With the cost of living affecting people across the country many consumers are changing their spending habits which often includes switching to cheaper brands or not going out as much.

The latter can harm independent retailers on our high street who are navigating rising costs and setbacks caused by the pandemic.

Typically, customers go out less in January and February after the Christmas festivities.

Lesley Saunders, owner of Trios on Richmond Road, Cwmbran, said they are ‘finding it quite tough at the moment.’

Free Press Series: Inside TriosInside Trios (Image: Lesley Saunders)

Inside Trios. Picture: Lesley Saunders

Ms Saunders said: “I’m finding it quite tough at the moment, things have not gone back to how they were since covid and the current financial climate is not helping.

“Some days are so quiet, people are coming just coming for drinks and are not spending as much.

“Our once daily specials and hot meals are just not taking off.

Free Press Series: One of Trios homemade cakes One of Trios homemade cakes (Image: Lesley Saunders)

One of Trios homemade cakes. Picture: Lesley Saunders

“I’ve put a few events in to try and create interest including Daffodil Tea for St David’s Day, prosecco brunch for Mother’s Day and psychic night which has already sold out.

“I’m hoping things will improve and people will get back to socialising over a cuppa and a cake.”

Trios were recently awarded with a food hygiene of five – the highest rating you can get.

A bistro in Newport that is run by a former MasterChef finalist has also found holding events a good way to earn some extra income.

Located on 17 Charles Street, Newport Geshmak Café Bar and Bistro run special events including seafood platter and prosecco evenings.

Owner Francesca Keirle said independents cannot ‘absorb price hikes in the same way that chains do.’

Free Press Series: Francesca Keirle inside Geshmak Café Bar and BistroFrancesca Keirle inside Geshmak Café Bar and Bistro (Image: Francesca Keirle)

Francesca Keirle inside Geshmak Café Bar and Bistro. Picture: Francesca Keirle

Ms Keirle said: “It was quieter last month, the cost of living is affecting everyone.

“Customers understand the price rises and are supportive because they want independents to stay open.

“We can’t absorb price hikes in the same way that chains do.

“Sell out events like my seafood evenings prove that people will happily pay for a quality product that is delivered with thought and care.”

Free Press Series: Seafood platter Seafood platter (Image: Francesca Keirle)

Seafood platter. Picture: Francesca Keirle

The bistro has recently started an open mic night evening where people are able to enjoy music together.

According to Jordana Sexton owner of Newport’s Coffee Mill on 127 Commercial Street, Risca the café has enjoyed a busy January and start of February.

Free Press Series: A beautiful birthday cake made by the Coffee MillA beautiful birthday cake made by the Coffee Mill (Image: Jordana Sexton)

A beautiful birthday cake made by the Coffee Mill. Picture: Jordana Sexton

Ms Sexton said: “We have had not to do any promotions but are facing the cost of living crisis ourselves with the increased overheads.

Free Press Series: Jordana Sexton and Gavin BiltonJordana Sexton and Gavin Bilton (Image: Jordana Sexton)

Jordana Sexton and Gavin Bilton. Picture: Jordana Sexton

“Gavin Bilton, twice Britain’s strongest man comes in a bit especially before a competition.”

“We specialise in homemade cakes and food, and we are well known for our cake counter.