Fifty years have passed since Dio and Marion Jones of Welsh Lady Preserves started to make Lemon Curd to sell on The Maes, Pwllheli. Today, production continues on the same site in the heart of the Llyn peninsula, and the business is run by the same family. The factory may be a little larger but the same cooking methods are used to create preserves that are as close as you can get to homemade.
Dio and Marion Jones established Welsh Lady preserves in 1966 when Dio bought a small Lemon Curd business on the current site. The ‘factri jam’ as it’s locally known, is located on the beautiful Llyn Peninsula, on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. The Welsh language is alive and thriving in the area and is the first language spoken in the factory.
The business is now run on a day-to-day basis by John (Dio’s son) and Carol Jones. John has been involved with the business for as long as he can remember, and has been involved full time for over 20 years.
Both John and Carol see Welsh Lady as more than just a business, “It’s not work- it’s family!”. They are dedicated to continuation of all that Welsh Lady represents to its consumers, customers, and employees.
Welsh Lady preserves are made in and by the Pwhelli community. All employees live within 10 miles, with most within 5 miles. Welsh lady regularly employs multiple generations from the same family and many employees have worked for the business for decades.
Carol says “the team here feel like family”.
Employees rotate throughout different areas and so understand the process of making preserves from start to finish. “Everyone is involved in quality control.”
Welsh Lady use whole fruit wherever possible in their production processes and the key jam recipes are those developed by Dio 45-50 years ago.
Dio boasts with pride that the copper-bottom pans which are still used today were made in 1936. He taught himself to make jams, curds and chutneys through trial and error, and is responsible for developing all the current Welsh Lady recipes. These pans allow a fast boil which means a better flavour in the finished jam. Chutney and curd recipes are a closely guarded secret, developed by Dio over many years. Jams/Chutneys are hand-stirred (originally made on gas rings – they used to wear out wooden spoons with all the stirring!).
You can view the Welsh Lady Preserves website here: www.welshladypreserves.com