10 great local food producers and vendors in North Wales
PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 April 2016 | UPDATED: 20:08 12 April 2016
Meet some of the people flying the flag for local produce, writes Emma Mayoh
Edwards of Conwy
This is a butcher’s business which speaks for itself. It’s a traditional shop run by award-winning master butcher and sausage and pie maker Ieuan Edwards, a farmer’s son from the Conwy Valley. A former winner of the Britain’s Best Butcher accolade, Ieuan also founded another award-winning food company, The Traditional Welsh Sausage Co. Ltd, specialising in supplying major UK supermarkets, export and food service. Edwards have received many awards including dozens of Great Taste Gold Stars.
The Patchwork Traditional Food Company, Ruthin
Margaret Carter has come a long way. More than 30 years ago she was a single mum with three young children and just a few pence in her pocket saved from the housekeeping. Fast forward to today and her company, Patchwork Foods, which she runs with son, Rufus, has many fans in many parts of the world. Everyone from HRH Prince Charles just can’t get enough of the foods from this Ruthin company. Celebrity fans include A-list British actors and weather presenter Sian Lloyd.
Their products, which include their renowned pates, have been supplied to prestigious shops like Fortnum and Mason and John Lewis and they have supplied foods for major events including for London 2012 and the Queen’s Jubilee. Some of their top products include brandy and herb, Cointreau and orange, mushroom and garlic and duck with apricot pates.
Aerona Liqueur, Chwilog
When Hazel and Gwilym Jones decided to take part in a farming diversification project in 2006, they weren’t doing it for themselves. The couple, who live in Chwilog, decided to run a trial as part of a project looking at soft fruits and field crops in Gwynedd. They grew aronia berries with the idea that it could help someone else. Today, the couple make a liqueur from the berries, which have incredible health benefits because they are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Aerona liqueur named after the Welsh word for small, juice making berry, has gone from strength to strength. Once the berries have done their job flavouring the liqueur, they are covered in dark chocolate and made into an indulgent bar.
Bodnant Welsh Food, Tal-y-cafn, Conwy
You would find it difficult to find a place more passionate about food producers and foodies in North Wales. The multi-award winning Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, in Conwy Valley, has a farm shop that showcases some of the best Welsh foods and drinks made by people in the region as well as from the Bodnant Estate. The shop has its own bakery, butcher’s and delicatessen stocking everything from artisan breads, homemade cakes, pies and quality meats as well as Bodnant’s own Welsh cheeses made in the on-site dairy.
There is also a restaurant, tea room and five star bed and breakfast accommodation, a cookery school, wine school and Kids’ Academy.
Hooton’s Homegrown, Brynsiencyn
This family business first started as a potato and cereals farm. Small scale fruit growing, sold from a small table at the end of the farm drive and asparagus sold from the back door, started in 1989. Today, Lincolnshire born Michael and Rosalind Hooton and their family grow a host of fruit and vegetables which are sold at their farm shops in Brynsiencyn and Caernarfon. Pigs, Welsh Black cattle and free range poultry are also reared on the farm to provide meat for the butchery, there is a café as well as another pick your own field in Menai Bridge. Anglesey Garlic and Go Garlic are also a part of Hooton’s Homegrown.
Beau’s Tea Room, Beaumaris
Given the seal of approval by the Hairy Bikers during their Food tour of Britain series, Beau’s Tea Rooms in Beaumaris is a must visit place. Situated in a Grade II listed building that dates back to 1602, you can enjoy the surroundings while enjoying a choice of more than 30 types of tea as well as some delicious homemade cakes and light meals.
It has been run by Cheshire born Karen Black and husband, Nigel, for more than a decade. They uprooted from Bollington to Beaumaris to follow their dream of opening a tea shop. The café has just five tables and it is rare for there not to be a queue.
Porter’s Delicatessen, Llangollen
You can’t go to Llangollen without visiting this family-run delicatessen. Here, you’ll find some of the best cheeses and charcuterie as well as those specialist, hard-to-source ingredients and gourmet food. Food and drink from local producers is put firmly in the spotlight including cheeses from many Welsh suppliers and beers from surrounding breweries.
Derimon Smokery, Dulas Bay
Barack Obama is a man of impeccable taste. Chocolates handed to guests at events at the White House have been laced with Anglesey sea salt, smoked by David McCreadie at his Dulas smokery. But you don’t have to be on the president’s guest list to taste David’s work, as it’s available from his shop, as well as at farmers’ markets across the region. David’s mantlepiece is groaning under the weight of awards he has won for his smoked cheese, meat and fish. He started the smokery in 2003, using one of the outbuildings at the back of the house that had a chimney. The outbuildings have now been developed into a state-of-the-art smokery - the only one on Anglesey. David also dives for lobsters in the waters around Anglesey.
Chaplin’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar, Rhosneigr
A trip to Rhosneigr is not complete without an ice cream at Chaplin’s in High Street. You’ll always be sure of a warm welcome from John Chaplin who serves a dizzying array of ice cream flavours. If you feel it’s still a little chilly for a nice ice, there is also a tempting range of cakes and coffees.
South Caernarfon Creameries, Chwilog
This dairy co-operative is the oldest and largest in Wales. First established in 1938, the creamery is supplied by farms from across North Wales as well as Mid-Wales and Ceredigion. The milk is top quality as the cows graze on lush Welsh pastures. The milk is used to produce Welsh cheeses and butters that have won several awards over the years, including the British Cheese Awards. It is sold across the UK and internationally.