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Cardiff TV bakery given boost with simple “shw’mae”

Gareth Davies (left) and Ryan Rowe (right) of Let Them See Cake

A Cardiff bakery has embedded itself in the local community by greeting customers in Welsh as a way to boost their day to day use of the Welsh language, one ‘Shwmae?’ at a time.

Owned by Ryan Rowe and his partner Gareth Davies, Let Them See Cake is a specialist bakery in the heart of Cardiff overlooking Victoria Park. Gareth and Ryan have shared their story of how using more Welsh day to day has had a positive impact on them personally and professionally to mark Diwrnod Shwmae Su’mae – Shwmae Su’mae Day (Saturday 15th October).

Through its diverse team, Let Them See Cake create and design freshly baked treats daily as well as specialising in making occasions that little bit more special with picture perfect cakes.

With Gareth hailing from Bronant, Aberystwyth he was very keen to use Welsh as much as possible in the business, the front of house team all able to speak Welsh and the high number of regular customers in the shop being Welsh speakers, Ryan, from Peterborough decided to learn Welsh.

He found that a great way to boost his daily use of Welsh was to interact with regulars in their preferred language and that greeting them in Welsh was a gateway into far more natural conversations in the language.

Ryan said: “With the shop being in Victoria Park we have a lot of Welsh speaking customers, so the shop environment has been a great opportunity to keep trying conversations in Welsh and I find that it really helps.

“I’ve been engaging with customers through Welsh and they’ve been very surprised to discover I’m from Peterborough. It’s been a great confidence boost to carry on learning. It’s really reinforced everything and I’ve found the best way to learn is to just throw yourself in.”

Shwmae Su’mae Day promotes the idea of starting every conversation with ‘shwmae?’ ‘su’mae?’ or ‘shwdi?’ as a way of building up daily use of Welsh. The event aims to show that the Welsh language is for everyone, no matter how much Welsh someone may know, and that a simple greeting can inspire people to start every conversation in Welsh in future.

Now in its tenth year, Shwmae, Su’mae Day is coordinated by Dathlu’r Gymraeg, an umbrella group made up of 26 Welsh organizations and societies.