We are Matthew and Margo Evans from Lochmeyler Farm just outside the village of Llandeloy, 4 miles inland from Solva and Mathry.
Steeped in history, Lochmeyler Farm dates back to the 12th Century and whilst it may sound rather Scottish – we believe the word Loch derives from the Welsh word – Leche – meaning pool (year 6 History project!).
Margo’s parents, Glyn and Morfydd bought the farm back in 1989 and over the years transformed it into a thriving Dairy farm and award-winning Guest House. Margo met and married local dairy farmer, Matthew from Treglemais Fawr in 2001 and Matthew came to live and work at Lochmeyler.
Two children later it soon became obvious that running a Guest House was not conducive to family life for us, and with Glyn and Morfydd’s blessing the Guest House was wound down and the accommodation changed to accommodate self-catering cottages in 2016.
However, there had always been a yearning to do something different for us and we had long toyed with the idea of making Ice-Cream – but the idea was put on the back burner whilst the children were young. However, now they are older and after another family holiday to Cornwall visiting the likes of Roskilly’s and Callestick, and backed with years of working in tourism and food we knew this was something we could do and needed to at least look into it.
As Dairy Farmers we’re always talking about the price of milk (or lack of it!) and conversation for many years around our kitchen table was the dream of doing SOMETHING – but what?
Ice-Cream has always been a hit here (just ask my Mother!) and family holidays usually centre around food and especially Ice-Cream. Back when our Big Man was only a toddler trips were made to among other places, Roskilly’s in Cornwall and it was probably there the first seed was planted for this idea.
The idea started gaining momentum – especially after another holiday in Cornwall. Trips to Roskilly’s and Callestick gave us the belief this was something we could do.
The Little Man was also keen to live in his very own Ice-Cream factory with a constant supply of Bubblegum Ice-Cream!
We started making plans …………… how on earth to start.
Firstly we bought a little ice-cream maker and started playing with recipes. The first guinea pigs were the Executive Committee of the North Pembrokeshire Grassland Society who came here for supper in November. One of the diners still goes on about the ice-cream to our delight!
Unbeknown to me a very dear friend (you know who you are!) had been chatting to a lovely eating establishment and had mentioned our Ice-Cream to them. This led to a visit from me with a cool bag and samples which seemed to go down well and plans have been put in motion (more on that at a later date).
Meanwhile we spoke to our milk buyer to see if they had any objections to our idea. They were extremely supportive and encouraging. With their blessing we attended a ‘Start up’ day at the Food Centre Wales in Horeb.
Since then the Ice-Cream has taken on a life of its own and is snowballing. We’ve been making Ice-Cream up in Horeb under the watchful eye of Gerallt, been taken under the wing of the lovely girls at Cywain who help with marketing etc, attended courses and met some amazing people on the way.
We have met some other fantastic Pembrokeshire producers and have had the pleasure of using their incredible products in our ice-cream. We are proud to say we use products from Pembrokeshire Sea Salt Co, Trwffl, Farmers Food at Home, Farm Cottage Bakery, Rob Jones’ Honey and we have many other collaborations in the pipeline for 2019.
We are delighted and astounded to supply the likes of Angel House, the Bug Farm, Crug Glas Country House, the Shed, Caerfai Farm Shop, Solva Woollen Mill, Square & Compass Inn, Spar in Square & Compass, the Harp Inn, the Bristol Trader, Amroth Arms, Bubbleton Farm Shop, Trwffl, Fishguard Bay Resort, Riverbank Café and Farm Shop, Trehale Farm, the Trewern Arms, the Welsh Collection, Perennial Garden Centre and the Salt Cellar.
We have a traditional Ice-Cream bike and a trailer which we have done various events in 2018. We were extremely proud to have done the Tour of Pembrokeshire, Fishguard Agricultural Show, Hayscastle Show, the amazing Comedy nights at Trehale Farm, the Pembrokeshire KO cup final and other rugby festivals at St Davids RFC, the DPJ Foundation Open Farm day, Croesgoch Vintage Tractor Run, private parties, a scary day at the Royal Welsh Show (big showcase!) and one of our highlights, the Pembrokeshire County Show.
November saw us opening our Ice-Cream and Milk Shake Bar in Haverfordwest in the biggest shop in Haverfordwest! (obviously joking – the old Timpsons shop). Everyone thought we were mad – and we probably are – but by summer we may have some idea what we’re doing. Personally, I think it’s a fab location and Haverfordwest seems to have welcomed us and we are so keen to do our bit to help promote our County Town.
We have lots of events planned for 2019, notably the Tour of Pembrokeshire, KAPOW for Paul Sartori, Fishguard Agricultural Show, the Pembrokeshire County Show, Cows on Tour, WI talks and meetings and even a few weddings!
The biggest adventure for us in 2019 though will be the opening of our own production unit on the farm. The equipment is in, trials are underway and in the next few weeks we will be applying for approval to produce our own Ice-Cream in Pembrokeshire. It’s a tad nerve-wracking to be breaking away from Food Centre Wales but they will be on hand to guide and support us through this step of our journey I’m sure. This step will give us more flexibility to make when we want and to add sorbets to our collection.
We look forward to having the opportunity to discuss if we can be part of your journey and story and if you are to become part of ours.
Thank you / Diolch,
Matthew and Margo Evans