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Welsh Mushroom Grower Goes Global

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An award-winning Welsh mushroom business is taking on a new name as it expands its horizons to capture customers’ attention throughout Wales and beyond. 

Now called Madarch Cymru – The Mushroom Garden, the business is going from strength to strength and has launched its new name and website to highlight its Welsh roots while cultivating a broader customer base.

Originally called The Mushroom Garden – Snowdonia, the enterprise’s story goes back several years when Cynan Jones and June Jones turned their botanical interest into a mushroom cultivation business at their National Trust smallholding at Nantmor near Beddgelert.

There they grew Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms chemical-free on special Welsh oak blocks in converted shipping containers. They branched into drying mushrooms and created a range of mushroom-based seasoning products suitable for all types of dishes such as meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan.

The company has also collaborated with Halen Môn – Anglesey Sea Salt to create the famed Japanese seasoning, Umami.

As the business grew, so more growing capacity was needed, so the couple joined forces with friends Arwyn Groe and Gwenllian Lansdown Davies, who run a beef and sheep farm at Llanerfyl in Powys.

Together they have expanded their customer base and broken into new markets, most recently in North America.

Said Gwenllian,

“We felt it was time not just to update our website, but to refresh our brand to reflect the changing nature of our business. We are no longer only a Snowdonia company, but a wider Wales company, and we want to make the most of our Welsh identity.”

Throughout its journey, the company has received help from Cywain – a Menter a Busnes project which supports the development of growth-orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales.

Cywain has been on hand with various support and advice from marketing to market insights, and most recently with the Madarch Cymru re-branding and the new website www.madarch.cymru

Said Gwenllian, who is heading-up the Madarch Cymru re-branding project,

“Cywain have been great. This change is a huge investment in our brand, and the help available has been invaluable. Having a full-time job and four children, I don’t think I’d have been able to do it otherwise.”

Madarch Cymru’s re-brand has come at a time when there has been more of a focus on preparing meals at home. Madarch Cymru’s flavoursome and easy to use products are ideal for home cooking, an activity which – researchers say – is set to continue.

According to a report published last month by Mintel,

“The changes to consumer behaviour brought about by COVID-19 are clearly evident in the fact that 33% of those who cook/prepare meals say they have been cooking from scratch more often since the outbreak. Some 80% of these say they intend to continue with this over the next 12 months, signalling the lasting impact of these shifts.”

(“Attitudes towards Cooking in the Home: Inc Impact of COVID-19”, Mintel, 22 January 2021).

Nia Môn, Cywain Development Manager, said,

“In addition to a rise in home cooking, COVID-19 prompted an increase in online shopping. Like many Welsh food and drink producers, Madarch Cymru – The Mushroom Garden has benefitted from establishing an online shop – which along with a range of producers is also featured on Cywain’s producer www.cywain.cymru”