Interview: Jones o Gymru crisps

We spoke to Geraint Hughes about the only Welsh crisps, Jones o Gymru.  Read about their journey from how it all started three years ago to the successful business it is today.
Sgroliwch lawr i ddarllen y cyfweliad yn gymraeg

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How did Jones o Gymru start and who is involved?

It started around the end of summer 2011 and there are three of us. James Hughes, Michael Thomas and myself.

None of you are a ‘Jones’! How did the name come about?

We were thinking of a name for a long time. Then one day, as I was driving in my car, I thought that the most famous crisps are named after surnames. We wanted a Welsh angle and decided on Jones as it is one of the most popular Welsh surnames. We went through a few variations before deciding on Jones o Gymru.

How did you come up with the idea of making crisps from Wales?

I used to own a shop and one of the most popular crisps we used to sell was Tyrrell’s. They then changed their name to ‘Tyrrell’s hand cooked English crisps’. That’s when I realised there were no crisps from Wales.

What local ingredients do you use?

We use potatoes from Welsh farms located in Powys, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Monmouthshire and we use Anglesey Sea Salt. It’s quite hard to find potatoes that are suitable to make crisps as they need to have a specific sugar level. Wales is one of the best places in the world to grow potatoes. The soil is suitable, there’s enough rain and the clean air keeps the crops healthy.

What is the most popular flavour?

Actually, it’s the sea salt flavour, followed by cheese & onion. Our latest flavour is sweet chilli.

What are you most proud of?

I think it would have to be the fact that we work with a variety of customers. Some of our best customers are independent shops and pubs, who buy from us regularly. The brand has been welcomed by many people and we are very happy about that. Also, we set up an agreement with Virgin Trains in 2014 and they now sell Jones o Gymru crisps on the line that runs from Holyhead to London and from London to Glasgow.

What do you have set for 2015?

This year we will be the main sponsor of the Anglesey half marathon which will take place on March 1. It has since changed its name to Jones o Gymru Anglesey Half Marathon. We’re looking forward to that and are happy to be able to sponsor something which we feel strongly about, which is Wales, its landscapes and the outdoors. The clean air of rural Wales is an important aspect of our produce and that goes hand in hand with the half marathon.

What changes would you like to see?

We have managed to produce crisps of the same quality and price as our competitors in the market. I would like to see more crisps being made in Wales and have the entire chain within Wales to create a sector which would boost the economy and create jobs.

 

 

Pa bryd wnaeth siwrnai Jones o Gymru ddechrau?

Mi ddechreuon ni ddiwedd hâf 2011 a mae ‘na dri ohonym ni, James Hughes, Michael Thomas a finnau.

Does na’r un ohonych chi’n ‘Jones’! Sut ddaethoch i fyny hefo’r enw?

Roeddem ni’n meddwl am enw am hir. Un diwrnod, pan oeddwn i’n dreifio wnes i feddwl mai cyfenwau sydd ar fwyafrif o’r creision enwocaf sy’n bodoli. Fe ddaethom i’r penderfyniad mai Jones ydi un o’r cyfenwau mwyaf poblogaidd yng Nghymru, a’r un mwyaf adnawbyddus fel cyfenw cymraeg. A felly y daethom i gytuno ar Jones o Gymru.

O ble ddaeth y syniad o wneud creision o Gymru?

Roeddwn i’n arfer bod yn berchen siop â oedd yn gwerthu nifer fawr o greision Tyrrell’s. Ar ôl iddynt newid eu henwau i ‘Tyrrell’s hand cooked English crisps’, dyma fi’n sylweddoli nad oedd yna greision o Gymru.

Pa gynnyrch lleol ydych chi’n ei ddefnyddio?

Da ni’n defnyddio tatws o ffermydd cymreig o Ynys Môn, Powys, Sir Benfro a Sir Fynwy ac yn defnyddio Halen Môn. Tatws yw prif gynwys creision ac mae’n anodd cael hyd i datws sydd yn addas i wneud creision oherwydd fod rhaid iddynt gael lefel siwgr arbennig. Cymru ydi un o’r llefydd gorau yn y byd i dyfu tatws. Mae’r pridd yn addas, mae ‘na ddigon o law ac mae’r awyr iach yn lân ac felly yn cadw’r cnwd yn iach.

Pa flas yw’r mwyaf poblogaidd?

Blas halen ydi’r mwyaf poblogaidd a dweud y gwir. Caws a nionyn ydi’r ail. Chili melys ydi’r blas diweddaraf.

Beth yw eich llwyddiant mwyaf?

Mi fuaswn i’n dweud mai’r ffaith ein bod yn medru gweithio hefo gymaint o amrywiaeth o gwsmeriaid. Rhai o’n cwsmeriaid gorau ydi siopau a thafarndai annibynnol. Mae ‘na lawer ohonynt yn prynnu’n rheolaidd. Mae’r brand wedi cael ei groesawu gan bobl a rydym yn falch iawn o hyny. Flwyddyn ddiwethaf gwnaethom gytundeb hefo Virgin Trains. Mae nhw rwan yn gwerthu creision Jones o Gymru ar y lein o Gaergybi i Lundain ac o Lundain i Glasgow.

Beth sydd o’ch blaen yn 2015?

Ni fydd prif noddwr hanner marathon Ynys Môn eleni. Bydd yn cael ei gynnal ar ddydd gwyl Dewi. Mae’r enw wedi newid i Hanner Marathon Ynys Mon Jones o Gymru. Rydym yn edrych ymalen yn arw ac yn hapus ein bod yn medru noddi rhywbeth yr ydym yn falch ohono, sef Cymru, y wlad a’r tirlun a bod allan yn yr awyr agored. Mae awyr iach cefn gwlad Cymru yn elfen bwysig o gynhwysion Jones o Gymru ac mae hyny yn mynd law yn llaw hefo’r hanner marathon.

Pa newidiadau hoffech chi weld yn digwydd?

Rydym ni wedi medru gwneud creision o’r un ansawdd a phris â chreision o wledydd eraill sydd ar y farchnad. Mi fuaswn i’n hoffi gweld mwy o greision yn cael eu gwneud yng Nghymru a chael cadw’r holl gadwyn yng Nghymru er mwyn medru creu sector newydd ac i’r arian i gyd fedru aros yn y wlad a chreu mwy o swyddi.

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