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Top patisserie chef puts sweet success of chocolate bars down to Welsh language

15 Nov 2021 3 minute read
Melin Llynon Siocled

A top chef has put down the sweet success of his chocolate bars down to the Welsh language.

Rich Holt, who sells luxury patisserie and confection, has also attributed the success of the Melin Llynon Siolced brand to his hardworking and talented staff on the isle of Anglesey.

Before he returned to Wales to take over the running of Melin Llynon in Llanddeusant, the only working windmill in Wales, he spent years working in some of London’s most exclusive Michelin star restaurants.

The entrepreneur turned his attention to making chocolate when his tearoom closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He has previously worked for Michelin star restaurant Marcus and The Gilbert Scott. They are owned by the celebrity chef Marcus Wareing.

He has also worked alongside Amaury Guichon, who has a reputation as one of the best pastry artists in the world.

Holt told the National: “We launched a bar of chocolate over Christmas last year in the Welsh language – it’s called ‘Siocled’ which means ‘chocolate’ – and they flew out of the door.

“We actually sold 20,000 bars of chocolate in a single month between November and December 2020 which was unbelievable. And I really believe that was because it was branded in the Welsh language and also the fact that it was made locally by people on Anglesey.

“So because of that success we decided to scrap the tea room. And instead, we decided to make doughnuts or, as they’re known, ‘Mônuts’. And over the summer just gone, we sold around 50,000 of them.

“Again, it was all down to local people and the Welsh language. It’s so important.”

‘S4C series’ 

He’s currently featuring in  the new S4C series, Richard Holt: Yr Academi Felys, in which he looks for an apprentice to join his business. In the programme six would-be chefs as they face numerous patisserie tasks set by Richard.

“Patisserie in itself is a skill that’s it’s not really all that known in Wales or really throughout the UK,” says Rich. “It’s much more of a French thing but there’s no reason why we can’t excel at it too.”

“And doing patisserie while working in the Welsh language is special. It’s niche, it’s patriotic but it’s also homely.

“I believe that we can make products that are far superior to any English language products too. We’re competing with the best in the world and that’s how it should be.”

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Sion Cwilt
Sion Cwilt
2 years ago

Is the ‘siocled’ still available? I think we need to be a bit more assertive about using Cymraeg in branded products from Wales. For food items I suspect a list of ingredients in English would be a legal requirement, but I don’t see why the product packaging can’t predominantly be in Cymraeg.

Gareth P.
Gareth P.
2 years ago
Reply to  Sion Cwilt

No reason why not, the ingredients and nutrional values can be legally be in Welsh first and English secondary under the existing uk food labelling law, the only ‘problem’ will be the ‘llefrith’ v ‘ llaeth’ issue 🙂.
Totally Agree that Welsh Food and Drink producers should be more assertive and confident in the use of Welsh on their products

2 years ago
Reply to  Gareth P.

Speaking as a translator (and a native Gog, too) there shouldn’t be too much of an issue with ‘llaeth vs llefrith’, either.

I agree that in my day-to-day conversations, I will always say ‘llefrith’ (with ‘llaeth’ being reserved for ‘buttermilk’), but nearly all the compounds involving ‘milk’ or ‘dairy’ wil use ‘llaeth’. (In the same way that road signs inform us to ‘Arafwch Nawr’ and not ‘Arafwch Rŵan’.)

Rest assured that Gogspeak is however standard in certain cases, so let’s be generous and allow the Hwntws to win this one!

2 years ago

‘ isle of Anglesey’.

It would be nice if Nation.Cymru could use the native Welsh names for places as promised at its foundation.

Anglesey is meaningless Norse word meaning island of angles.

Ynys Môn, Mona, Môn, Mam Cymru etc… good selection to use

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