A top Welsh butcher is ramping up production to make a record number of pigs in blankets to allay fears of a shortage this Christmas.
Edwards of Conwy are well on the way to wrapping over 180,000 of their tasty pork chipolatas at their newly-expanded headquarters on the Morfa Conwy Business Park.
The team swung into action after warnings in the autumn that the meaty festive treat to accompany the traditional turkey dinner would be in short supply this year.
This year too for the first time the seasonal special with an overcoat of succulent smoky bacon will be on the shelves at Tesco supermarkets all over Wales, as well as throughout the UK via online supermarket Ocado.
Managing Director Simon James said: “Our traditional butchers have been rolling the traditional pigs in blankets by hand for 35 years but a few years ago we decided to add a twist.
“We came up with a Honey and Rosemary Pork Chipolata wrapped in Oak-smoked Bacon, bigger than your average pigs in blankets which are usually made from cocktail sausages and we’ve used oak-smoked streaky bacon for an indulgent twist.”
And just like all their popular products, their pigs in blankets are given the seal of approval by Ieuan Edwards, who founded the business in Conwy High Street in 1984.
The sausages and bacon come from Red Tractor British pork and will be blended with sweet honey and fragrant rosemary in a recipe developed by Edwards of Conwy’s growing team of food experts.
Earlier this year they embarked on a £2.6 million investment project to double capacity and create 20 new jobs.
The additional space generated by the project has helped their dedicated team of butchers step up production of their best-selling Traditional Pork Sausages, their signature product made with premium pork shoulder, to 40 million sausages a year, and their dry-cured bacon has this year picked up a Great Taste award.
They plan to cope with the increased demand by adding a fourth production line with the latest state-of-the-art equipment in the new year.
The addition of the fourth production line will enable the growing company to ramp up production of its entire range of sausages, beefburgers, meatballs, bacon and gammon to more than 80 tons a week.
The investment has been self-funded by the company with additional support from the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Development programme and a loan from HSBC.
The company’s journey began when Ieuan Edwards, one of three sons of a family farm near Llanrwst, realised the farm wasn’t big enough to support all of them.
He trained as a butcher in Llanrwst – and later in Switzerland and Holland – before opening the Conwy shop which is still at the heart of the business.
Edwards of Conwy now supplies all the major supermarkets and can be found in more than 800 stores across Wales, as well as at the original butcher’s shop which was crowned Best Butchers Shop in the UK in 2014 and has since three times been crowned Best Butchers Shop in Wales.
For more on Edwards of Conwy go to https://www.weareedwards.co.uk