I arrived in Afonwen, my first Helpx host on July 15th very late at night, having mistimed the travelling. I was greeted by Nicola and Bim of Bim’s Kitchen, an artisan food company, and shown to my cute little flat within the premises but away from the main house. The main residence is an old pub called Pwll Gwyn which has listed building status, when it was bought by Nicola and Bim a couple of years ago it needed a lot of work to get it up and running as a restaurant with letting rooms.
Nicola asked me to meet her at 10am the next morning where she went over my main tasks for the next month. She also explained that her and Bim would be going to the Royal Welsh show at Builth Wells on Sunday to promote their products, they were supposed to have member of staff to help them at the show but he had let them down at the last minute so they both needed to go, which meant I would be left to my own devices for a few days, they would be back on Friday, which I relished, having already thought about what adventure I would go on first.
My tasks for the next month are mainly to get one of the rooms ready for letting out on Airbnb and help to make table runners ready for the restaurant. Also I will be helping pack their produce ready for market. But all that will start next week.
Nicola and Bim started their business while living in London, when the business quickly took off they needed larger premises and in London the prices of larger premises was restrictive so they began their search for more amenable premises which could have been anywhere, all depending on the actual place itself and what it had to offer, Pwll Gwyn had it all, mainly a fully functioning commercial kitchen which was exactly what they needed to make their African themed sauces.
As mentioned previously it is an old pub but due to previous people making alterations that were not in keeping with listed building status, this meant that changes needed to be made before it could be opened as a pub again so Nicola and Bim have decided to just use the kitchen for their food business and to use the letting rooms to bring in some extra money, which were mainly good and needed no work doing, they are also going to section off part of the pub and just use the restaurant as a pop up restaurant which means special nights will be arranged and advertised with set menus which people will have to book prior to the event.
The business has been run from the pub for the last two years and is still very much in its infancy, their sauces are sold in small delicatessens all over the UK and direct to the public through the festivals they attend and via their website. www.bimskitchen.com
I am very much looking forward to playing my own small part in building their business and in such a beautiful part of the world as North Wales. I am hoping to try their products while I am here too, although not the very spicy ones.