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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Llan event promotes best of county's food and drink


* Leanne Ing from the Cabin Kitchen.

A COUPLE who run a cake-making business in Denbighshire are tasting more success with the UK’s only white water paddle-boarding experience.

Lianne and Anthony Ing, who are both 24 were among the stars of an event to promote the best of Denbighshire’s growing food and drink industry.

Both businesses were showcased at A Taste for Local, a major networking event hosted by Denbighshire County Council at Llangollen Pavilion.

Part of March for Business, Denbighshire’s Business Month, the aim was to give people involved in the hospitality and tourism industries the chance to mingle with some of the county’s top local producers.  
 
Hugh Evans, Lead Member for Economic Development at Denbighshire County Council, was delighted with the turn out.



* Chrissie Ashworth from Temptations Cakes, left, with Karen Collo
He said: “We had close on 100 people at the event who were a mixture of people running their own food related businesses and those from the catering and accommodation sectors.

"Existing businesses shared information, experience and knowledge with each other while start up businesses were pointed in the right direction. There were practical examples of how to get local produce on the menu and examples of how to diversify into the tourism sector.

“The events are all part of our work on developing the local economy and delivering the wider economic development strategy for the county."

Lianne and Anthony operate Cabin Kitchen from their home in Glyndyfrdwy in the Dee Valley to supply mouth-watering cakes to cafes across the area.

Lianne explained: “It all started when we went on holiday to San Diego and California and saw people having lots of fun aboard stand-up paddle boards on the water there.

“We bought two of the boards for about £900 each and we had more boards specially made for use on white water rivers and soon afterwards started our business, Stand-Up Paddle Board UK, which offers people the chance to try them out on the fast-flowing River Dee and also the nearby Llangollen Canal.”


* Cllr Rhys Hughes opens proceedings.
“It’s a great new sport and I think we’re unique is offering the only white water paddle-boarding experience in Wales and the UK.

“In our cake-making business, called Cabin Kitchen, we bake a wide range of cakes, including gluten free, which we sell to cafes across Denbighshire."

Lianne added: “We wanted to be at A Taste for Local because it was a great opportunity to meet people in the same sort of businesses as ours and to help give what we’re doing a higher profile.”

Amongst those who picked up plenty of ideas for future business development was Karen Collo from Wrexham who was at the event on behalf of a friend who runs a string of cafes in Liverpool, Preston, Nottingham and Rotherham.

She said: “I was looking for different types of product to use in the cafes, which all have their own concept from stand-alone cafes to coffee shops.

“I found a few things which fitted the bill. One of the stalls which caught my eye was Temptations homemade cakes where the products looked very good.”

Temptations owner, Chrissie Ashworth, said: “I’ve just moved to new, larger premises in Corwen and it was good to be at the event and to show off my products to a wider market.

“I was delighted to have the chance to show them to a potential buyer.”

Guest speakers included TV hill farmer Gareth Wyn Jones who issued a rallying cry for a “farming food revolution”.

He said: “Events such as this are fantastic because we need to show people just how good Welsh food – such as our lamb – actually is.

“Because as a nation we have more and more children with obesity or diabetes, I believe education is the key to what I call a farming food revolution.

“We have got to educate them to eat more healthily and we could start with encouraging them to drink milk, which is one of the best things you can have, rather than fizzy drinks.”

Other speakers were Colin Loughlin, chairman of the Hamper Llangollen food festival, who stressed the importance of food and drink to the tourism industry, and David Shiel, senior countryside officer for the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, who referred to the strong link between the local landscape and food.

Councillor Rhys Hughes, who represents Llangollen on Denbighshire County Council, said: “The event was all about networking and allowing businesses to meet and get to know each other.

“Tourism is worth over £400 million a year to the county and today was also a way to celebrate the abundance of good quality food products and what we have to offer our visitors.” 

Denbighshire Council have other events in the pipeline, including Social Media for Beginners at Rhyl College on May 12 and Open 4 Business at Oriel House, St Asaph, on June 30.

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