The Welsh Government, Amazon and Enterprise Nation have partnered up to highlight the brilliance and innovation of Welsh food and drink brands.
The brands will team up with the organisations to take part in a pioneering pop-up shop scheme, called Clicks and Mortar, aimed at helping small up-and-coming online-only brands grow their high street presence.
The Clicks and Mortar shop is part of a year-long national pilot programme that is exploring a new model of small e-commerce businesses sharing physical retail space. More than 100 online brands will feature in 10 pop-up shops across the UK, with independent research on the impact of the pilot submitted to the UK Government, following the call for new ideas to develop the Future High Streets strategy.
[/aoa]The food and drinks brands in Cardiff start trading at Clicks and Mortar in the St David’s Centre on August 19 and include:
- Radnor Preserves– award-winning artisan preserves including marmalade, jams and chutneys made in Radnor, Powys. Founder Joanna Morgan said: “Customers will be able to taste the products such as our best-sellers the Great British Food Awards winner Pink Gin Marmalade made with Brecon Botanicals Gin, or our Welsh Cider & Leek Chutney which has just won an award at the International Cheese Awards which they’re not able to do online.”
- The Welsh Shortbread Company – Bridgend-based shortbread and Welsh Cake specialists made with local Welsh ingredients including Welsh butter, founded by Michelle Davies and her dad. Shortbread flavours include peanut butter, strawberry and black pepper and dark chocolate and chilli.
- Chocolate House– based in Trehafod, Rhondda, an award-winning hand-made chocolate company, founded by Anna Mainwairing.
- Delicia Cakes and Teas– a Llantrisant-based artisan baker and speciality tea producer, founded by Deborah Ellis.
- Cymru Confectionery– hand-made fudge, made with natural ingredients in Cardiff. Products include marshmallows, Turkish delight and a range of vegan products including peanut brittle and fudge.
The featured brands have all built online businesses and now want to explore selling on the high street. The brands will be able to access on-site business advisers to help them scale, both online and in physical retail.
“This is the first time we have created a ‘themed’ collective of traders, so it will be interesting to see how a food and drink pop-up goes. While they are in the shop, well as providing these small online businesses with a physical space to trade, we’ll have advisers on hand to offer free advice to help them scale, both offline and on,” said Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation. “We feel it’s important to ensure our stores benefit not just the small firms and their customers, but also the wider local economy.”
“Amazon is passionate about helping small businesses grow, both online and in-store, and our passion is mirrored by the Welsh Government,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “We have brought together some of the finest Welsh artisan food and drink producers to showcase in the Cardiff Clicks and Mortar pop-up shop, offering the brands the chance to explore physical retail for the very first time.”
Clicks and Mortar is a collaboration between Amazon, Enterprise Nation, Square and Direct Line for Business, and the Cardiff store is in partnership with intu and LandSec.
“The opportunity to showcase fantastic food and drink brands in the centre is always welcomed and enjoyed by our shoppers, and with the added bonus of them all being local to Wales, we know our visitors will look forward to tucking in,” said James Waugh, General Manager of St David’s Cardiff. “We are very proud of our partnerships with local Welsh businesses who have called St David’s home throughout our ten years, so we are looking forward to a further raft of exciting local brands coming to the Clicks and Mortar store.”
The initiative is supported by the Welsh Government. David ap-John Williams, Business Wales Regional Manager for South Wales said: “We think it’s important for online-only retailers to have the experience of putting their products through a ‘live’ retail situation where we can support and advise on how they can develop and grow through an ‘offline’ environment as well.
“The opportunity to interact with customers directly is so valuable to product and service development – something our advisers have been stressing in their 1-2-1 sessions in the Clicks & Mortar shop.
“The presence in a busy retail setting has also provided the opportunity for local SMEs to walk in and discuss their business ideas with our advisers, which also helps drive traffic back to the high street.”