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