The Porthcawl pair behind Home and Colonial
Home and Colonial is an award-winning delicatessen serving freshly baked Welsh cakes, home made breads and delicious imported goods. From the importance of personal service to a new cafe venture in Newton village, we spoke to owner Stuart about building a buzz around fine foods in Porthcawl.
Can you tell me a bit about Home and Colonial?
We are currently in our 9th year, having opened as a result of coming out of the rat race we were in. We needed to step back and take time for ourselves and Home n Colonial was born!
We're a delicatessen serving a variety of local and speciality good. We work with three local bakers who produce a variety of items for us including cakes and breads that are made to our recipe and served on the premises. We also offer pies, pastries, Welsh cakes and specialist cornish pasties from Cornwall.
We import traditional pastries from Italy, as well as olives, salami and Italian cheeses to accompany numerous local Welsh varieties. Our traditional faggots (made using my grandparents' recipe) are hugely popular, as are our scotch eggs, with over ten varieties on sale including a runny yolk option. Our meat is sourced from Douglas Willis in Cwmbran to ensure the highest standards.
Why Porthcawl? What would you say Porthcawl has that's unique to anywhere else?
We went travelling shortly before we started the shop to decide whether we'd like to move elsewhere or stay in Porthcawl - in the end it just made us realise we had everything we needed right here in Porthcawl. We are a seaside destination and get a lot of visitors to the area so we can simply stock larger numbers than the average small town.
Describe the typical customer experience in Home & Colonial
It's just a case of giving customers an experience they wouldn't get anywhere else. We think it's important to share our knowledge, not only of food but of Welsh traditions, so we'll tell our customers all about everything. We make fresh Welsh cakes throughout the day and sell them straight from the hotplate. The smell is hard to resist. We can share the history of the Welsh cake, which cheese is right for which occasion or how and where each local honey was made - it's a very personal experience that keeps people coming back.
What's the best bit about your job?
Without a doubt the people. We meet such a variety of people on a daily basis and that's what makes our job so special.
And the hardest part?
The long hours!
What can you tell us about your new cafe in Newton?
It's called The Potting Shed and it opened in Newton Village last week. My partner Abbe is running it and it is named after an allotment she's recently taken on. It is a coffee shop and tea room also serving pastries and snacks. We're using Italian coffee - importing two types of beans and combining them to create our own unique blend. The local people have been really great and it is going really well so far!
What do you love about Porthcawl?
There's such a variety in Porthcawl that's difficult to find anywhere else. It's close to the M4, meaning Swansea and Cardiff are accessible within 40 minutes. We've got the seaside outside our door, a seafront that gets the sun all day and it's all just a stone's throw from the most amazing mountains. It's the variety that we love here.