French Flavour, an enterprising Wrexham-based fine-food business, is selling garlic imported from France - back to the French.
The company supplies home-made food and imported products from France to farm shops and delis in the UK.
Business owner Ian Rowley has expanded French Flavour over the last 13 years with support from Business Wales, the Welsh Government’s business support service. Ian explained: “There’s a fantastic variety of smoked garlic grown in northern France that some customers in the south can’t get - so they buy through us.
“We bring in approximately 30,000 bulbs of the smoked garlic each year, and more than 90,000 bulbs of different garlic varieties.”
Having initially brought French cider, garlic and cheese to the UK in the back of his car, Ian now supplies large quantities of different artisan goods to more than 100 outlets across England and Wales. The business also retails online and exhibits at food fairs across the UK.
Ian said: “I gave importing produce a go on a small scale initially and had some success, but it’s the support from Business Wales that has really made a difference and helped the business grow.
“They’ve helped with most aspects of the business - everything from being a start-up to advice on importing, training, contracts and our e-commerce has been supported by Business Wales.
“Thanks to Business Wales’ help I’ve gone from bringing products over in the back of my car, to a van, to a bigger van, and now pallets of imported artisan produce.”
“The quality of the advice and training we’ve received has been second to none.”
Ian is now working with Business Wales to explore the possibility of exporting the goods to the United States and Canada, which would make French Flavour an even bigger success story.
All Business Wales services are free and delivered bilingually from offices in Bangor, St Asaph, Holywell and Wrexham.
Business Wales is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. To find out how Business Wales can help start or grow your business, call 03000 6 03000, follow @_businesswales or visit www.business.wales.gov.uk or www.busnes.cymru.gov.uk for further information.