A host of new food and drink producers are gearing up to meet the public at the
Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Smallholding and Countryside Festival at Llanelwedd this weekend (May 18 & 19).
Formerly known as the Spring Festival, the event draws thousands of visitors from Wales and beyond – eager to see the array of rural attractions, and sample some Welsh food and drink!
The Food Hall is always among the main features, and nine producers will be exhibiting there under the auspices of Cywain – a Menter a Busnes delivered project that supports the development of growth orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales.
From smoked meats, honey and sweet treats, to vegan pâtés, sea salt, syrups and mocktails, there will be something new to try and buy at the Cywain stand.
Said Lowri Davies, Cywain Team Leader (Support for Small and Micro Businesses)
“We’re delighted to have such a great range of producers on the stand over the two days. It is an exciting opportunity for them as the Festival will be the first time most will have showcased their products to such a wide – and large – audience.
“They have been working with Cywain in a number of ways, including test trading, which will hopefully stand them in good stead at events such as this Festival and give them the confidence and techniques needed when selling direct to the public.”
The producers exhibiting at the Cywain stand in the Food Hall are as follows:
SATURDAY, MAY 18TH
Sweet-toothed visitors to the Festival will find delight in confectionary from The Nourish Deli.
Based in Caerphilly, the business is run by Craig Morgan and Nicola Pledger – who have combined their passion for healthy food with experience in nutrition and catering.
A qualified nutritional advisor with a background in diet catering, Nicola has developed a range of delicious sweet treats and chocolates.
Utilising Craig’s business studies and catering skills the pair launched The Nourish Deli last year, making filled chocolate bars which are organic and free-from gluten, dairy, soya, and cane sugar. Also, the wrappers are made from cellulose, a plant material, which is bio-degradable.
Among the range being showcased on the Cywain stand will be chocolates, filled chocolate bars and truffles
More information: Facebook @thenourishdeli
THE QUEEN BEE HONEY COMPANY LTD
Now, barely 12 months since setting up, his business – The Queen Bee Honey Company Ltd – is buzzing.
From his apiary near Pontypool, Daniel sells products from the hive, including beeswax, candles and of course honey.
Each batch of delicious honey is unique due to the seasonal flora and fauna where his bees forage around Torfaen and Monmouthshire.
Daniel also produces re-usable beeswax food wraps – as an alternative to single-use plastic wrapping. The colourful wraps are washable and are made from naturally antibacterial beeswax, jojoba oil and pine resin.
More information: www.thequeenbeehoneyco.co.uk
Harnessing the power of nature, Halen Dewi produces sea salt from the pure waters off the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
The family-run venture’s mission is to capture the essence of the wild west Wales coast and deliver it straight the plate in the most environmentally sustainable way.
The sea water is collected at Whitesands Bay – near St David’s – before being filtered and then dried just using the sun and wind. Two weeks later the sea salt crystals are harvested by hand.
Halen Dewi’s 100g Sea salt Crystals, are currently available throughout Pembrokeshire and online, with new products on their way.
More information: www.halendewi.co.uk
Each year visitors flock to Brooksgrove Farm near Haverfordwest pick the family-run farm’s crops of seasonal fruit and visit its popular ‘Pumpkin Patch’.
Now that delicious fruit has been turned into a range of ‘naturally versatile’ fruit syrups. Made using just fruit and some sugar the syrups are ideal for drizzling over pancakes, pouring over ice cream, or stirring in porridge or yoghurt. By adding your beverage of choice, they become a flavoursome fruity drink.
There are many syrups available – strawberry, raspberry, apple and elderberry – with more on the way.
More information: www.brooksgrove.co.uk
SUNDAY, MAY 19TH
DELI DE BRUIN
Angharad de Bruin uses her Sri Lankan and Welsh heritage to create a range of delicious vegan pâtés – and she will be launching a new variety at the Festival.
When one of her children became vegan a few years ago, Angharad became interested in vegan cooking – and became vegan herself. She began experimenting with vegan pâté recipes at her home on Anglesey, and she now sells them locally.
There is the more traditional pâté – made with green lentil, walnut and mushroom – and the spicy sun-dried tomatoes, red lentils and cashew nut pâté, which is a homage to her birthplace of Sri Lanka also reminds her of her parents’ cooking at their home in Bethesda.
Angharad’s third pâté – which will be making its debut on the Cywain stand contains mixed grilled peppers, brown lentils and hazelnuts.
More information: www.delidebruin.cymru
From half a dozen flavours six months ago, Pembrokeshire confectioner Natalie Mills, owner of The Fudge Foundry, has tripled her range. With 17 flavours to choose from, Pembrokeshire Sea Salt & Caramel, Cherry Bakewell and Rum & Raisin to name a few.
Hand crafted by Natalie in Neyland, the fudge is chocolate based, which results in a really moreish and creamy texture, totally different to a traditional Scottish tablet fudge which is quite crumbly.
Natalie – who has a background in catering and baking has always had a passion for making sweet treats – produces two ranges of fudge, Classic and Luxury, with the latter range including the popular alcoholic flavours White Coconut & Rum and Smooth Whiskey.
Several new flavours will be making an appearance at the Festival, including Dark Chocolate Mocha, Banoffee Toffee, and Strawberries & Cream. The company’s newly designed packaging will be showcased too.
For the new Fiery Ginger & Chilli fudge, Natalie uses a special blend of chillies produced by her brother and sister-in-law who run Pembrokeshire Chilli Farm.
Natalie brings the company’s Pembrokeshire location and heritage into one of her recipes – ‘The Pembrokeshire Tudor Rose’. This very special and unique fudge – made using Ruby Cocoa with sweet undertones of raspberry and a delicate rose flavour – was inspired by Pembroke Castle being the birthplace of the Tudor dynasty.
More information: www.thefudgefoundry.co.uk
Welsh mocktail brand, Sober Drinks, does what it says on the bottle – delivering fun and flavour but without the alcohol.
The company’s founder – Richard Pollentine – hit upon the idea of creating a non-alcoholic cocktail while on holiday. Having decided to give up alcohol himself the trained chef wanted to produce a soft drink that still contained the bright cocktail vibe.
The result was Newport-based Sober Drinks, which currently has two non-alcoholic beverages to its name.
The vibrant and eye-catching mocktails come in two flavours (and colours) – Blue and Green. Blue’s flavour is a mix of pineapple, coconut and orange, while Green is kiwi, coconut and orange flavoured. Two more Sober Drinks will be added to the range later this year.
More information: www.soberdrinks.co.uk
Ceredigion-based WelshHomestead Smokery will be launching a whole host of artisan smoked food at the Royal Welsh Smallholder & Countryside Festival.
From its Tregaron smokehouse, the new business specialises in cold smoking a range of products – and creating some unusual flavour combinations.
Available will be four flavours of Smoked Dry Cured Bacon – Maple, Rum & Molasses, Chocolate Espresso, Chili & Paprika. Also honey flavoured Smoked Dry Cured Lamb Bacon.
There are seven flavours of Chilli Jams ranging from mild to very hot: Chipotle, Lemon Drop, Red Habanero & Strawberry, Chocolate Habanero, Fatalii Gourmet with Lemon & Thyme; Scotch Bonnet & Mango, and Caroline Reaper.
Five smoked salts join these: Smoked Cracked Black Pepper Salt, Smoked Cumin Salt, Smoked Rosemary Salt, Smoked Sage Salt, and Smoked Chili Salt.
More information: www.welshsmokery.co.uk
AUR Y DDRAIG
Carmarthenshire beekeepers, Darren and Sara Hall, will be launching their new Welsh honey business – Aur Y Ddraig Ltd – at the Cywain stand.
A former engineer now working in the education sector, Darren has been interested in bees from an early age when he would help his grandfather with his hives. Twenty-five years on he took up beekeeping under the tutelage of his uncle, and has now established what the couple hope will be a business that benefits the local community and economy.
Along with Sara, who works in the financial industry, Darren has joined the local beekeeping association and undertaken a variety of beekeeping and honey business courses.
Keen to promote their honey’s Welsh heritage, their Spring Honey is derived from their apiaries across the Carmarthenshire/Swansea border, and is produced with minimal filtration or heating. Looking to sell their honey via boutique and specialist food stores, there are plans to expand Aur Y Ddraig’s range of products.
More information: www.auryddraig.com