ENTREPRENEURS and start-up businesses at a new retail test space are thriving this festive period.
Antur Cymru’s latest Cymorth Busnes Lleol / Local Business Support pop-up unit opened last week in Newcastle Emlyn and is already a hit with customers in the west Wales town.
As Christmas fast approaches, traders have embraced the scheme and been busy selling their wares, with a wide variety of locally made products up for grabs.
Among those with a presence at the Cawdor Terrace premises are Stop Waffling artisan bakes and desserts; Live like Nana shopping service; Tyddyn y Helyg gifts; and sustainable florist, The Flower Meadow.
In addition to its existing shop in Aberystwyth – and with plans for a third and fourth location in the new year – Antur Cymru has given them a platform to develop ideas, trial products and generate a customer base while receiving vital commercial support and advice.
James Mordue from Stop Waffling, who formally launched the mobile venture earlier this year, says early results have been very positive.
“We were busy through the summer at festivals and events, but this now gives us a base to build up a local following and attract new customers,” he said.
“It’s been really good, and word is getting around that we are here, so in the run up to Christmas and beyond I’m sure we will be even busier.”
Sara Redman, owner of The Flower Meadow, previously worked in local government before pivoting in the pandemic to sell seasonal and organic bouquets, bespoke wedding packages and displays that are “grown not flown” from the farm she shares with husband Richard in Llandysul.
She says being part of the community in Newcastle Emlyn is a breath of fresh air: “It’s going really well, with lots of people wanting organic Christmas wreaths and our DIY kits so they can make their own at home.
“The business had been something of a slow burner as I began selling them in lockdown and delivering to local villages, which soon proved very popular.
“To now be able to meet customers in person and build on that momentum is fantastic – it’s brilliant to see so much support for local entrepreneurs.”
Stacey Sayers, from Tyddyn y Helyg (The Willows Homestead), which is selling a wide range of homemade, artisan gifts from the site, added: “We are trying different ideas at present, so having this space to test them and see what works is invaluable.
“We are selling items including rugs, aprons, cushions, lampshades, curtains and more, and there is the holistic side of the business as well, so we are excited to see how this develops and really pleased to be part of this network of traders.”
Funded by UK Government and driven by Levelling-Up via Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire councils, the Local Business Support scheme also includes guidance for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and independent traders across the region via a team of skilled and experienced mentors and advisors.
Project Manager Julie Morgan is pleased with the response from the local community and confident the pop-up initiative will go from strength to strength.
“Like Aberystwyth, which opened early last year, we’ve seen a wave of customers visit the space already,” she said.
“The difference this time is we have that model to refer to and were able to hit the ground running.”
Julie added: “We hope to see even more customers through the door in the short time we have left before Christmas and thank everyone who has shown us so much support already.”