The Shotton couple, who revived Britain’s oldest biscuit back in 2013,
Four years ago, James Shepherd and his wife Natasha recreated the historic Aberffraw Biscuit after hearing about it on The Great British Bake Off.
The scallop shell shaped biscuit, which dates back to the 13th century, originated from a Welsh King of the Anglesey region.
The couple set about recreating the fabled biscuit and won plaudits all round when they launched it at Llangollen Food Festival in 2013.
The historic biscuits can be purchased at Selfridges flagship store on London’s Oxford Street.
The couple will be returning to the Llangollen Food Festival this year, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The event, which has been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the UK by the Daily Telegraph and Independent newspapers, will be staged at the iconic Llangollen Pavilion on October 14 and 15.
James, originally from Llandudno, and Natasha, a Welsh-speaker from Trefriw, met at Leicester University, married 14 years ago and have two children.
Recalling how it all began, James said: “We started chatting about hearing about the original Aberffraw Biscuit on Bake-Off and realised that despite the fact we were both from North Wales and lived here all our lives, we had never even heard of it although it was supposed to be Britain’s oldest biscuit.
“After working out our business plan we set up production at a unit in Llanrwst with me making the biscuits and even designing the packaging.
“From the start we wanted everything to be as authentic as possible, from the unique stamp for the scallop shape of the biscuit to the ingredients which include only top quality British products.
Since recreating the classic treat, the couple’s fledgling business has gone from strength to strength and they are now exporting around the world.
James continued: “Over the past four years the business has just grown. In fact, the scale of it now gets a bit staggering at times and I sometimes have to pinch myself as a reminder that it’s all really happening.
“Apart from outlets across the UK, we’ve been selling 500 packets at a time to Dean & Deluca, an up-market chain of stores for their Kuwait branch and Gourmet Grocery, a high-end deli in Singapore, has been taking a similar order.
“After doing a couple of tasting sessions with Selfridges they are now taking them for their flagship store in London’s Oxford Street. Apart from that we’re doing a good online trade through Amazon.”
To cope with the recent increase in sales, James and Natasha now have two production units in Llanrwst and employ five staff to help them.
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