A POPULAR Spanish sauce company has been bringing sunshine to the lives – and plates – of customers throughout the year.
Despite the challenges brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, Beatriz Albo and the team at Wrexham-based Sabor de Amor worked hard to support local producers and communities by supplying a steady stream of their award-winning sauces and salsas.
Winner of the BBC’s Top of the Shops programme two years ago, Beatriz launched the business in 2015 using family recipes to create incredible flavours, including the much-loved Paella in a Bottle.
Having arrived in North Wales as a biology student in 1993, and later working as a teacher, she decided to go it alone after achieving success at farmers’ markets and food and drink festivals.
With the support of Taste Wales, she grew in confidence and was set to sign a major deal with a leading wholesaler in the Spring before Covid-19 took hold and thwarted those plans.
However, Beatriz – who has now been joined in the company by her son Albert, a Business Management graduate – has been busy forging new relationships and plans to unveil them in the months ahead.
“Going into the first lockdown we were just about to launch a new food service, it was a really exciting time, and everyone loved it,” said Beatriz, who hails from Salamanca.
“Then March came and suddenly the whole food sector was thrown into disarray, it was impossible to continue at that time.”
She added: “Like many businesses we had to pivot and try to be innovative to push on, and we learnt that when dealing with buyers – whatever the situation – that you have to be persistent.
“We worked hard behind the scenes, and Albert joining me has been a big boost, to try and take things to the next level, and in May managed to secured a contract with a leading online supermarket to sell the paella and salsa brava sauces.
“That was fantastic for us, and we are looking forward to announcing another new relationship with a major supplier next year.”
Beatriz has big plans for the future but insists nothing is more important than supporting local businesses, using the best local produce and “giving back” to her community.
She is also going to begin hosting regular Continental cookery demonstrations and tasting sessions online after the success of the event held with Marina Midolo from Marina’s Italian Cookery in Cyffylliog, near Ruthin, as part of this year’s Taste North East Wales virtual programme.
Making people happy is top priority for Sabor de Amor.
“In the summer we had a lot of feedback from people who had to cancelled holidays to Spain and the Mediterranean, so they bought some of our products to make their own dishes at home,” said Beatriz.
“I’m an emotional person so it meant so much to me hearing how someone’s birthday or celebration with family had been special because of us, and that we had made a difference.
“Bringing some sunshine into their lives and onto their plates, especially at such a sad and difficult time for everyone, was so important to us.”
And in the coming weeks Beatriz and the team will be going the extra mile to help those who need it most.
“We are going to be cooking meals to give to homeless shelters in the area and just want to give back to people after a very hard year,” she added.
“And it was great to also do that through Taste North East Wales; we loved being part of it, the films and virtual events that gave people a chance to have fun and celebrate local produce.”
Taste North East Wales is organised by Clwydian Range Food and Drink and Llangollen and Dee Valley Food and Drink, with the support of Cadwyn Clwyd, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB and the local authorities of Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire.
This project receives funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.