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Bodnant Welsh Food taste success at the Farm Shop & Deli Awards



BODNANT Welsh Food has been named Wales Regional Winner of the Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards 2021, for transforming its business which is a real asset to the community of north Wales.

The family run Welsh farm shop in the Conwy Valley is one of nine regional winners and 30 commended retailers chosen from a shortlist of 153 speciality retailers across the UK.

The awards held in partnership with The Grocer and sponsored by Food and Drink Wales and Garofalo, took a different format this year so they could shine a spotlight on the retailers who deserve recognition for their commitment to customers, community, staff and suppliers throughout the pandemic. Therefore, the winners were named regionally rather than by category as seen previously.

Bodnant Farm Shop

The judges praised Bodnant Welsh Food for ‘stepping beyond the pivots we now expect to see as a result of Covid by including health and wellness’. There is a real emphasis on what they can offer to benefit their customers and community’s wellbeing.

Commenting on their win and achievements of the past two and a half years, managing director Richard Reynolds at Bodnant Welsh Food, said, “We are thrilled to have won this award, it’s great for us and our profile. It has been an incredible time for us, an awful lot has happened and we have learnt a lot about the business and our suppliers.

“We use about 81% of Welsh produce within the business. We have an in-house bakery and have had to employ two new bakers to cope with demand. All our meat is locally sourced and we prepare all our burgers and sausages for selling in the farmshop and used in our restaurants.

“Like many businesses over the past 15 months, we did have to adapt the business during the Covid-19 pandemic, we opened an online shop and home delivery service which was a massive success. Footfall is now increasing and it is great to welcome customers back to Bodnant.

Bodnant Welsh Food

“We value our local community, suppliers and shoppers alike and are proud to be recognised as a beacon of our area.”

The Reynolds family are all very much fully immersed in running Bodnant. Richard and Cathryn Reynolds, with their two girls Olivia 24 and Tilly 20, bought Bodnant Welsh Food in December 2018 after it went into liquidation.

They re-opened the business on the 1st February 2019 after re-furbishing the farm shop, turned the tearooms into a restaurant, while the former Hayloft restaurant is now used for weddings and other events. They currently employ 50 members of staff.

Bodnant showcases the very best Welsh artisan produce, from organic vegetables to cheeses, locally supplied meat to tasty bakes and preserves. The beautifully converted 18th century Furnace Farm houses an award-winning farm shop, two restaurants, bakery, butchery, cookery school and wedding and events venue.

Bodnant Welsh Food also host other extra-curricular activities such as cookery demonstrations and a cookery school which has also spawned a cookbook and there are other elements which they are looking at developing further.

Commenting on Bodnant’s success, Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd Lesley Griffiths said: “I would like to congratulate Bodnant Welsh Food on its success in the Farm Shop & Deli Retailers awards. It is great to see our food businesses doing so well and being recognised for the hard work and commitment they have put into building up the business again, particularly during such difficult times.

“Wales is a fantastic place for food and drink businesses to establish themselves and become rooted in our communities. I would like to wish Bodnant every success for the future.”

For more information regarding Bodnant Welsh Food go to

Other Welsh companies named as a Commended Retailer in Wales at the Farm Shop & Deli Awards were Babita’s Spice Deli, Swansea; Best of Hungary, Machynlleth; Square farm shop, Monmouth and The Olive Tree Delicatessen, Mold.

To see the full list of regional winners and commended retailers visit the Farm Shop & Deli website.

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Christmas pop up shops available in prime locations



Spaces are free of charge and limited, so apply early to avoid disappointment.

SMALL local businesses are being given the opportunity to display and sell their goods amongst big high street chains in Carmarthen and Llanelli Town centres in the run up to Christmas.

As part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s 100% Sir Gâr initiative the council has secured two prime locations in both towns for four weeks – former Debenhams in Carmarthen and number 1 Stepney Street (next door to Andrew Price Hairdresser) – ahead of the festive season.

The dates available for Carmarthen are:

Week 1 – Wednesday, December 1 – Sunday 5

Week 2 – Wednesday, December 8 – Sunday 12

Week 3 – Wednesday, December 15 – Sunday 19

Week 4 – Monday, December 20 – Thursday 23

In Llanelli:

Week 1 – Wednesday, December 1 – Saturday 4

Week 2 – Wednesday, December 8 – Saturday 11

Week 3 – Wednesday, December 15 – Saturday 18

Week 4 – Tuesday, December 21 – Thursday 23

Anyone interested in taking part will need to commit to the full week and email with the preferred location and dates.

Spaces are free of charge and limited, so apply early to avoid disappointment.

100% Sir Gâr was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic as a virtual shop window on the council’s Discover Carmarthenshire website, as a way of supporting local businesses to recover from a long period of lockdown and restrictions on retail.

It is part of the council’s overall Economic Recovery Plan which aims to safeguard and create jobs, support businesses and bolster the local economy over the next two years.

100% Sir Gâr has been supported by Carmarthenshire’s town and community councils, local business and retail groups, and the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to come together and showcase their products in one place, in two prime high street locations.”

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Welsh charity shops urgently appeal for volunteers



British Heart Foundation

THIS Christmas BHF Cymru is urgently appealing for people to donate the gift of time at one of the charity’s 32 stores across Wales, after the pandemic led to a fall of around 20 percent in volunteers.

Currently around 480 people donate approximately 3,500 hours of volunteering support each week in Wales, where the BHF has 32 shops, selling a range of preloved and new items – from clothes, toys and books to electricals and furniture. The British Heart Foundation funds research into heart and circulatory conditions which affect around 340,000 people across Wales.

The charity is launching its Operation Elf recruitment drive, encouraging the public to give any time they can in the run up to Christmas and support their local BHF shop.  

December is one of the busiest times of year for the charity’s stores, but sadly some may be forced to reduce opening hours if they cannot recruit more volunteers ahead of the festive season. This could reduce funds that can be turned into life-saving heart research. 

Across Wales volunteers have found that giving their time to the BHF reaps rewards in their lives.

Dave Broadrick, 68, who lives in Pembrey, says he enjoys assembling flat pack furniture and breathing new life into vintage pieces which he upcycles with fellow volunteer Pete Mclveney, also 68, by adding a coat of paint or varnish and wallpapering the insides.

Their revived projects are sold in the Carmarthen Home store “It’s wonderful to be able to do something to help people, now that I’m retired,” the former London cabbie and window cleaner says. “Pete and I have a great time bringing these things back to their former glory, and improving them a lot of the time, with a lick of paint and a bit of TLC.

“I love volunteering. After I moved to Wales from London nine years ago, I had a little shop of my own in Kidwelly, where I’d refurbish furniture, and that’s where I met Pete. He’d help out, stripping things down and rebuilding them with me. We had a great time. When I gave that up, I wanted to do something positive with my time to make a difference, and my wife spotted that the BHF needed volunteers. I haven’t looked back.” 

At the charity’s Bridgend Home store, there’s a family of volunteers affectionately referred to as “The Popettes”. Nan, Chris Pope, 67, started at the BHF as a work placement in 2015 and enjoyed it so much she carried on volunteering when the placement finished.

Chris encouraged her granddaughter, Emily, to volunteer whilst at college. Emily, 24, became an employee for the BHF as a paid Sales Assistant in 2017 and progressed her career as Assistant Manager this year.

Emily’s mum Tracey, 43, and brother Jordan, 20, started volunteering soon after Emily, meaning BHF Bridgend is truly a family affair.

Jordan says, “I love volunteering at the BHF Bridgend Home Store as we are one massive family. We all support each other and work together to raise funds for this fantastic cause. I especially love Christmas time as we all dress up in festive outfits and it creates an amazing atmosphere for our customers, which they really appreciate.”

Keith Gasteen, 77, started volunteering at the BHF’s shop in Llandudno this summer after his wife passed away earlier in the year with Covid. She had suffered from vascular dementia in later life and retired teacher Keith wanted to give back to the BHF because the charity funds research into the condition, as well as finding something positive to do within his local community.

In Cwmbran, Ben Warburton, 33, says volunteering has helped with his mental health and wellbeing. He says, “I started working for the BHF in August 2020. I wasn’t able to do much when I started, but I have now become someone who can do things that I wouldn’t do before because I was scared.”

Ben’s self-confidence has grown through volunteering, and he now enjoys operating the till, doing store administration and answering the phone, something which had previously been a challenge for him.

Ben says, “My biggest fear was answering the shop phone to customers as I didn’t know who was on the other end of the line. I started battling my fears and one day when the phone was ringing, I just went up and answered it.”

The Chief Executive of the BHF Dr Charmaine Griffiths joined the team at the charity’s Crwys Road, Cardiff Home Plus store where she met volunteers and staff and found out about Operation Elf. She said “It’s a great way to spend time with our wonderful team of retail colleagues and volunteers and it’s really fun. Just put your elf hat on and get stuck in! 

Many thanks to our manager Perveen, colleagues and all the volunteers for having me, and for all that you do to help fund life-saving research, it really makes a difference.”

Head of BHF Cymru, Adam Fletcher, said, “Charmaine, thank you so much for elfing out, and I’m really pleased you enjoyed it. To the Welsh public we now say, what are you waiting for? Sign up now – I guarantee you will have a great time!”

“Volunteers are our life-blood. We simply cannot operate our shops and stores without their generous support.  Currently, our volunteering hours are down 20 percent compared to pre-Covid times, so this Christmas we’re asking the wonderful Welsh public to donate to us the gift of time and give whatever hours they can.” 

BHF Cymru has plenty of exciting volunteering roles available for those looking to support their local community, improve their wellbeing and widen their social network while supporting a good cause and helping the environment.    


 “You can commit just a few hours each week or a few days,” says Adam. “Volunteering at the BHF is a great opportunity to meet new people, boost your confidence, gain retail experience and help us give unwanted items a new lease of life. Every hour given will help us raise funds to support those living with heart and circulatory diseases.” 


Volunteers can get involved in tasks such as telephone and logistical administration, operating tills, merchandising on the shop floor and answering customer queries. The charity also offers online roles for those keen on honing their tech skills, by helping to research, photograph and list items for BHF’s online shops.   


Behind the scenes volunteers can take on warehouse assistant or specialist roles which can provide transferrable skills that are perfect for future job applications. There are also opportunities to become volunteer stock collection drivers, stock generators and volunteer recruiters who get out in the local area.     

Currently, heart and circulatory diseases cause around 1 in 4 deaths in Wales. The BHF funds around £4 million worth of research in Welsh universities aimed at finding cures and treatments, and ultimately saving lives. The charity says that the support of volunteers is more vital than ever as it hopes to inspire the local community to give the gift of time to save and improve lives.  

The coronavirus crisis has had a devastating impact on the BHF’s income, which is why the charity is now urging communities to support their nearest shop by taking up flexible volunteering opportunities.  

This year, the BHF will save around 71,000 tonnes of goods from going to waste, by selling over half a million pieces of living room furniture and 14,000 tonnes of preloved clothes.  


Every pound raised in BHF shops helps the charity to support those living with heart and circulatory diseases. Your gift of time can help the BHF, help them.   


For more information on how to get involved head to or find your local shop at 

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Concern over process to select next Chair of Ofcom



PROFOUND concerns have been jointly expressed by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government over the process to select the next Chair of Ofcom, and how it could have a detrimental impact on public service broadcasting in the UK.

In a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, Ministers from both Scotland and Wales have asked to be included in the process and to be given a role that ensures the selected candidate is “someone who can work impartially and independently in the interests of all the nations.”

It has been signed by the Scottish Government’s Culture Secretary Angus Robertson and Finance and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes and the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Arts Dawn Bowden and Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters.

It says both governments are “extremely concerned about the perceived lack of impartiality and transparency of the current appointment processes at Ofcom.”

The letter adds:

“Given the importance of public service broadcasting to our nations and the real impact for our nations of any decision on selecting the Ofcom Chair which is not transparent or impartial, we urge you to involve us fully in the process as is right to protect a system which is so important to the public in Scotland and Wales and all the UK.”

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