New shortbread company launch in record time

10 February 2014

A brand new Gwynedd company producing delightful shortbread biscuits has launched in record time, thanks to expert advice from Cywain, the Menter a Busnes added value food project.

 

In little over eight weeks from idea to full branded products, Kit Ellis from Llwyndyrys Farm near Y Ffôr, Pwllheli with support from good friend and self taught baker, Sioned Williams have launched CRYMS.

 

Kit is no stranger to entrepreneurship as the former crops and farm accounts lecturer already runs Spa Farm and self catering holiday cottages from the family’s Llwyndyrys Farm.

 

Kit’s former student and employee, Sioned arrived at the farm ready to begin her daily tasks at the cottages one morning laden with homemade shortbread biscuits she’d prepared for the guests arrival.

 

“Once I tasted them, I was blown away,” explains Kit, “and I knew instinctively that these would be a hit! Sioned is a natural baker, and we’ve done a lot of experimenting with different ingredients to get the mix and the range just right. We’re also keen to use as much local ingredients as possible, and keep the lovingly home-made element to the biscuits – that’s what makes them so special!”

 

Kit explains that Cywain’s guidance was invaluable in developing the biscuits into the newly launched products. Brand development, product development and endorsement, technical and legal issues such as food safety and hygiene were all led by Cywain’s expert advice and guidance. The Food Technology Centre at Llangefni was also instrumental in developing the range currently available.

 

“We would never have achieved so much in such a short space of time,” Kit explains. “The team at Cywain guided us through all the different elements, and made it all seem simple. We would never have succeeded without them. They are always at the other end of the phone, if we have any queries. I would encourage anyone with a food business idea to get in touch with them.” 

 

The full range includes six varieties, traditional shortbread, lemon meringue shortbread, cinnamon and pecan shortbread and chocolate orange shortbread. In addition both Kit and Sioned were keen to develop a range specifically for people and children with specific dietary needs.

 

“Our research found that there are no home baked products for people with special dietary needs. So we both put on our aprons and got creative in the kitchen! We came up with a glutten free vanilla shortbread and a diabetic ginger shortbread. They’ve both gone down a storm. We’re keen to work on a special shortbread for diabetic children as the next development.”

 

Also in the pipeline is a website development for the business to reach further afield and promote to new customers. Kit is, however, no stranger to hard work as she also helps in the running of the family’s 350 acre beef and sheep farm at Y Ffôr, Pwllheli. Husband, Evan and son Jim, have been keen shortbread tasters in between the farm’s daily tasks, during CRYMS’ product development.

 

Alwen Eidda, Cywain Development Manager said: “Kit and Sioned have worked extremely hard in the last few months. Their determination has proved that when you put your mind to something, anything can be achieved.

 

“We’re particularly proud to have worked with them to develop their product so swiftly and bring it into the market just before Christmas, so they could take advantage of the Christmas trade. It has proved a great success and has given them a firm platform which they can now progress,” Alwen explained.

 

Cywain project was spearheaded by Menter a Busnes set up to bring added value to primary produce within the agriculture sector.  The project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

 

CRYMS shortbreads are currently available to buy at many local shops in Llŷn at Y Bwtri and Bodnant Welsh Food, Conwy Valley. Orders can also be taken direct from the farm. Visit CRYMS on facebook or call 01766 810859.

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