It's been a difficult year for high streets across Wales, and Newport has been no different.

The city's economy has seen plenty of hardship in recent years, and and the coronavirus pandemic has meant businesses have spent much of the last year shut and missing out on thousands worth of trade.

But despite the challenges, we've still seen some great new businesses pop up in the past year, giving hope that there can be a successful recovery.

From cake specialists to delicious delis and quirky independent ventures, here are some of the businesses that have opened up in Newport over the past year.

The Dirty Food Company

The Dirty Food Company looks like a proper feast

One of Newport's newest restaurants, The Dirty Food Company opened on Station Road in Baneswell during lockdown. Inspired by Old Brooklyn, the restaurant offers burgers, hot dogs, ribs, wings, sides, salads and desserts.

From buttermilk wings to baby back ribs and thick, creamy cheesecake, there's little you could turn down here, and after starting as takeaway only, the business is now finally open for indoor (and outdoor) dining.

Find out more here.

Eggfree Cake Box

Eggfree Cake Box opened on Commercial Street in February

Eggfree Cake Box opened up its doors on Commercial Street back in February, creating eight new jobs for the city centre. The company, which has more than 150 stores across the UK, offers products that are 100% free of egg and suitable for vegetarians as well as some products that are suitable for vegans.

At the time, owner and manager Sheraz Hassan said he'd had a "very good response from people in Newport" and that he hoped business would pick up as shops reopen and Wales comes out of lockdown.

Check out their website for more info.

Chartist Deli

Chartist Deli offers a range of sandwiches, salads, cakes and deli products

A new addition to the city centre having opened on Lower Dock Street last month, Chartist Deli is a family-run venture serving fresh locally-sourced food. The cafe offers a scrumptious range of sandwiches, salads, cakes and more, sourcing its bread from Wrens bakery, meat from Neil Powell Master Butchers and baking its cakes on-site.

As the name suggests, the business pays special homage to Newport's history, naming itself after the famous 1839 Chartist Uprising. Find out more about them here.

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The Port

After a number of high profile closures last year, Friars Walk shopping centre has seen a number of exciting new independent outlets open up in recent months. Located next to River Island, The Port opened in April this year and is home to more than 20 market-style traders offering everything from locally brewed gin to handcrafted gifts and ornaments.

Carl Simmonds runs the Old Brenin Distillery stall with his son and daughter, Harvey and Laura. He said at the time: "We’re all working together and helping each other, and the support from customers and the local council has been amazing. These market shops are loved by people.

"It means a lot for very small businesses – I know quite a few that have just closed as a result of the pandemic. It’s so important because so many breweries and gin distilleries are closing."

Find out more here.

Coffee Corner

Coffee Corner in Friars Walk

When one of Friars Walk's original tenants, Muffin Break, closed its doors earlier this year, it left many in the city disappointed.

Thankfully, the cafe chain's boots have been filled by a worthy successor in independent venture Coffee Corner, which opened its doors back in February.

The coffee shop is run by Richard Steele who previously ran the Muffin Break chain in the centre and said he was "very excited to be back" in the centre.

"People want to come out having been stuck indoors for so long, and we look forward to seeing so many regular faces return to the city centre", he said at the time.

Find out more here.


Fabrix is one of a host of independent shops which have opened in Friars Walk recently

Launched back in April in Friars Walk, independent fashion store Fabrix stocks popular brands such as Stone Island, Dsquared, Dolce & Gabbana & Givency alongside independent brands including Terrace Cult & Mercier.

Opened in the unit formerly occupied by The Body Shop after that closed last year, the store's owner Dan Ronan is a former Newport County and Cardiff City player who previously launched the business online in 2020 before looking to open a physical store in his home city.

Speaking at the time, he said: "The past year has been a huge challenge for us all and, while you might imagine that designer clothing sales may have dipped due to people not being able to go out, in fact we saw quite the opposite, with our online sales increasing 900% in the first six months.

"For me, it’s all about helping others, and we’d encourage any up and coming brands to get in touch, as we’d like to help debut new lines through the store, as well as our online shop."

Find out more here.


Another popular addition to the high street, Gelato has been serving up desserts and ice cream to customers around the UK for some time. And Newport has now gotten its own store, with Gelato Newport opening on Caerleon Road in April.

Run by Birmingham native Stephen Warren, the shop opened with the aim of offering desserts at more affordable prices, as well as delivering around the city.

Find out more here.

Cancer Research UK

Cancer charity Cancer Research UK opened its biggest shop in Wales on April, setting up shop in Newport Retail Park.

The store ribbon cutting was performed by 12-year-old cancer survivor Lucas Hoare, whose mum Lindsay said he was “chuffed to bits” to be asked to officially open the superstore.

The 9,800 sq ft shop stocks everything from furniture and clothing to toys and electricals. The charity also has superstores in Cardiff and Holyhead.

Find out more here.

Triple Two Coffee

Another newcomer to the city centre, coffee chain Triple Two opened last month on the ground floor of the Chartist Tower, which is undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment.

The chain has 17 stores across the UK and its Newport venture provided another boost to the city's economy with the creation of ten new jobs. Its opening weekend saw £1 drinks offers and the cafe serves a range of cakes, pastries, lunches and hot and cold drinks.