Ten big brands – Welsh food sector
1. Halen Môn
This is a true love story. After falling in love with each other in Bangor University, the owners of Halen Môn fell in love with the island of Anglesey.
After running a successful wholesale fish and game business, as well as The Sea Zoo, which became Wales’s largest aquarium, Halen Môn salt was born. Since 1997, the salt business has grown from being used by the local butcher to being enjoyed by Barack Obama and even served in the 2012 Olympics. Halen Môn sea salt can be found in more than 22 countries across the globe, as well as on the tables of some of the world’s top restaurants like The Fat Duck.
From humble beginnings, the Roberts family began their journey on a farm nestled in the small village of LLannefydd. Looking for ways to diversify and keep the farm running in tough times, Gareth and wife Falmai attended courses on food production and business. They then began a small milk round, supplying the local village.
The milk round became very popular and demand soon grew for other products. The family launched Llaeth y Llan Yoghurt in 1985 with huge success. It is now stocked in supermarkets across the country.
3. Welsh Brew
Welsh Brew Tea is a family business where for the last thirty years, owners Alan, James & Sarah have worked on establishing their tea as an iconic Welsh brand. As well as offering a unique blend of African and Indian teas, specifically blended to complement the wonderful Welsh water, Welsh Brew also produce coffee and hot chocolate.
Growing up on the first ever certified organic dairy farm in the UK, Rachel took over from her mother in 1966 with her husband Gareth. In 1982 the local area was hit by freak snowstorms and the milk tankers could not move off the farm so they had to find new ways of using the milk. They started to produce butter and cream to distribute as emergency supplies in the local shop. These products became a huge success, so in 1984, Rachel started to produce the farm’s first yogurt. Now with a full range of luscious yogurt, rice pudding, our butter and milk, Rachel’s success has continued to the present day, being awarded an MBE in the Queens Honours list for her services to agriculture.
With a recipe that has stood the test of time, Brace’s has been a staple Welsh brand for over a century. Established in 1902 by George Brace the brand has been passed down the generations. Baking in Croespenmaen since 1979, in 2004 the family opened a second bakery in Pen Y Fan to accommodate the demand for their products. With a range of loaves, the brand also produces Welsh Cakes, crumpets and baps, which are stocked in supermarkets across the country.
6. Calon Wen
Established in 2000 by a group of four Welsh organic farmers who wanted to sell their own milk to local people, Calon Wen has since grown to encompass a cooperative of over 20 family farms, producing some of the best organic milk in Wales.
Their cows graze clover rich organic pastures that have not been treated with sprays or chemicals, and when they are ready to be milked the Calon Wen team milk them themselves. The range of products includes milk, frozen yoghurt, butter and cheese, which can be bought online or through a number of retailers across the country.
7. The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Co
Café Môr was established by its owner in 2010 who decided that he wanted to return from Swindon to West Wales and make his passion for food, creativity and the sea a reality. From festivals to winning Best British Street Food Vendor in 2012, Café Môr has firmly established itself as one of the best mobile street outlets in Wales. After the success of Café Mor, the brand began to produce its own products using Pembrokeshire seaweed, including Welshman’s Caviar and Ship’s Biscuit. It now produces fine foods for sale across the UK.
Established in 1950 as ‘Thomas Pies’, a small pie manufacturer in Merthyr Tydfil provided highly sought-after sausage rolls, pies and pasties to the Valleys. By 1976, the business moved to its existing home in Caerphilly and rebranded as Peter’s. Today, it is a household name, making over 3 million delicious pastries every week, which are distributed nationwide, servicing 13,500 customers annually.
Clarks is a number 1 best-selling family run sweetener, syrup and dessert sauce business, based in Newport Wales. Employing over 30 people in its newly expanded factory, its products are in most major retailers and are also supplied to major restaurant chains, food service and catering wholesalers and food manufacturers.
10. Hilltop Honey
Hilltop Honey was founded in 2011 when MD Scott started beekeeping as a hobby. He jarred up his honey from that first summer and shared it with friends and family, soon the local shop wanted some too. Today he has moved out of his parent’s back garden and into the 14,000 sq ft. Hilltop Honey HQ. The company now produces a range of honeys, which are supplied through hundreds of independent farm shops and delis, along with some of the UK’s leading supermarkets.