Expansion is recipe for success for Wales’s best-known butcher

The Traditional Welsh Sausage Company: Edwards of Conwy Managing Director Simon James. Picture Mandy Jones

Wales’s best-known butcher is doubling its capacity and creating 20 new jobs in a £2.6 million expansion.

Edwards of Conwy, has redeveloped its headquarters on the Morfa Conwy Business Park in Conwy, adding a fourth production line with the latest state-of-the-art equipment.

The revamp also includes additional chilled storage, upgraded staff amenities, new offices, and a new product development kitchen.

The project will enable the growing company to ramp up production of its popular range of sausages, beefburgers, meatballs, bacon and gammon to more than 80 tons a week.

The investment has been self-funded by the company with additional support from the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Development programme and a loan from HSBC.

Edwards of Conwy supplies all the major supermarkets and can be found in more than 600 stores across Wales, as well as at the original butcher’s shop in Conwy High Street where founder Ieuan Edwards began the business in 1984.

The company’s most popular signature product is its sausages, and their dedicated team of butchers make 40 million of the popular and tasty bangers a year.

Managing director Simon James said: “This new investment, with the backing of the Welsh Government, enables us to double our capacity, create new jobs and make the business more sustainable.

“As for many others, the last 18 months has been a huge challenge but we have worked tirelessly to respond to the extra demand created as a result of the pandemic.

“We have always been able to adapt quickly, and we were able to ramp up production to do our part to feed the nation.

“Our customers often tell us we are more dynamic than larger organisations because we are more agile.

“Responding quickly and being open to change is one of the ways we intend to grow the business.

“We are aiming to have Edwards of Conwy products on as many supermarket shelves as we can so customers across Wales & beyond can feel like they can get the best our award winning shop has to offer without having to travel too far”.

The business, which began as a butcher’s shop, diversified into manufacturing in 2004 when national supermarkets Tesco and Asda began to stock Edwards of Conwy products.

The rest of the household shopping giants soon followed and the business has grown rapidly over the last 20 years.

The company’s journey is a remarkable success story which began when Ieuan Edwards, one of three sons of a family farm near Llanrwst, realised the farm wasn’t big enough to support all of them.

He trained as a butcher in Llanrwst – and later in Switzerland and Holland – before taking over the High Street shop which was crowned Best Butchers Shop in the UK in 2014 and has since three times been crowned Best Butchers Shop in Wales and is still at the heart of the business.

The redeveloped and upgraded manufacturing site is the latest chapter in this success story, and is firmly based on a commitment to provide customers with delicious high quality meat products as possible.

Simon James said: “For us flavour is king, but we also insist on high quality standards for our meat. All of our beef is Welsh and has PGI – Protected Geographical Indication – status while our pork and chicken is Red Tractor quality assured as an absolute minimum.

“We are very fortunate because we are trusted and valued by both the supermarkets and our loyal customers and our focus in the next five years is to grow our range in Welsh supermarkets, the UK and online.

“We have always found our retailer partners to be very supportive of what we do and that’s also been very true of the Welsh Government.

“We’re very proud of the fact that we always deliver on our commitments. Edwards is seen as a good investment which is why we have been supported in by their Rural Development Program.”

For more on Edwards of Conwy go to https://www.weareedwards.co.uk/