The Dangerous Food Company adding a touch of spice to North Wales
PUBLISHED: 00:00 26 August 2016
Llyr Jones and Dominic Haynes are red hot after launching their St Asaph-based Dangerous Food Company
Llyr Jones and Dominic Haynes are on fire after turning their love of chillies into a red hot business.
As far back as they can remember they’ve been silly about chilli. In fact Llyr recalls when, as youngsters, they dared each other to drink a bottle of Tabasco and ‘couldn’t taste anything for days.’
‘I love the different heat sensations you get from different chillies. Where the heat is located in the mouth, how the heat starts (instant heat or a creeper), how long the heat lasts for and how it works with different foods,’ he says.
‘ I love describing the sensations the customers are about to feel when we are selling at shows.’
It was after being made redundant, that Llyr, originally from Llandrillo, a small village near Corwen, and Dominic, who was brought up in Rhyl came up with the idea of creating a chilli jam as they sat in their local pub.
They’d been working for an Irish dairy company, Dom was in product design and marketing and Llyr in sales, when they came up with the idea of pairing chillies with fruits to make a deliciously spicy relish.
The 33-year-olds, who live just 80 yards apart from year other in St Asaph had to wear protective gear to create their first jars of jam in Dominic’s kitchen using ghost chillies – one of the hottest varieties in the world.
‘We started with the chilli jam range, it seems a good idea because of the heat in the jam! It’s also taken us forward to our strap line for all our products...Dangerously Good,’ they say.
‘There was a lot of trial and error. We try and combine chillies with the right fruit, but it doesn’t always work and needs to be tweaked.
‘Moving the production batches from 60 jars to 300 was a challenge. We made some awful stuff during the trials. We pride ourselves on getting the blend just right.’
They started selling their chilli jams at Conwy Festival in October 2013 and the business grew from there.
‘This is where we sold our first two products, the Chilli and Lime (red one) and Jalapeno and Apple (green one). The response was so positive at the event that we decided to give it a go for 12 months. Almost three years later we’re still going, so we’re crossing our fingers we can continue to grow,’ explains Llyr.
‘Now we attend around 50 consumer events annually to sell our products, and are stocked with four wholesalers, and around 300 other customers from delis to farm shop and restaurants for our food service range. We are growing fast, so hopefully that’s a testament to our fantastic range of products and customers.’
They see their jam range as a condiment to be used the same was as you would a mustard, horseradish or a mint sauce. They have collaborated with a friend on a range of cheeses to give customers some idea of how fantastic they can be as an accompaniment.
Says Llyr: ‘I have a friend who I met in university who owns a goat farm. He produces a the range of cheese for his customers. We had a get-together three years back and decided to team up to add to our range. The combination of chilli jam and goats’ cheese is delicious. Our customers certainly think so.’
They plan to create some more ‘Dangerous’ new products in the future.
‘Hopefully we will continue to spread our story and create fantastic products for our customers. We are overwhelmed by the support we are receiving from everyone. We hope to still be here in 10 years, and will be with the continued support of our customers.
‘We are continuing to add to a range that we believe is dangerously tasty.’