It’s our Birthday!!
Happy Birthday to us!
For 60 years, we’ve been baking our delicious cakes, pies and tarts, with the last fifteen years purely dedicated to gluten, wheat and dairy free desserts.
Starting out in 1956 as a family run bakery delivering bread door to door daily and allowing our neighbours to bake their turkeys in the bread ovens on Christmas morning, we’ve grown into a leading dedicated free from factory distributing stock to major retailers all over the world.
Our incredible story began back when your weekly wage was just £10 a week, a loaf of bread would cost around 4p and you had to visit multiple stores in order to complete your weekly shop including the butchers, the greengrocers and the fishmongers. It was 60 years ago that Ernest Rule and his wife Ruby took over the Roberts’ family Emlyn Bakery and adjoining shop in Godreaman near Aberdare.
During the 1960s their three daughters, Rhoda, and twins Mary and Eunice, joined the family business helping out in the bakery, shops and with deliveries, often working 16 hour shifts to cope with growing demand.
In 1972 Peter Douglass, now managing director, married Eunice and joined the business learning from his father-in-law the art of artisan bread baking as well as all morning goods, cakes, pastries and savouries. During this time, Peter and Eunice lived in the flat above the shop in Jubilee Road where the first of their four children, Ian, was born.
1974 saw waves of industrial unrest, including the miners’ strikes during which time we provided cakes and pastries for the Christmas parties for the miners’ families.
1976, again saw strikes, this time from the bakers from the large plant bakeries which created a shortage of bread supplies nationwide. As a small family business, we worked around the clock to satisfy the queues of people lining up to buy bread for their families.
Peter Douglass, says: “I remember during this time, in the early hours, falling asleep whilst standing up at the bench hand weighing the dough. I got woken up with a poke in the side from my father in law saying “hey come on, we’ve got all this to finish”. The next day we were both totally exhausted so we weighed off the dough into 2lb pieces and sold it to the desperate mothers to bake it at home.”
In November 1976 Ernest Rule sold the bread business and moved to an empty bakery in Aberdare where we embarked on wholesale bakery and Welsh Hills Bakery came into its own. Initially, baking fruit cakes in many shapes and sizes, we began supplying wholesale distributors around the UK, later producing for Harrods, Selfridges and wedding cake bases for one of the largest UK bakery groups.
In 1978 we began producing mince pies with brandy for gourmet food brand, Cottage Delight, and two years later we expanded the mince pie business to become the main brandy mince pie suppliers for companies including Park hampers, Family Hampers and Perfect Hampers.
Exactly 30 years ago, in 1986, we moved into our current bakery in Hirwaun where all the products are manufactured today and which has seen continual investment over the years. 1990 was the year that Ernest retired and Ian, his grandson, joined the business as trainee baker and office assistant. Peter’s youngest son, Tony, also joined the business after leaving school in 1994, but sadly died in 1997 after an accident whilst rollerblading.
The millennium saw major changes for Welsh Hills Bakery as we stepped away from traditional baking and turned our attention to purely gluten, wheat and dairy free production.
Peter said: “We recognised a growing need for gluten free foods and saw a gap in the market which we felt we could fill. This awareness prompted us to make the decision to expand the factory, invest in new machinery and introduce new practices, coupled with new methods of manufacturing, which enabled us to operate a totally gluten free site. This guarantees that all products produced on site are gluten and wheat free.”
Every baked good produced by the factory needs to contain less than 20 parts per million of Total Gluten content to be classed as ‘free from’ which involves stringent standards set by the industry and the compliance to which all reputable manufacturers adhere. Testing is a big part of what we do as, as well as all outgoing products being measured before being released, all incoming ingredients used in our Lovemore products are analysed in our in-house laboratory.
Not long after we started making gluten free cakes and short crust pastry pies we were privileged to become the first ever company to supply Sainsbury’s and Tesco with its own brand of free from products. We still supply those same products and now count Asda, Ocado, Waitrose, Morissons, Holland & Barrett and the NHS among our customer portfolio.
In 2002, Peter and Eunice’s son-in-law, Grant Hewison, a qualified engineer, joined the business as engineering and maintenance manager. Grant is now our production planning manager overseeing the whole facility and is responsible for planning, engineering and facilities.
In 2008 we took the next step and developed our own brand of gluten free products named Lovemore Free From Foods. Lovemore has grown steadily to include a range of shortbreads and cookies, along with the traditional apple pies and Cherry Bakewells, fruit slab cakes and iced cakes along with mince pies for Christmas.
Earlier this year Lovemore’s Decorate Your Own Celebration Cake appeared on a national television advert for Morrisons and is now stocked in 263 Morrisons stores nationwide. Welsh Hills products are also exported to USA, Australia, the Middle East and across much of Europe.
We are committed to supporting the local community and are proud to be a source of employment in the area with 70 members of staff – including Peter’s grandson, Harry. Harry becomes the fourth generation of the family to work for Welsh Hills and recently joined as management trainee overseeing activity including our website and social media channels.
With people becoming more conscious of their food, its ingredients and its manufacture coupled with the growing trend for ‘going gluten free’ through choice rather than necessity due to the perceived health benefits of free from foods, things are looking good.
Peter said: “The management team at Welsh Hills are so vital to the ongoing success of the business; from planning and production, to logistics and sourcing, through to sales and business development, supported throughout by the professional in-house technical team; we couldn’t have got to where we are now without their dedication and first class skills.
“Lovemore is fast becoming a market leader in the world of ‘gluten free’ and we have recently invested significantly on a complete rebrand which we are excited about launching in autumn 2016.”
Tento lék by se neměl užívat souběžně s nitráty ani rekreačními drogami vlastnilekarna slangově zvanými “poppers”, obsahujícími amyl či butyl nitrit. Pod všemi těmito názvy se skrývá léčivá rostlina, která se v současné době stává stále více a více populární. Na internetu můžete nejít lékárny, kde je sildenafil prodej za dostupné ceny.