A FORMER professional rugby player is tackling a new venture in a Flintshire town.

In a post-lockdown pub chat with his two brothers, Joe Sproston spoke about how he really wanted to set up a coffee shop. And now that idea is a reality.

On returning to the region, the 32-year-old, who has played for Doncaster Knights and Stade Dijonnais in France, didn't waste any time getting his plans up and running.

Cosy window seats at Kiln Coffee.

Cosy window seats at Kiln Coffee.

Joe, who still plays rugby semi professionally with Caldy RFC, has now opened Kiln Coffee, in Buckley.

The shop, whose name is a nod to the town's former brickworks industry, is on Church Road, and already a hit, with several people making it a regular stop off after only a few weeks of opening.

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It was Joe's own love of coffee that ultimately led him down the path to Kiln Coffee.

The shop uses coffee beans from a friend's independent coffee roasting business, Kickback Coffee Roasting Co, and Joe is happy to talk all things coffee with customers, having learnt as much as he could about the drink.

Inside Kiln Coffee in Buckley.

Inside Kiln Coffee in Buckley.

He said: "Coffee goes hand in hand with rugby. We'd often meet up after training at near by coffee shops.

"I've opened Kiln Coffee after seeing what the people of Buckley want, and it's building really nicely. I've been so well received.

"I love seeing customers mingling, strangers talking. It's a very sociable environment."

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As well as a variety of coffees, Joe also offers hot chocolate, speciality teas, with non dairy milk available, and some sweet treats in the form of cakes and traybakes (including vegan options).

Despite only just started, Joe has ambitious plans for the future, and would love to have several outlets across Flintshire.

Kiln Coffee is open Monday to Friday, from 8am-4pm, and Sunday from 9am-1pm. Joe currently doesn't open on Saturdays, as he plays rugby.

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He added: "Caldy have been really supportive, and so many of them came for the opening. It's been a great experience.

"I'm working solo at the minute, balancing the rugby with the shop but it's been incredibly exciting and all part of my story.

"I love meeting people and hearing their stories. I already have regulars and new people are finding us every day.

"I hope I can build it into something great for both myself, and Buckley."

• To see more, check out Kiln Coffee on Facebook.