Ice cream maker unveils new products and venue after scooping national title
A MULTI award-winning ice cream maker has launched a new product range and taken over a popular venue after scooping an acclaimed national title.
It has been a busy year for Helen Holland and the team at Môn ar Lwy, based in Bodorgan, Anglesey.
Having won the prestigious Welsh Food Enterprise Award for Best Food and Drink Producer at the Royal Welsh Show, the family firm went on to unveil a vegan line of ice cream and are now tenants at the Oriel Mon gallery and museum’s café in Llangefni.
With chef, trainer and new business partner Lloyd Treadway at her side, the duo has called it Sitrws (Citrus), because of their zest for life.
As the doors look set to open in the coming weeks, Helen said: “I am delighted to be running Sitrws alongside Lloyd, who has already designed a fantastic menu which will be completely fresh using local ingredients.
“We will also be working alongside Coleg Llandrillo Menai to further develop the skills of young people and are both passionate about quality and creating a worthwhile service that is accessible to all here on the island.”
She added: “We are recruiting staff and refreshing the look of the interior, which is very exciting as I’ve always wanted to open a venue like this.
“It will be the perfect place to display our products and to trial different flavours and textures with our freshly baked goods, as well as catering for functions and holding events for local artists, sports personalities, singers, organisations, and the community.”
Môn ar Lwy is all about family and friendship, which is evident from the people around Helen.
As well as the support of her sons Llyr, the main producer at the dairy, and Osian, her former high school classmate Hazel and friends Gwion and Olwen Davies are all key members of the team.
As the business aims to become net zero and continue to lower its carbon footprint, she thanked them and the local companies and collaborators who all played a part in their growth.
With plans for an ice cream for dogs on the horizon, ex-schoolteacher Helen admits her appetite for innovation is healthier than ever.
She is even planning to revive a range of sauces and puddings developed from her late grandmother’s recipe book.
Reflecting on the Royal Welsh Show and the road ahead, she said: “To win such a prestigious title was a huge honour for us as it was on the national stage and gave us a confidence boost following the challenges of the pandemic.
“So much is happening at the moment, we are in a really good place now and this was a reminder we are moving in the right direction and can step up to the next level as a business, which we are more than ready to do after almost 15 years in the industry.”
Having developed more than 150 flavours over the years using natural ingredients supplied by local producers since 2008 – Bursting Blueberry was the first Great Taste Award – Helen says the construction of their own purpose-built dairy 10 years ago was the turning point for the company.
“That enabled us to scale-up and supply restaurants, convenience stores and farm shops after we had experienced a surge in demand,” she said.
“The new café will allow us to expand further, providing another outlet for our ice cream and sorbets, as well as showcasing freshly baked patisseries and supporting local businesses and bringing the community to the forefront of all we do – that was and always will be so important to us.”