
Commenting on the opening at Mermaid Quay, Alana Spencer said: “After a successful six months at our first By The Sea concept store we decided it was time to expand. Our key points to look for were beautiful waterfront spots that are on walking routes. Cardiff Bay ticked all these boxes for us. It’s a big jump for us but one we are excited to make. Bring on the next chapter of Ridiculously Rich By The Sea.”
The arrival of Ridiculously Rich By The Sea comes as SREF continues to enhance the offering at Mermaid Quay. This has already seen the creation of a five-screen Everyman Cinema (opened 2019), the introduction of new restaurants – including The Cosy Club (opened 2019) and Hub Box (opened 2020) – as well as aesthetic improvements to the buildings.
Future plans for the area include the revitalisation of the public realm and the creation of a stylish new landscaped public space in the heart of the scheme (work on which is anticipated to start this summer), the extension of the car park, together with the introduction of further leisure uses and exciting new food and beverage brands.
Harry Pickering, SREF’s Head of UK Retail, said: “Ridiculously Rich By the Sea is sure to prove a popular destination at Mermaid Quay. We are always keen to have strong Welsh businesses as part of the tenant line-up, complementing the UK-wide brands. The cakes are delicious and we can’t wait for the café to open.
“This latest letting is just the first of a series of new businesses that will be coming to Mermaid Quay this year, as we bounce back from challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, getting our multi-million pound repositioning plan for the centre back on track, and enhancing Mermaid Quay’s reputation as one of Wales’ premier leisure destinations.”
Letting agents for Mermaid Quay are Savills and Smith Price RRG.