New food emporium to open in Harlech

Harlech Grocer - Gary and Adrian Stevenson

A new food emporium is coming to Harlech’s high street.

Based in Cambrian House, Y Groser Harlech is being set-up by Adrian and Gary Stevenson. Due to open in late February 2022, the fit-out of the modern store has been part-funded by the Development Bank of Wales with a £50,000 micro loan.

Work has included the installation of a bakery plus commercial flooring, lighting, shelving, refrigeration equipment, signage and security systems. Six jobs will be created with additional seasonal positions as required. This includes two apprenticeships and all roles will be paid at the Real Living Wage.

As an independent food emporium, Y Groser Harlech will stock a wide range of locally sourced foods and wines with an ordering and delivery service available.  Licensed to sell alcohol, the new destination store will also include an indoor and outdoor seating area for customers to enjoy a range of fresh locally sourced delicatessen items and wine.

Suppliers include Llanwrst based Blas ar Fwyd, Mintons Good Foods of Llandrindod Wells and Taste Merchants of Newtown. Fresh fruit and vegetables will come from Bwydydd Oren Foods and coffee from Welsh artisan coffee makers Ffa Da.

 Adrian and Gary Stevenson are working with Cywain, a Welsh Government funded project run by Menter a Busnes to promote Welsh food and drink producers. They’ll be showcasing new products as they become ready for the market.

Adrian said: “Having worked in catering, retail and hospitality, customer service is bound in our DNA and, having lived here for over four years, we’ve often longed for a high quality food store in Harlech. It’s a beautiful town and we’ve got so much to celebrate, not least of which our locally produced food and drink. It seems only right that we promote local; offering the community a distinctive destination grocery store selling exceptional food and wines coupled with good old fashioned service. We’re also really proud to be creating local jobs for local people.

“We had the vision and we know exactly what we want to achieve but we needed the funding to make it happen. The support of the Development Bank means that we’ve been able to invest in high quality fittings that will showcase the very best local produce and drinks. It’s what has made the project happen, we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Sion Wynne is an investment executive with the Development Bank of Wales. He said: “Adrian and Gary were introduced to us by colleagues at Business Wales. They came to us with a well thought-out business plan and a vision to bring this exciting new venture to the high street in Harlech.

"There are no supermarkets in Harlech and they have the right backgrounds in the hospitality, food and beverage sectors to be able to fill a gap in the local market and create jobs for local people with the start-up of this exciting business. We’re sure that Y Groser Harlech will attract both local residents and visitors alike.”

Cywain is a business-led programme dedicated to developing new and existing micro businesses and SMEs in the Welsh food and drink sector, focusing on maximising opportunities and growth potential. Louise McNutt, Cywain's Development Manager for Gwynedd said: "This is a very exciting prospect for local Welsh food and drink producers.

Cywain will be working with the new emporium by referring local producers to Y Groser Harlech with the potential of stocking their produce at the store and offering tasting sessions. Harlech is a prime location for tourism and a great place to showcase the fantastic Welsh food and drink products on offer."

The £500 million Wales Flexible Investment Fund is for Welsh businesses needing between £25,000 and £10 million in loans, mezzanine finance or equity investment. It is funded by the Welsh Government and the Development Bank of Wales. Terms of up to 15 years are available.