FARM SHOP HAS HELPED ME MOVE ON

New start for Caernar­fon butcher af­ter dou­ble tragedy:

Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Owen Hughes

ACAERNARFON butcher left haunted by a dou­ble tragedy has found a new start af­ter clos­ing his town cen­tre shop.

Dafydd Wyn Jones started up Dafydd Wyn Jones A’i Fab on Pool Street 25 years ago and ini­tially en­joyed a good trade at the store.

The ar­rival of Mor­risons and Tesco su­per­mar­kets in the town dam­aged his busi­ness.

But it was a twin tragedy that left him strug­gling to cope.

Four years ago his son Alun Wyn Jones, who worked with him in the shop, died sud­denly, aged just 22.

Then, two years ago, Chris Roberts – who had worked with Dafydd since he was 14 – col­lapsed in the shop and died, aged just 34.

It left Mr Jones, 59, find­ing it hard to come to work, and this year saw him take the step of mov­ing out of town and open­ing a farm shop at Inigo Jones, Peny­groes, as well as tak­ing on the café.

This has been a ma­jor suc­cess, both in terms of trade and help­ing him to move on from the tragic events he has en­dured.

Talk­ing about his Caernar­fon shop, he said: “We did well when we started off, we had six staff.

“Then the su­per­mar­kets started to come so trade was drop­ping every week. We won a school con­tract with Gwynedd coun­cil for 10 years – that made up for the loss of trade and I could keep all the staff.

“We lost this four years ago to Har­lech so had to lay peo­ple off as a big slice of busi­ness went.

“It was just me, Chris and my son Alun in the shop.

“Four years ago I lost my son. He was only 22 at the time, that has af­fected me quite a lot.

“Then two years ago I lost Chris (Roberts). He was 34 and had worked with me from the age of 14 – he was like an­other son to me.

“He col­lapsed in the morn­ing in the shop and passed away.

“Af­ter that, go­ing to the shop was hard – my head was all over the place.

“We tried to hold on be­cause the peo­ple of Caernar­fon had been so good to us.”

Mr Jones added: “Some­times you have to move on with life and I think both of them would have un­der­stood that as well.

“This place (at Inigo Jones) came up so I took the plunge.

“I took the café over in Fe­bru­ary and added a farm shop, which we will de­velop more over time as we learn what cus­tomers want.

“Ev­ery­thing comes from a farm just a quar­ter of mile up the road. We try to sell all lo­cal prod­ucts and are will­ing to take other lo­cal pro­duce on board.

“It has been a suc­cess – we have a lot of pass­ing trade. I plan to now put a lot of work into it to make it even more of a suc­cess.

“We are now up to six staff, which is back to where we were in Caernar­fon a few years ago.”

He added: “I would like to thank the peo­ple of Caernar­fon for all the sup­port they have given me over the years.”

● Dafydd Wyn Jones found it hard to go to his shop af­ter his son and his col­league both died within just two years

Pic­tures: AR­WYN ROBERTS

Dafydd Wyn Jones has opened a farm shop, above left, and also taken over the cafe at Inigo Jones af­ter he had to close his town cen­tre shop, right, fol­low­ing a drop in trade

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