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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Llan event showcases food and drink sector

* Rhian Cattell with her company's new roasting machine.
A coffee roasting company is brewing up plans to double the size of the business.
Denbigh-based Owen & Edwards will be one of the star attractions at an event to promote the food and drink industry in Denbighshire.
Another role model at the A Taste for Local networking event at Llangollen's International Pavilion on Wednesday March 9 will be Ruthin-based Patchwork Pate which is about to launch the UK’s only dairy-free chicken parfait.
The aim of the event being organised by Denbighshire County Council is to give people involved in the hospitality and tourism industries the chance to mingle with some of the county’s top local producers.   
It's being held as part of Denbighshire Business Month starting on March 2 and people wanting to attend can do so via the website
Richard and Rhian Cattell launched Owen & Edwards a year ago and have since built up a solid customer base at cafes and restaurants across the Clwydian Range area.
After investing around £20,000 in state of the art coffee roasting equipment they are now aiming to brew up even more success by doubling the size of their business with an expanded range of products and a much larger number of sales outlets.
Rhian said: “We’re both coffee lovers and decided to start the business as something we could do and enjoy together.
“We developed Owen & Edwards with a coffee roasting business owned by my husband’s family in Devon and they have given us lots of help with it.
“We came up with our own blend called Espresso No.1 and began distributing the coffee around the Denbigh area.
“We gradually developed our range to include blends called Famau, after the mountain, and Hiraethog after the moorland above Denbigh, along with a decaf.
“We are doing well with our local customers but have decided to step things up by making a major investment in a roaster, which is now installed at our base on the Denbigh Industrial Estate.
“This now gives us the ability to expand into other areas such as Llangollen and Wrexham and to double the number of places where our products are on sale. We’ll also be looking to expand our range of blends.”
Rhian added: “We both have other part time jobs – myself with a housing association and Richard as a project manager – and cover the coffee business between us during the week.  But we're now getting to the stage where it can support more of our time, which is great news."
“We’re really looking forward to the networking event in Llangollen where we’re hoping to get some fresh business opportunities and meet new customers.”
Also eager to meet new people to do business with at the March 9 event is Rufus Carter from Patchwork Paté.
Rufus said: “The dairy-free chicken parfait is designed to appeal to the growing `free-from’ market – free from wheat, sugar and dairy.
“The parfait is traditionally a smooth pate made with 60 per cent butter. But we’ll be using a machine developed for the paint industry to inject vegetable oils into the recipe.
“We began to develop the new product in January and it is due to be launched in April.
“From our point of view meeting potential new customers at the Llangollen networking day is a fantastic opportunity and we’re looking forward to being there.”
Another Denbighshire based business saying cheers to the event is former computer software programmer Alyn Ashworth, founder of Denbigh Brewery, or Bragdy Dinbych in Welsh.
He said: “I produce a range of beers including a light and hoppy bitter called John the Thumbs, a brown ale called Earl’s Folly, Goblin Tower, which is a ruby mild, a seriously strong ale and a lager.
“I also do occasional beers like Christmas Ale and another called Plum Ale, which uses and celebrates the distinctive type of plums that the Denbigh area has long been famous for.
Alyn added: “I usually show off my products at events like beer festivals and local food markets, so I’m looking forward to the networking opportunity at Llangollen because I’m a small company with big ideas.”
Among the guest speakers at the event will be TV hill farmer Gareth Wyn Jones who will issue as rallying cry for better networking  between food suppliers and producers.
Carolyn Brindle, Denbighshire council’s lead officer for Business Support and Local Growth, said by embracing local produce, restaurants could make their businesses distinctive. 
 “If a place wants to be chosen as a destination then it has to have a unique and distinct offer,” she said.
“Everything from edible flowers, through to bread, beer, meat, ice cream, cider, cheese, whole food bars and much, much more is made in Denbighshire.”
Carolyn said March for Business month was designed to help businesses help themselves.
"It features a mixture of speakers, workshops, one-to-one advice and networking covering subjects such as HR and employment and social media over the course of the month,” she said.
“One particular focus is on promoting our food and drink offer.
“We have a number of great producers in the county and we would like to see more B&Bs, retail and hotels using this produce when they refresh their menus, for example.”
* A Taste for Local will start at 10.30am and finish at 1.30pm, at Llangollen’s International Pavilion, on Wednesday March 9. People wanting to attend can book their place at or ring Janet Turner on 01824 706896.  Places are free but space is limited.

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