Tregroes Waffles started as a small, family run Bakery which is based in the beautiful, rolling hills of the Teifi Valley, South-West Wales.
We have been producing Waffles in the area for over 30 years using only the best ingredients, and they have become a proud part of the local community.
It all started back in 1983. Kees Huysmans, armed with his waffle iron and market stall, braved the cold on Bonfire night and took his invented recipe to the people of Henllan Railway to be tested. It was a surprisingly successful night, and it marked the beginning of the Tregroes Waffles story.
From those early beginnings in the old shop in Tregroes, we spent many long days selling waffles at markets, fairs, shows, and Victorian Nights all across Wales. Demand grew from local shops; the waffle market was expanding. It was hard work. Our waffles were made by hand, the filling spread with a pallet knife. Waffles took over three floors in our home: ingredients were stored in the basement, where we also mixed the dough and boiled the filling. We baked in the old shop itself, and a bedroom upstairs made way for the office. Eventually, we couldn’t expand any further in Tregroes.
Due to increased demand, the bakery moved from Tregroes in 1994, and is now based in the small town of Llandysul. With much better access, the new building was a sound base from where to grow our business. It was difficult at first. We were used to making our products by hand and now had to adjust to working with bigger machinery. We survived, and with Nigel, our first Sales Manager, joining us in 1998 , our business grew dramatically. Our workforce – employed from Llandysul and the surrounding area – is the backbone of the business and we strive support the local community wherever possible.
For the un-initiated, this might sound like an unfamiliar term, but for us it was a milestone. In 2002 we gained an internationally recognised accreditation in the food industry stating that our products have passed rigorous tests to certify that the quality, hygiene and safety of our bakery and produce is at the highest level. This allows us to supply national supermarkets, but also the myriad of independent delicatessens, coffee shops, cafés, and corner shops within the Welsh Borders and beyond.
Inspired by the John Lewis Partnership and a local company, a trust was created in 2015, of which all the employees of Tregroes Waffles are beneficiaries. The family will sell 10% of shares to the trust every year for the next ten years, thereby safeguarding the future of the business in a structure where trustees are required to act in the interest of the beneficiaries. The Board includes a member of the family, a member of the workforce and an independent non-executive trustee, who agree the business plan for the Trading Company. We hope this structure will enable Tregroes Waffles to thrive for the years to come.
A bright food science student from Bordeaux spent four months in the summer of 2016 at Tregroes Waffles to develop a savoury biscuit which can be produced on our production line; a perfect accompaniment to the great assortment of Welsh Cheeses on the market in the UK and further afield. This excellent new product has taken us in a new direction, allowing us to access a completely different market.
Once a year we return to our roots, selling waffles directly to our customers at the Royal Welsh Show where we often meet up with many familiar faces – our most loyal customers. The market in the UK is constantly growing for our products, with greater competition from imported products. Tregroes Waffles clearly has a strong niche here: we are very proud of our product and we are constantly working to ensure that our Waffles are the best they can be.