So having filled our bellies at Y Polyn, it seemed the obvious choice to go and check out Simon & Maryann Wright’s new venture, just up the road in Nantgaredig. Twitter had brought news that they had opened, just a few days earlier, at the site of the old Four Seasons restaurant. So off we went not quite knowing what to expect from Wright’s Independent Food Emporium.
I think I was just expecting, from the name, Wright’s Independent Food Emporium to be an old fashioned shop, maybe I was expecting to find Arkwright behind the counter calling for “Gr-Gr-Granville”. If that’s what I was expecting then I was wrong on every count.
Despite being housed in a converted cowshed, the interior is light and airy with lots of stone and natural wood. Our first surprise was that as well as being a shop, Wright’s is also a casual café with a simple menu written on a chalk board screwed to the wall.
Down the centre of the shop area runs a long trestle table loaded with organic fruit and veg. There’s a deli counter full of cheeses, meats and charcuterie. Dry goods are on shelves lining the walls and there are some further tables with a selection of breads and cakes.
A separate room houses the drink, both alcoholic and soft. There is the “refillable wine” option where you can initially purchase a re-sealable wine bottle for £2.50 and then keep coming back to refill it, red or white, for a fiver a time. There is a similar scheme for olive oil.
All products are of the highest quality and sourced locally where possible. Chicken is free range from True Taste Award winning Capstone of Haverfordwest. Pork comes from Nant Du Pork in Llandeilo and jolly good it is too. Organic beef and lamb is from Hazelwell Farm in Whitland.
With charcuterie from Trealy Farm and Native Breeds, smoked fish from Cnwd it looks like Wright’s is set to become a local foodie’s shopping paradise.
With what seemed to be the whole Wright family in attendance on the day of our visit I was lucky to be able to grab a quick chat with Simon about how the whole thing had come into being. Simon told me that the original idea had grown out of a conversation between him and his eldest son, Joel, whilst discovering some the restaurants that sprung up in Brooklyn during a trip to New York a few months earlier.
Shortly after returning home the opportunity arose to take over the premises that had once been home to the first restaurant that the Wrights had been in involved in. With little time to think lest they missed the opportunity they moved swiftly and the Independent Food Emporium was born.
Of course as well as just selling produce, they are also serving teas and coffees, a range of cakes and baked goods together with a simple menu of hot food, prepared by Maryann. For breakfast you can have French Toast with Cinnamon or a Bacon Bun with or without Black Pudding. Later on try a Toasted Welsh Rarebit Sandwich or a Pork Belly Bun with Slaw.
Despite the serious aromas coming from the open kitchen area, we had just eaten, so I was unable to try anything. However, the following weekend we made a quick trip to the West Wales Food Festival at the National Botanical Gardens and so made a quick detour on the way home, ostensibly to pick up some veg for Sunday Lunch but in reality to try the coffee and a Pork Belly Bun. Both were excellent, with the moist pork belly being some of the most succulent pork I’ve had in a while.
The Emporium is open Mon & Tues 11am to 7pm, Wed to Sat 9am to 7pm and Sundays 10am to 4pm. Hmm maybe my ‘Open All Hours’ analogy wasn’t that far from the truth!
If you’re looking for something that you won’t find in your local supermarket, or want a tasty snack made from the best ingredients then it’s well worth a visit. I’m certainly trying to find another reason for a visit to Wright’s Independent Food Emporium.
Four Seasons, Cwmtwrch Farm,
Tel: 01267 290678