2011 Wales Champions
Thursday, 12 January 2012
The 2011 Champions for Wales were announced at a Welsh Assembly reception on 11th January.
Local Food category
- Champion:Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, Hawarden 01244 533442 http://hawardenestate.co.uk - This particular farm shop began with one of Wales’s lesser known pioneers in the form of the Estates first commercial horticulturist, Lowrie March who’s greatest commercial success came in the shape of Pick Your Own Strawberries in the 1970s. The Hawarden Estate in North East Wales still farms the 25 acres of fruit and vegatables, offers its very own meat and milk, and is run under the scrutiny and passion for high quality products of Alan Downes. The Estate farm shop has an array of local produce, but make no mistake about it, the quality of the products has to be just right. An array of local food and delights baked with loving local hands entice you to fill your basket. The butchery section, cafe and delicatessen are full to bursting with local foods and mouth-watering produce prepared on site. Indeed you will find it impossible to leave empty handed! The Estates very own shoot provides Pheasant Casserole, Pigeon and Duck to the cafe when in season – nothing here, goes to waste. I am delighted to Present the champions plaque to Alan Downes and his team of Hawarden Estate Farm Shop.
- Second place: Beacons Farm Shop, Brecon, 01874 730929, http://www.beaconsfarmshop.co.uk/Beacons-Farm-Shop-About-Us.html
- Commended: Caermynydd Piggery, Tregaron, 01974 821 361, http://caermynydd-piggery.co.uk
- Commended: Goetre Farm Shop, Llandysul, 01570 480671, www.goetrefarm.co.uk
Village shop/ Post Office category
- Champion: Cwm Trannon, Trefeglwys, Caersws, 01686 430430, www.cwmtrannon.co.uk - Last year’s second place has become a golden ticket with those involved proving that this enterprise is sustainable, having returned to the competition this year bigger and better. Losing the community shop and post office in the Spring of 2008 the community were to be faced with a huge void in their amenities. Everything was set to disappear. A steering group was appointed to look at the possibility of a “community shop” and after overwhelming support from that very community it was decided to go ahead and resurrect the village that could so easily, without dedication and commitment, have become isolated in this remote part of Wales. Trefeglwys Community Shop Limited known locally as Cwm Trannon provide not only a shop and post office but a petrol station, coffee shop and tea room, a florist, library and meeting room. With a network of over 30 volunteers, I give the Champion award in this category to Cwm Trannon.
- Second Place: Village Stores, Llansteffan, Carms, 01267 241756
- Commended: Tregaron Post Office, 08457 22 33 44
- Commended: Merlins Bridge Post Office, Haverfordwest, 01437 762521
- Champion: Bob Valentine Shooting School, Llanbedrog, 01758 740 810, http://www.theshootingschool.com - Set on the Llyn Peninsula in the North West corner of Wales, you will find the Shooting School, owned by the Valentine Family and run by Bob Valentine and his daughter Alison. The grounds have been carefully developed to take advantage of the topography of the land and provide one of the safest and most challenging places to shoot clays. For more than twenty five years Bob Valentine has been teaching novices how to shoot, coaching the established shot and entertaining company guests with fun days out in the countryside. Forever looking for ways to improve the business, when asked how long it took to set it up he replied "three years to get it up and running, 25 years to perfect”. A partner in the business and part of the coaching team is youngest daughter Alison. A keen shot, she has been pulling the trigger since the age of eight and so has a wealth of coaching experience. The professionalism that oozes from this enterprise ensures that those who attend the school leave assured that shooting is safe, responsible, sustainable and enjoyable and is a major contribution to the Countryside, indeed a contributor of over £73 Million here in Wales.
- Second Place: Caroline's Real Bread Company, Brecon, 01874 690 378, www.carolinesrealbreadcompany.co.uk
- Commended: Pethau Melys, Porthmadog, 01766 512569
- Commended: Golden Lion, Llangynhafal, Denbigh, 01824 790451 www.thegoldenlioninn.com
- Champion: TJ Roberts Butchers, Bala, 01678 520471 - The Winners of this category have been a family run business since 1873. Meat is sourced locally, very locally indeed with the lesser distance being just 5 miles from the shop. The trade has been taken very seriously with both Haydn and Ffion having attended the University College of Salford to study Meat Technology. Recent expansion of the premises has meant a larger cutting plant enabling them to cope with increased demand. Local farmers, especially the younger generation, are visited and advised by Mr R J Roberts himself on market demand and the quality of animal conformation that is required. A selection of game produce from the local estates is readily available when in season and over 120 hotels and catering establishments are supplied direct from the shop.
- Second Place: William Lloyd Williams, Machynlleth, 01654 702106 www.wil-lloyd.co.uk
- Commended: WJ George Butchers, Talgarth, 01874 711233, www.talgarthmeat.com
- Commended: Martin Player Butcher, Cardiff, 02920 616094 www.martinplayer.com