A barman turned barista is brewing up a special Dee Valley coffee for a top food festival.
Tim Parry quit his job pulling pints to set up his own company, Mug Run, and create his own perfect blend of roasted coffee beans.
The 35-year-old is now aiming to capture the scents of the Dee valley to serve up in a cup, at Hamper Llangollen Food Festival on October 18-19.
Now recognised as one of the UK’s top 10 food festivals, Hamper Llangollen is supported by rural development agency Cadwyn Clwyd.
Cadwyn Clwyd’s contribution came via the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) by the European Union and the Welsh Government.
The event at the Royal Pavilion will include a wide range of food and drink exhibitors along with demonstrations by top chefs, along with a Rail and Ale evening excursion on board a steam train with Llangollen Railway.
Tim’s one-off Llangollen coffee blend will be joining a host of new food and drink launched at Hamper Llangollen, including chocolate flavoured sausages, bread made with real gold and truffles infused with Wrexham Lager.
He said: “I want to capture the aromas of Llangollen, such as the heather that grows high on the hills above the town, with a hint of the smokiness of the railway and I think the local water supplies will help with the final flavour as well. It will be only being on sale at Hamper Llangollen – though I will have my other blends of coffee on sale there as well.”
He quit his job in Rhyl’s Wetherspoons to fulfil his dream of working for himself, establishing Mug Run last December.
“I wanted to change career, and I went on a short break to Bath, where I saw a tea emporium: a shop filled with different blends of tea. I am a serious coffee drinker, and I do love my espressos – so I decided that I’d work with coffee, rather than tea,” said Tim.
“I have worked in catering for several years – before Wetherspoons I was a barman at Shooters in Rhyl, plus I worked at Woolworths for eight years, until it closed. So running my own company is a good way of combining all my skills.
“I go to London to buy my beans – which are all sourced ethically – in small batches. Then I roast them back in Rhyl, in the kitchen of the house I share with my girlfriend Fay, who is training in holistic therapy at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University.
“The beans are roasted in a drum rotator, over a naked flame, but I am in the middle of building my own off-grid coffee roaster – that means it doesn’t use electricity, instead it’s wood fired, which will help give the coffee an extra depth of flavour.
“One day I’d love to have my own café, serving the perfect cup of coffee. I already have a pop-up cafe on Fridays at Ruthin Country Market, which has just moved home from the Market Hall.”
Tim’s beans can be found at farm shops in Pwllglas and Rhos on Sea, plus at Denbigh deli Snow in Summer, while Annie’s tea Shop in Ruthin serves up coffee made from his beans.
Helen Roberts, from Cadwyn Clwyd, said: “Hamper Llangollen is a prime example of how Cadwyn Clwyd is helping to stimulate the local economy. The event will bring a large amount of people – and extra money – into the area, whether they are visiting for the day or staying the weekend.
“There is a great interest in small scale artisan food and drink and we know that Hamper Llangollen will attract thousands looking for locally sourced and produced items.
“It’s excellent that many of the stall holders are creating their own one-off items just for the event, such as Tim’s Llangollen blend of coffee. It means that visitors will be able to buy a wide range of bespoke foods, not available anywhere else, plus the companies’ usual products. “