23 December 2019
It’s been a busy year for Cardiff-based butcher Shaun Hall Jones, whose field to fork approach to selling top quality Welsh farm produce has seen him double the size of the business this year.
Former teacher Shaun, who hails from Llanybydder in West Wales, is also a fourth-generation farmer and butcher. He opened his first butchery shop in Canton, ‘Oriel Jones, Farmer & Butcher’ just over two years ago, selling home-reared Welsh Black beef, Welsh lamb, pork and free-range poultry to discerning shoppers, chefs and restaurateurs in Cardiff.
Last summer, he launched his second business in the fashionable Cardiff suburb of Pontcanna. Also named after his well-known grandfather, Oriel Jones, who has long since retired from the family butchery business in West Wales, the focus in Shaun’s newest venture is on selling oven-ready meals such as casseroles and chilli with an ethical slant, as well as hot pies, pastries and filled rolls. Shaun says that his target customers in Pontcanna are often those who are short on time but big on taste and quality, and he’s expecting a very busy Christmas at both locations!
“Our first Christmas in Canton was absolutely amazing, and we had customers queuing almost round the block as they collected their orders, but thanks to our really great staff, we know we’ll be able to keep all our customers happy as they stock up for the festive season in both the shops.”
Shaun gave up a career in the teaching profession some years ago, to carry on with the family tradition of breeding exceptional stock at the 364 hectare family beef and sheep farm at Llygadenwyn in Llanybydder. Most of the produce Shaun sells from his two shops is from stock sourced and reared from either his family’s own or partner farms in South West Wales, where the best possible animal welfare standards and caring for the environment are order of the day. Traditional farming methods are paired with the latest and best scientific research and techniques which have enabled this family business to offer a huge range of top quality, award-winning Welsh produce.
In 2012, soon after he had returned to full time farming in Llanybydder, Shaun decided to hone his business skills by applying for a place on the Agri Academy Business & Innovation programme. He credits Farming Connect’s flagship personal development programme, which is based around three short but action-packed study periods, including an overseas study visit, with enabling him to take time away from the pressures of day to day farming, to meet a number of inspirational business people and plan his own future career.
“Being part of the Agri Academy gave me the time I needed to consider my own long-term goals and the mentoring and training I received, and the new network of contacts I made speeded up my decision to set up my own new business in Cardiff.”
Shaun believes that his field to fork philosophy and ethical approach to farming has been critical to his success.
“Customers everywhere are far more aware of the environment and the need to safeguard it for future generations.
"Selling top-quality grass-fed animals, reared in Wales, which we know are farmed to the highest standards, gives us the essential provenance at every stage of the supply chain process and the reassurance our customers demand.” says Shaun.
“Starting two new butchery businesses in Cardiff, which already has a superb city centre meat and produce market, as well as numerous successful independent butchery businesses and all the retail giants, felt like a daunting, almost impossible dream, but I’m so glad that I had the courage to go for it.
“As a former teacher, I understand the importance of lifelong learning and continual professional development, and so I am always open to new ideas, keen to find more efficient ways of working and capitalise on new business opportunities, while at the same time, focusing on the wider environmental issues.
A firm believer that the most progressive and successful farm businesses are those run by individuals willing to develop their own personal skills, which in turn helps them develop more ambitious business skills, Shaun is a persuasive advocate keen to encourage others to apply for the Agri Academy.
“The Agri Academy, through its unique and fully-funded programme of training, mentoring, support and guidance and perhaps most importantly through the networking opportunities, could be a life-changing opportunity, so my advice would be to apply as soon as you can.!”
The application window for Agri Academy 2020 will be open at 9am, 20 January until 11:59pm, 31 March.
For further information and eligibility criteria, click here.
Farming Connect, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra, is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and Welsh Government.