30 Llys Llwyfen, Tregof Village, Swansea Vale, Abertawe
I have had a sincere love of Wales since my childhood. Born to Welsh parents, proud of their nationality, it is only natural that it runs through my veins, too. Due to my Dad’s job, we moved a lot during my childhood all throughout England, but I always had ‘hiraeth’ (longing) to Wales. It was my safe and happy place to come back to during the holidays, staying with my Grandparents.
Soon after our marriage, Tim and I sold our house, left our jobs and went travelling around the world for over eight months. Sharing our mutual admiration of travel and food, we visited some spectacular places and sampled some amazing dishes. By eating with local families and visiting local markets, we were able to see all the fresh produce available. Observing proud nations making the most of their produce, I now want to support the country I live in and its fine food.
Our family remain so passionate about food and good quality produce. It is no wonder that I almost seemed destined for a career in the food industry. As a result, I have worked in the industry as a development chef and home economist. After having my three children, I progressed and developed my skills into a small business teaching cookery classes for young people, as I wanted to pass on the value of good quality food and trying different cuisines.
As our family settled back in Wales, I wanted to share my love of this beautiful land through some of the fantastic food I grew up with, as well as give people a taste of the wonderful language.
As my parents grew older, I still wanted to give them a special, meaningful gift. However, like many others in my situation, I always got “we don’t want anything”. I found that food hampers were always welcome.
I feel it is important to support our community by buying local and improving the Welsh economy, which is even more crucial now. A few years ago, I helped a friend to set up a local Welsh café and while sourcing their food products, I discovered the wealth of amazing suppliers across the country. This is the driving motivation to set up my hamper company, showcasing some of Wales’ best produce and gifts.
So, when my work contract ended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I started thinking about setting up Cariad o Gymru. I am also very family-led and with my husband often away with his job, so I wanted to be flexible and work hours to allow me to be at home for my family.
However, I knew there were many similar businesses already out there and wanted to offer more of an eco-hamper to tie into Business Wales’ Green Growth pledge. Our Welsh seed poppy heart label is handmade from pulped post-consumer household packaging. So, rather than being disposed in the rubbish, it can be planted in the garden. The label will decompose and the poppies can flourish.
We keep packaging to a minimum. Hamper boxes are sustainably sourced and 100% recyclable. The ‘wood ’ fill is a 100% natural by-product. It is recyclable, biodegradable, free of chemicals and suitable for use as pet bedding. Working with a local designer and printer, we are using 100% recyclable, FSC sourced offcuts, surplus stock or waste paper and card for our printed materials.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 means many families have not been able to get together to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other events. Hampers have been the perfect gift during this time. I prefer to work closely with customers rather than offering a standard price list, as I want to offer a bespoke service to fit with their budgets and individual requirements. This way their loved one receives a hamper unique to them.
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