Article from foodprocessing-technology.com, July 2008.
The Siwgr a Sbeis Bakery in Llanwrst, Wales, has recently relocated its business to larger premises for the third time. Starting life in a shop in Watling Street, Llanrwst, in 1989, Siwgr a Sbeis ('sugar and spice') expanded into further premises in Groesffordd, which was converted to meet the company's specific needs in 1991. The business outgrew these premises in 2006 when work started on the new build bakery.
The bakery has been a resounding success since it was started by two school friends, Rhian Williams and Rhian Owen, over 18 years ago. It has become well known in the North Wales region, supplying an extensive range of cakes (Victoria sponge, coffee cake, carrot cake and so on), muffins, scones, mince pies, flapjacks, fruit cake and Christmas pudding as well as savoury quiches and salads.
The company also makes wedding cakes and is busy developing a range of Christmas cakes and desserts. It also plans to produce more speciality Welsh products.
The bakery already makes a speciality called Quiche Eryri, the principal ingredient of which is Snowdonia Cheese and Toffoc Crunch (vodka liqueur). The recipe uses the Welsh vodka liqueur with a crumb base to create a cheesecake-style dessert.
The bakery supplies products to the hotel restaurant/coffee shop trade as well as the public via smaller grocery shops and convenience stores across North and mid-Wales and has a well established brand identity. Rhian Williams commented in an interview: "All our products are made with the kind of care and attention that we lavish on our families…Baking is a passion and we train all our staff in traditional methods. That is the secret of our success."
The brand concept, logo and packaging were developed by Francis Balsom Associates Ltd, a brand consultant based in Cardiff. In July 2007 the bakery won the Great Taste Gold Award from the Guild of Fine Food for its blackcurrant flapjack.
The new 4,800m² bakery has created new jobs in the area and has been equipped to allow the business to expand in the future. The bakery previously employed 20 personnel but will now employ an extra five staff.
The larger premises were opened and operations began in August 2006, the new state-of-the-art bakery being built to a custom design by the two ladies running the business. The finance for the new facility was not announced, but a Welsh Assembly grant was obtained to help in the relocation.
Because of their success in establishing a small business in rural Wales, the Siwgr a Sbeis business partners were crowned Welsh Livewire champions in 1989 and are now mentors/role models for the Welsh Assembly Government's Dynamo scheme. This means that they pass on their entrepreneurial experience to budding business entrepreneurs in schools across North Wales.
Dynamo is a programme that is managed by the Welsh Assembly Government's Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks and is part financed by the European Union.