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£120,000 loan from Finance Wales helps Wright’s Food Emporium find a new home and more than double turnover

A £120,000 loan from Finance Wales has helped transform the historic Golden Grove Arms in Llanarthne into the new home of Wright’s Food Emporium.

Simon Wright and his wife Maryann, who were previously partners in the award-winning Y Polyn, first opened the delicatessen diner with their son Joel in 2012 in Nantgaredig. 

They moved to larger premises in Llanarthne in February 2014 and business is now brisker than ever, with turnover more than doubling in the 12 months since the move.

“Our aim has been to offer quality food in a relaxed fun setting. The fact that we are an eating place, delicatessen, wine and beer store shop all in one, hopefully makes the journey worthwhile.  There’s been tremendous support both locally in West Wales and from much further afield.
“Our offer is based on quality - we work with local suppliers, such as charcutier Illtyd Dunsford.  We source our beef and lamb from Hazelwell Farm in Whitland, while our beers are from Seren in Pembrokeshire and the Handmade beer company just down the road in Capel Dew.  We also look for exciting and unusual produce from around Europe and Italy in Spain in particular,” Simon Wright explained.

Prominently located on the main road between Carmarthen and Llandeilo, the new premises also offers the potential for future expansion.

“Our new home in Llanarthne is larger and gives us the flexibility we need to develop our business in future.  We’re already welcoming more diners because we can now open in the evening.  We’re also able to offer a broader range of food, beer and wine in the shop. The loan from Finance Wales was a key part of the funding package we needed to make our expansion plans a reality,” he continued.

Senior Investment Executive Alun Thomas, who is part of Finance Wales’ local team in West Wales, worked with the Wrights and their bank to come up with the funding package. He said: “Simon, Maryann and Joel have shown real flair in creating something quite unique. Wright’s Food Emporium has quickly earned an enviable reputation and become a firm favourite locally.  It’s a unique mix targeting several lucrative markets, including the market for local produce.  They’ve also come up with some appealing ideas such as their freshly made ‘pie of the day’ and offering refillable wine and cider.

“The Wrights have used a combination of their own finance, a commercial mortgage and a loan from Finance Wales, to make their plans a reality.  They’ve created a robust and sustainable business which showcases the best West Wales’ food suppliers can offer and also has considerable future potential.”

Wrights recently won bronze medal in the ‘Best Place to Eat (Café)’ category at the National Tourism Awards for Wales 2015, organised by Visit Wales.

Refurbishment of the Golden Grove’s six bedrooms is also planned in the medium term.

Finance Wales’ investment in Wright’s Food Emporium came from the £40 million Wales SME Investment Fund.