Most of us don’t persevere with New Year’s Resolutions, but Michelle Davies did – and now has a thriving business to show for it.
She had been running her Welsh Shortbread Company for several years from home, selling handmade cakes and biscuits, as well as other Welsh artisanal food products. All too often she was asked by customers – “Do you have a shop?”
Then, after a busy festive period selling her wares at markets and food festivals, and with a growing online trade, she made a New Year’s Resolution to give the business a home of its own.
So she took the plunge and took the lease on a Grade II listed premises in the centre of Bridgend, and Shellys Deli was born.
Shellys Deli recently fought off fierce competition at The Food Awards Wales to win the Welsh Produce of the Year category. The awards recognised and celebrated the achievements of local suppliers, wholesalers, chefs and establishments who serve the community with fresh products and deli ver great experience to their diners.
Michelle is proud of the imaginative range she has developed: “From the basic ‘Shortie’ we have developed an amazing range of taste-teasing flavours, with more on the way every day. We also have our own range of speciality biscuits and Welsh cakes, all made with the best Welsh butter we can find,” she said.
With the help of a £2000 Business Support Grant provided jointly by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Bridgend County Borough Council, she has created an eye-catching deli with a growing clientele.
She now plans to open up the top floor to give more kitchen space, and increase the number of tables.
In the meantime, she is supplying cakes, pastries and other delights to The St Fagans National Museum of History, The National Botanical Gardens and many tourist outlets and shops around Wales. Shellys is also a familiar site at the increasingly popular food events staged around Wales.
She is grateful for the support she has received. “The grant and other help I have had has been excellent and it would have been difficult to get to this point without it,” she said.
Martin Palmer of UK Steel Enterprise, commented: “It is good to see a thriving family business moving forward, and at the same time promoting Welsh food products.
“Wales now has many excellent food businesses, and this can only be good for the local economy and the creation of jobs and wealth.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Bridgend County Borough Council to support local enterprise.”
Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “We are thrilled to hear that Shelly’s Deli are doing so well in Bridgend County Borough and beyond.
“It’s great to see so many wonderful businesses thriving in the local area with the help provided from our Kick Start grant. We look forward to continuing to work with local start-up businesses and supporting local enterprise.”