AN Ammanford business has been celebrating a decade of delighting locals and people further afield with its coffee.

Scott James came up with his first business venture when he was around 18 or 19, shortly after leaving school. “I wasn’t very good in school and wanted to start my own business,” Scott told the South Wales Guardian.”

South Wales Guardian: Scott's family and staff have been really behind the business from the start.Scott's family and staff have been really behind the business from the start. (Image: Scott James)

He grew up around a café and went on to volunteer with the National Trust and was able to help organise events.

Scott’s first business idea was a coffee subscription service called Coffee Joes. “It was awful,” he said.

“After about six months I decided this wasn’t what I wanted.” He then got the idea for Coaltown from a picture of his grandfather in his mining uniform and in December 2013, began making coffee with a homemade roaster made from a BBQ and started selling online. With the help of his family, they made around 40kgs of coffee a week.

South Wales Guardian: The roastery began in mum's garage.The roastery began in mum's garage. (Image: Scott James)

The first five years of the business, they worked out of Scott’s mum’s garage and they started selling to big names like Selfridges.

In 2018, Coaltown made its big move from the garage into the new purpose built roastery on Foundry Road in Ammanford. “It was a large change but it was a way to have high quality coffee.”

Coaltown’s ethos is about embracing community and local history as well as empowering people in more rural areas to follow their dreams, showing you don’t need to be in the big cities to be able to run a successful business.

“We wanted to do it in Ammanford to show that it doesn’t matter where you are. If you build it they will come.”

South Wales Guardian: Working on creating The Roastery on Foundry RoadWorking on creating The Roastery on Foundry Road (Image: Scott James)

Coaltown was then hit by the pandemic, just like most businesses as after finding their feet in the roastery and café, they had to adjust their business model due to the restrictions imposed. “We had to go back to the Roasted Joe days,” said Scott. They moved their main focus to online stores and took to social media to show people how to make their own coffee in their kitchens.

Since the pandemic restrictions relaxed, Coaltown has started to branch out and extend its reach with a new café in Pontarddulais and will be opening a third café in an undisclosed location. There has also been a pop up café in Cardiff.

“We have an amazing customer base who have been really behind us,” said Scott. “We are not just coffee, we are also bringing in some really cool items under the Coaltown brand to showcase local businesses.”

South Wales Guardian: The RoasteryThe Roastery (Image: Scott James)

“I feel very proud,” said Scott looking back on the last decade. “I don’t often get chance to look back because of being in it and don’t always notice the massive gains.

“When we did the party, I was doing a presentation of pictures and was looking back at pictures and saw the first batch and we had five bags and sealed them with an iron.”

Coaltown currently employs 30 people and pays them all above the living wage and plans to continue to grow and see where the next 10 years takes them.

To find out more about Coaltown, visit