A passion for pasta and sustainability are combined in a new retail venture by growing South Wales takeaway business – Lilo’s Handmade Pasta.
As university students, the enterprise’s founders Chloe Evans and Liam Murphy enjoyed creating their pasta dishes. Following graduation, they decided to turn their culinary skills into a full-time business and, in 2014, established Lilo’s Handmade Pasta.
They now have two takeaways in Cardiff and Pencoed – the latter featuring a viewing window where people can watch the fresh pasta being made.
The business has taken off, with customers delighting in their innovative recipes and flavour-packed hand-made pasta dishes. The menu continually changes with featured specials such as Cheesy Pig and their festive ‘Christmas Turkey & Trimmings’ pasta.
The next step has been opening a dedicated shop selling Lilo’s new dried & fresh pasta range and sauces. An existing building adjacent to the Pencoed premises has provided the perfect location to showcase the company’s ever-expanding product range.
“We operate a zero waste refill service, where customers bring their containers which reduces waste. This is a key part of our business as sustainability is very important to us. We already use as much recyclable packaging as possible, and we supply The Station – a zero waste shop in Coychurch, near Bridgend.”
There is a wide range of vegan-friendly pasta to choose from, with varieties including beetroot, garlic & herb, turmeric, smoked paprika, chilli, spinach, sea salt & cracked black pepper, activated charcoal, and even chocolate!
Lilo’s own recipe sauces – Bolognese, Arrabbiata, Jerk, BBQ, and garlic butter (plant based garlic butter is also available) – accompany the pasta. Sold in recyclable glass bottles, there are more sauces in the pipeline.
A subscription service has just been launched where customers can order weekly or monthly pasta refill boxes which are delivered directly to their letterbox.
Future plans include a range of ravioli, pesto, and more subscription delivery services.
Chloe has just started selling their pasta a variety of markets – Rhiwbina and Dinas Powys on a Friday morning, Cowbridge and Roath markets every Saturday, and Riverside and Kenfig on Sundays. As well as markets Lilo’s pasta refill store in Pencoed is open Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm.
“We had a stand in the Food Hall at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, which was a fantastic opportunity to widen our audience. We’re looking forward to taking our pasta to festivals next year so that we can meet even more people and they can try our pasta too.”
Chloe said, “I really enjoy making pasta; we’ve been doing it since university. I’m self-taught, but I’ve had help, particularly from Cywain, who have put us in touch with the right people for advice and support.”
Cywain – a Menter a Busnes project that supports the development of growth-orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales – has provided Lilo’s Handmade with a range of support. This help has included brand positioning, sales and display, finance, and digital marketing. They have also received technical support – including packaging – from the Helix Project at the Zero2Five Food Industry Centre.
“Working with Cywain has been great, and they’ve helped us with our packaging, which has helped us drive our sustainability goals.”
Cywain Development Manager, Nia Môn, said,
“Lilo’s Pasta has worked so hard through tough times in their quest to bring their pasta to the market. I’m looking forward to seeing the growth that will no doubt come to this innovative company and ultimately creating jobs in the Bridgend area.”