Unpronounceable yoghurt

By | Category: Travel news
Llaeth y Llin

Gareth deep in an explanation of his farm, garden or even yoghurt.

He didn’t break into song but I’ve been told that Gareth would do so at the drop of a hat. But he did the jokes, the asides to each individual member of a group visiting his yoghurt – well, factory I suppose you’d call it though it doesn’t look or feel like one; the revealing comments that began with “I suppose I shouldn’t be saying this but….” which makes you think you are hearing something special and the bonhomie that makes visitors feel at ease.

Food tourism is increasingly popular. A fortnight ago, over 50,000 visited the Abergavenny Food Festival, farmer’s markets are popular and tours of vineyards, farms and factories are becoming more widely available. Food trails are available from many tourist authorities but the owners or guides need stories to tell and to be virtually showmen themselves. One such is Gareth the owner of a small farm in North Wales who graduated from farming to running a yoghurt producing factory which employs local labour, sources the basic produce to make the yoghurt locally and seems a most unlikely entrepreneur.

He and his wife, Falmai, have farmed for forty years but the traditional diversification into B&B and allowing overnight campers to stay was not for them. Today they produce over fourteen different types of natural yoghurt and supply British restaurants, hotels and even supermarkets with their Llaeth y Llan products. The tongue-twister’s not easy for Welsh people to say let alone people with no experience of how to pronounce the sounds. But he cares when it comes time to taste them. Toffee is the most popular flavour but I find it a bit sweet preferring either the gooseberry of blackcurrent.

When you visit the farm in North Wales, there are no cows and it doesn’t look much like a farm. The milk for the yoghurt comes from a nearby farm. Instead the farm barns have been converted into the factory, parts of which operate almost 24 hours a day.  But there is a farm guesthouse in which people can stay and it provides  a useful base for those wanting to explore North Wales as both Snowden and the coastline isn’t too far away.

yoghurt ready for delivery

Gareth or Falmai’s success

Gareth, himself, often takes people around explaining the process but not for long. He might have originated the place but he seems happier showing you his new interest – hi garden which stretches by the roadside and includes green houses, a large wendy house, old farm implements used as outdoor sculpture and terraced paths and gardens. He jests he doesn’t know the name of flowers but catch him unawares and he knows far more than he lets on! But then he is a showman, once singing to the Two Fat Ladies when they were nearby. The “I’m just a farmer” routine he adopts is just a guise masking what must be a shrewd business brain in a man who mixes tourism with a viable local business.

Unless, it is all due to Falmai?

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