Pembrokeshire is home to a growing number of quality food and drink businesses. Larger companies such as Puffin Produce, Princes Gate Water, Haverfordwest Cheese and Capestone Organics have been around for some years and their products are found on supermarket shelves around the country. Even more interesting are the smaller artisan producers many of whom are currently hidden treasures.
The Pembrokeshire Produce Mark helps companies to flag the origin of their ingredients and products, creating a “county branding” highly regarded by residents and visitors to South Wales. Local companies received awards under the Produce Mark at Pembrokeshire County Show including for best new product:
Cinnamon Grove Gin – Haverfordwest – using water from a 300 year old well on their farm plus a mix of selected local botanicals to produce their distinctive flavour.
Farm Cottage Bakery – a traditional style bakery producing fine bread and cakes – doughnuts strongly recommended!
Texas Kitchen – A childhood in east Texas inspired the launch of a range of spice rubs and flavourings with a true Texan barbecue taste.
Lochmeyler Farm Ice Cream – A 350 head dairy herd provide the milk for this delicious ice cream and if you missed it at the County Show you can sample it at their Haverfordwest Ice Cream Parlour.
Two further awards were presented for Best Use of Local Produce –
Coco’s Restaurant based at Milford Haven Docks
Siop Carla in Maenclochog.
These businesses follow previous winners of the prestigious awards, all of whom promote the county and ultimately each other with their fine products and services.
Many of this, and previous year’s winners are small family run businesses operating from their homes, who find it difficult to expand due to the lack of suitable food quality premises. To help address this, Pembrokeshire County Council, in a proposed joint venture with the Welsh Government and strongly supported by the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone, are developing a Food Park at Withybush Industrial Estate.
Project planning for the Food Park is well under way and is picking up speed. This was discussed the morning after the Awards when the County Council, supported by Puffin Produce met with local producers to highlight progress and invite producers to express an interest and outline their needs. This will help the Council and developers to determine how many and the type of units built in the first phase of development and how and when subsequent phases can be considered.
In the coming months the County Council’s Regeneration Team, led by Rachel Moxey, will be having further discussions with producers and Rachel is inviting anyone who has an interest in a unit to make contact with her or the team. To register interest please e-mail [email protected] or [email protected]
In a linked project, Puffin Produce are continuing their growth and will be building further units on their land at Withybush.
Huw Thomas from Puffin Produce said
“here at Puffin we have some ambitious plans for the future. As we continue to grow we would like to see other Pembrokeshire businesses develop complementary product lines and, wherever possible, we will help them to get their products into the retail distribution system.”
As well as needing premises for production the local food producers need to sell their products so the County Council are looking to establish a “Food Emporium” in Haverfordwest town centre. This project is earlier in development and design of the Emporium has yet to be determined. Input from local producers will be very welcomed as this will help to shape the project.
Both the Food Park and the Food Emporium will, we hope, open new opportunities for small local producers to grow into regional and then national producers, reinforcing Pembrokeshire’s reputation for great food production.