A Wirral garden centre has struck a new partnership with a Welsh centre of excellence for food.
Gordale Garden Centre in Burton has joined forces with Bodnant Welsh Food Centre to stock its range of specialist meat cuts, award-winning burgers, BBQ range and bangers.
Welsh Retailer of the Year 2015, Bodnant is also seeking to increase its workforce to meet the growing demand for its produce by shoppers at the Wirral outlet.
Large state of the art display fridges have been installed at Gordale, which will be stocked with a wide selection of products, most of which will be delivered fresh each day direct from Bodnant in the centre’s own van.
Bodnant, which is based in the Conwy Valley, has also launched a home delivery service for the Wirral, so shoppers can order a hamper of Welsh-raised meat and other Bodnant goodies, direct to their doorstep.
Gordale Garden Centre’s Food Hall expert Linda Jones is delighted about the new partnership, which is proving popular with customers.
She said: “We have lots of visitors from North West England and North Wales every day, so having a counter with high-quality locally sourced meat is something we know our customers will love.
“Bodnant has a fantastic reputation for great produce, from sausages and burgers to their famous Welsh Black Beef, so we’re really pleased to be able to feature them in store.
“Many of the breads, honeys, chutneys and sauces we sell in our food hall are from nearby suppliers already, so we’re glad we can now add delicious meats to our great range of locally sourced produce. ”
Bodnant’s butchery manager Jason Fraser explained that the new outlet is a first for the Welsh Food Centre, which was named Welsh Retailer of theYear for 2015.
Jason said: “The satellite counter at Gordale is enabling us get our fantastic products into a whole new market. The large display fridges have enough space to showcase a wide range of fresh meat products, all of which is prepared and wrapped in our butchery department.
“The burger range on the counters includes some of our most popular items, such as beef and onion, pork and apple, lamb and mint and our new line combining Welsh Black Beef with locally brewed Welsh Black Ale, which is going down really well.
“The sausage range features traditional breakfast, pork and leek, pork and chive and pork, apricot and Bodnant’s own Aberwen cheese.
“We’ve also got the Bodnant Dog – our take on a classic hot dog sausage – along with kebabs and grill-sticks.
“In the chicken line there’s whole birds plus fillets and portions, some of them flavoured with things like wild garlic, Chinese sauce and lemon chilli.
“Then we have our steaks – sirloins, rump and fillet – all of Bodnant’s locally sourced Welsh Black Beef, along with bacon which is from a local source and cured in my department.
“On the counters we also have our usual offers on multi-packs and mix and match lines.”
Bodnant Welsh Food Centre managing director Chris Morton is hoping the new link with Gordale will introduce a new wave of customers to the centre’s range, which recently won eight Welsh Awards for Excellence in Meat Products.
He said: “We’re already extremely busy and the introduction of the new counters will mean increased demand for our products. It gives us the chance to showcase Bodnant products to people who have never tried them before.
“We are looking at taking on extra staff to cater for the demand – possibly two or three more people to add to our existing team of six, under Jason.
“We’ve just taken delivery of a smart new refrigerated van, which will help us to keep the satellite counters freshly stocked and also be used in local deliveries in the area around Bodnant.”
Bodnant Welsh Food is located in a building dating from the 18th century which has been lovingly restored and includes a farm shop, tea room, restaurant, wine cellar, cookery school and farmhouse accommodation.
The centre had its fanfare opening by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2012.
Bodnant Welsh Food Centre has its own dairy making cheese and ice cream, plus an on-site bakery and butchery, with award-winning pies. There’s also a wine store and tea rooms plus the Hayloft restaurant and farmhouse accommodation.
More details at bodnant-welshfood.co.uk