Happy Horse Bedding and The Larch Cladding Company

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Family business G&M Davies Sawmill in Llanferres, near Mold, is proud of its sustainable values and customer service. Business News Wales talks to Managing Director Mathew Davies to find out more.

  • Tell us a bit about your business.

G&M Davies Sawmill was started in 1992 by my father Gareth Davies as a supplier of processed timber for local businesses, traders and direct customers. We’re based in the foothills of Moel Famau, Denbighshire. Beautiful! We’re proud of our eco credentials, powering and heating the site from our own 1 megawatt biomass boilers using our own wood chip. Our FSC timber is locally sourced to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Under the G&M Davies Sawmill banner are our two other businesses, Happy Horse Bedding and The Larch Cladding Company. Both carry the same eco values. Overall we employ 12 local staff members, helping support the local community and economy.

Happy Horse Bedding produces and supplies both wood shavings and sawsand bales to customers in the equestrian sector. Made from the bi-product of our sawmill, they are virtually carbon neutral. Both products are fully biodegradable too.

The Larch Cladding Company supplies a bespoke, high quality cutting service for larch cladding, fencing, roof shingles, sleepers or any bespoke cut wood using only FSC certified local Welsh timber, enabling architects, builders, joiners and the home DIY community to create beautiful spaces and add value to their homes. Our free help line is enabling a lot more people to get involved in creating something amazing for themselves, or their customers.

  • What prompted you to join your business?

I joined the business in 2012 after seeing an opportunity to create great horse products in an eco friendly way. In September 2019 we officially rebranded part of the sawmill business The Larch Cladding Company so customers could more clearly see what we offered.

  • How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your business?

The sawmill was closed for two months from March 2020 which has been a real challenge. Happy Horse Bedding is classed as a vital business for animal welfare and we have been able to continue to flexibly serve our understanding customers. Once we were able to cut wood again The Larch Cladding Company has been busy, boosted by all those #lockdownprojects.

  • What’s the most significant thing you would say you’ve learned this year?

Having a diversified business has been a real bonus. Plus remembering to be thankful and appreciate the loyalty and flexibility of our staff and customers.

  • What are you most looking forward to in your business?

Continuing to create and improve our products and enjoying the satisfaction of having happy customers, and playing our part in supporting both the local community and economy in an eco friendly way.

  • What do you think the outlook is for your sector?

Sustainable business in general has a bright future we believe. HHB has an amazing customer base and even as we face potentially challenging economic times, we are confident that our customers will continue to value our excellently priced, quality products.

LCC benefits from more people working from home, and the importance of natural, eco friendly, sustainable products.

  • What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve received?

‘Keep listening to your customers!’ We’re always listening and tweaking what we do, and how we do it, to let our customers have ‘the best customer experience possible’. We know our customers value the great service we offer.

  • If you were talking to someone starting a rural business now, what advice would you pass on?

If you’re got a dream to change this world for the better, go for it. Listen to advice, and always be honest and open to change… and make sure you’re accurately listed on Google maps!