THE BOSS of Mrs Marco’s Café in Porthkerry Park has outlined her vision following a planning application to make the premises bigger and eco-friendly.

Mum-of-one, Ruth Zeraschi said she hoped the all-weather retreat would be a place where people could meet and relax.

It would also, she hopes, offer an opportunity to offer crafting classes and a space for female empowerment.

The plans will add a seating area on the first floor and a larger kitchen on the site.

Around 15 staff would be employed.

The planning application states the aim would be to create "a modern and attractive new building which will be wholly in keeping with the Country Park setting."

Mrs Zeraschi, 50, who previously worked for youth homelessness charity Llamau before arriving to manage the café in February 2019, said: “I want it to be a haven, a place to relax, a retreat from the rat race – a meeting place for friends, family, and extended family, or a place to come if you are on your own.

“My goal is to make everyone feel comfortable – a place where everyone can meet and natter.

“And whatever their dietary requirements are, there will always be something for everyone with a lot of healthy options.”

She said the indoor extension was “much needed.”

“We’ve got four tables inside at the moment,” she said.

“All the rest of the tables are outside and it impacts massively on what we can offer.

Wheelchair access was also limited at present, she said.

But an extension would enable the premises to become more accessible to all.

“We are also looking at our impact on the environment,” Mrs Zeraschi said.

“My plan is to become more self-sufficient and eventually have solar panels so we would be producing our own energy - to have as little impact on the environment as possible.

“I want to get rid of plastic bottles – I have already changed our disposable cups – and make everything biodegradable or recyclable.

“So many people get what I’m trying to do.

“I want people to feel, ‘Oh, I’ve found my happy place’.”

Mrs Zeraschi said in future she would also like to employ a baker so bread and cakes could be produce fresh on site and, in a meeting room, host Makers Mornings, pop up cafes, and get-togethers.

“We have a ‘Tweezer club’,” she said. “It’s for women of a certain age who need tweezers, but it’s for youngsters as well and people who feel a little isolated.

“I hope people can meet up and help and support each other.”