North Wales bee farmer, Laurence Edwards, is turning up his honey’s temperature with the launch of a new enterprise – Hot Fire Honey.
Co-owner of award-winning Black Mountain Honey Ltd, which he runs with his partner Helen Bresser, Laurence has combined natural sweet honey with fiery Welsh-grown chillies to create a ‘hot honey’.
The result is Hot Fire Honey, which can be used as a dressing, marinade, or drizzled over a pizza for a sweet ‘n’ hot kick. It is available to buy direct from the company’s website www.hotfirehoney.co.uk.
Following two Great Taste Awards in 2020 for Black Mountain Honey, creating Hot Fire Honey (Ltd) is the next step for Laurence – a bee farmer from Nercwys who has been keeping bees for seven years.
In setting up his new business, he turned to the Welsh Honey Cluster for support and advice – and was introduced to Fine Food Cluster members Owen and Michelle Rosser of Pembrokeshire Chilli Farm.
Laurence said: “I wanted to create a fully Welsh product, so we work in partnership with Pembrokeshire Chilli Farm. They supply us with an exclusive blend of homegrown, Welsh chilli powder which we blend with our Black Mountain Honey. We are proud to work alongside a truly fantastic award-winning Welsh producer.”
Owen and Michelle Rosser of Pembrokeshire Chilli Farm said: “Laurence has created a fantastic and ingenious product, and we are delighted to be part of it. Our thanks to the Fine Food and Honey Clusters too for helping to pair-up our two Welsh food companies.”
The Food & Drink Wales Cluster initiative fosters connections between businesses in the sector. It is facilitated by Cywain, which supports the development of growth-orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales.
Welsh Honey Cluster Lead, Haf Wyn Hughes said, “The launch of Hot Fire Honey is yet another example of how by forging links and collaborating Welsh food and drink producers can create something exciting and new. In so doing, they can widen their market, and attract customers from beyond their traditional base.”
Adding to Hot Fire Honey’s Welsh credentials is cider vinegar from Llanblethian Orchards, while Laurence also worked with local artisan pizza producer A Pesto to perfect his recipe. While help with production, bottling, and labelling comes from another Fine Food Cluster member – Goch and Co.
Laurence hopes his recipe will tempt the judges’ taste buds at the Great Taste Awards. And he plans to enter his Hot Fire Honey in this year’s prestigious food and drink competition: “I think we have a great new product. Hopefully, the judges will enjoy the combination of Welsh Honey, Welsh Chillies and Welsh Vinegar.
“Our favourite way to enjoy Hot Fire Honey is drizzled over a woodfired pepperoni pizza or as an accompaniment to a Welsh cheeseboard.”
However, with the Great Taste Awards entry deadline looming, setting up the new company, creating product branding and generating sufficient quantities of product for testing at the Food Technology Centre in Anglesey, has provided a healthy challenge for the team at Hot Fire Honey.
“Without the support of the Honey Cluster, there would not have been a company at all. Everything went through really quickly, and Haf has always been incredibly supportive of our business ventures.”
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “Linking small food and drink businesses in Wales through clustering has helped many businesses through these difficult times, providing mutual support, advice and collaboration.
“Encouraging such collaboration allows the innovative and enterprising spirit at the heart of Wales’ food and drink sector to grow, and to support our businesses.
“The launch of Hot Fire Honey is an excellent example of the benefits collaboration between businesses can bring, and I wish them – and all Welsh companies entering the Great Taste Awards – every success.”