After debating the merits of Wales and Cornwall, they saw a hill farm for sale in the Welsh mountains near Abergavenny. It was run down and ram-shackled. An old stone building with no central heating, no sewerage system, no telephone line, no access road, and sheep playing house in the living room. But the views were spectacular, and their imagination was piqued. They were smitten. So, after a bottle of wine they put in a cheeky offer and it was accepted. Their new adventure had begun. + EXPAND STORY
With a regular surplus of milk, the Craskes decided to try making cheese. Pam borrowed a book about cheese-making from the local library and made their first batch by hand in the farmhouse kitchen. It was delicious. Friends tried it and loved it. They were onto something. EXPAND STORY +
The buyer at Harvey & Brockless suggested they enter the Nantwich Cheese Show, so the Craskes went along to check it out. It was vast. There were cheeses there from all over the world. Camembert from Normandy, Gorgonzola from Italy, Gouda from Holland, Manchego from Spain – every cheese you could imagine. They coyly left their cheeses and headed home, overwhelmed by the enormity of the marketplace and the challenge they faced to conquer it. The next day they received news that they had won every class they’d entered, beating the most formidable opponents. Perhaps the challenge wasn’t insurmountable after all. + EXPAND STORY
(Image © The Sainsbury Archive, Museum of London Docklands)
In 1987 Abergavenny Fine Foods Ltd was formed.
As demand grew, so did capacity, with growth from one unit to two, three, and then to four. As well as extending the manufacturing facility, this 10,000 ft extension gave them office space and storage. A proper home for the business and a significant facility from which to grow.
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The first non-family Directors were appointed in 2005, and the business was going from strength to strength.
The company moved into export with their blended cheese products at first, closely followed by breaded products. And food service business was also gained from the likes of Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut.
In a new modern facility, they were able to focus on a rationalised product range, with further investment into core breaded products. This opened the door to exciting new opportunities, rapid growth and investment in a second production line to meet the acceleration in demand. + EXPAND STORY