A new food empire is coming to Harlech’s main street.
Based at Cambrian House, Y Groser Harlech is set up by Adrian and Gary Stevenson. Due to open at the end of February 2022, the fit-out of the modern store was partly funded by the Development Bank of Wales with a £50,000 micro-loan.
The work included the installation of a bakery as well as commercial flooring, lighting, shelving, refrigeration equipment, signage and security systems. Six jobs will be created with additional seasonal positions as needed. This includes two apprenticeships and all roles will be paid at actual wage.
As an independent food emporium, Y Groser Harlech will stock a wide range of locally sourced food and wine with order and delivery service available. Licensed to sell alcohol, the new destination store will also feature indoor and outdoor seating for customers to enjoy a range of fresh deli produce and local wines.
Suppliers include Blas ar Fwyd, based in Llanwrst, Mintons Good Foods in Llandrindod Wells and Taste Merchants in Newtown. Fresh fruit and vegetables will come from Bwydydd Oren Foods and the cafe from Welsh artisans Ffa Da.
Adrian and Gary Stevenson work with Cywain, a project funded by the Welsh Government and run by Menter a Busnes to promote Welsh food and drink producers. They will introduce new products as they become ready for the market.
Adrian said: “Having worked in restaurants, retail and hospitality, customer service is in our DNA and, having lived here for over four years, we have often dreamed of a grocery store high quality in Harlech. It’s a beautiful city and we have so much to celebrate, including our locally produced food and drink. It just seems right that we promote the local; providing the community with a distinctive destination grocery store selling exceptional food and wine paired with good old-fashioned service. We also take great pride in creating local jobs for local people.
“We had the vision and we know exactly what we want to achieve, but we needed funding to make it happen. Thanks to the support of the Development Bank, we have been able to invest in high quality equipment that will showcase the best local products and drinks. That’s what made the project come to fruition, we couldn’t be more grateful.
Sion Wynne is Head of Investments at the Development Bank of Wales. He said: “Adrian and Gary were introduced to us by colleagues from Business Wales. They came to us with a well thought out business plan and a vision to bring this exciting new business to Harlech’s main street.
“There are no supermarkets in Harlech and they have the right knowledge in the hospitality, food and beverage sectors to be able to fill a gap in the local market and create jobs for locals with the start of this exciting business.We’re sure Y Groser Harlech will attract both local residents and visitors alike.
Cywain is a business-led program dedicated to the development of new and existing micro-enterprises and SMEs in the Welsh food and drink sector, focusing on maximizing opportunities and growth potential. Louise McNutt, Cywain Development Manager for Gwynedd, said: “This is a very exciting prospect for local Welsh food and drink producers.
Cywain will work with the new emporium by referring local producers to Y Groser Harlech with the ability to stock their products at the store and offer tasting sessions. Harlech is a prime location for sightseeing and an ideal place to showcase the fantastic Welsh food and drink on offer.”
The £500m Wales Flexible Investment Fund is for Welsh businesses needing between £25,000 and £10m in loans, mezzanine financing or equity investment. It is funded by the Welsh Government and the Development Bank of Wales. Terms of up to 15 years are available.