WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SET UP THE PEMBROKESHIRE BEACH FOOD COMPANY?
Way back in 2010 I was at my desk in Swindon wondering how on earth I had ended up there. I missed the sea and the beaches of Pembrokeshire and needed to find a way to get back home quickly. So one night I sat down and really looked at what I enjoyed in life and it became clear that the sea, food, and being creative were my passions. The next day I told my boss that I was going to work part time to start my new mobile catering venture which would be based on the best of Pembrokeshire produce from the sea and wild seashore plants and seaweeds. I remember my first ever stall which I set up outside “The Really Wild Farm Shop” at Nant y Coy (sadly no longer open), the owners Brian, Julia and Adam were really supportive of my ideas and let me set up shop on Saturdays during the summer. I got so excited I spent 14 hours prepping and cooking on the Friday. It’s funny, I ended up working 30 hours in two days, I was aching all over and after counting my takings for the day I worked out that I was on £1.42 an hour, but it still felt like the best days work I had ever done. That summer was mostly spent racing down the M4 to Wales to prep for weekend markets and local festivals, by the end of the summer I knew that I had to do this full time and so spent the winter planning for the big step into full time mobile catering, launching into full time business in May 2011.
WHAT IS THE STAND OUT MEMORY FOR YOU IN THE COMPANY’S HISTORY?
We’ve been so lucky to experience the successes that we have done throughout our history, from launching a range of new products that took the food industry by storm, to teaming up with some great Welsh food and drink producers to create some truly unique combinations, such as Mermaid Confetti – a product that celebrates North and South Wales blending our Welshman’s Caviar with Halen Môn Sea Salt embracing the essence and soul of the sea. I suppose the stand out memory and game changer for us was being shortlisted for the finals of the British Street Food Awards in our first year of trading in 2011. To help impress the judges, I and my brother Ben (boat builder extraordinaire) built a Beach Shack out of local drift wood. Cafe Môr took the finals by storm winning Best Looking Mobiler, Best Drink and most importantly of all Best of the Best 2011! .As a result of winning, lots of opportunities arose, perhaps the most exciting of these was supplying Cafe Môr’s signature dish “SeaShore Wraps” to the athletes in the Olympic Village! And of course, we have recently been featured in the Lonely Plantet’s ‘Around the World in 80 Food Trucks’ as one of the best mobile food outlets in the world – which is pretty awesome!
WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER SEAFOOD PRODUCERS?
We’re unique and ambitious and have two strands to our business. There’s Cafe Môr – a street food mobile catering venture that allows us to really connect with our customers and get to know them. And then there’s The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company which was established in 2012 to develop the award-winning concept of Cafe Môr into new markets. Cafe Môr has won numerous awards to include the BBC Food & Farming Awards’ ,‘Best Street Food/Take Away in the UK’ category and we won silver for ‘Most Sustainable Trader’ at Glastonbury Festival in 2014 and has, of course, been featured in a Lonely Planet guide in 2019 as one of the best mobile catering trucks in the World! The other arm of the business, The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company represents the travelling beach shack which pops up at festivals across the country and the retail business products. All sorts of sea foraged deli products were created in 2012, from Welshman’s Caviar to Laverbread Pesto. All of the products were developed from recipes used on the street food scene. Welshman’s Caviar and Ship’s Biscuits were extremely popular and soon dozens of independent retailers were stocking them all over the UK. Welshman’s Caviar was also awarded a Great Taste award in 2014 and 2016, securing its position as a firm favourite of our loyal customers. Today, our range boasts an array of seaweed infused products and different flavour combinations, with an abundance of locally sourced ingredients.
WHICH THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE THE PEMBROKESHIRE BEACH FOOD COMPANY?
Creative, quirky, innovative