sarahjaneBy Sarah-Jane Outten

Each month in my column I like to introduce you to a small business or entrepreneur based in Cardiff. I like to champion their skills, creativity and hard work. This month I have decided not to do that. Instead, I am going to champion over 100 small businesses in one go!

I took myself and my little family off to Cardiff’s International Food Festival in Cardiff Bay. In its seventeenth year it is fair to say that this is a well-established event. It is held over two days and attracts over 60,000 visitors, it’s easy to see why this weekend is so popular. The entire Bay was lined with over 100 stalls selling freshly cooked produce, home grown offerings and handmade goodies.

We visited on the Sunday, so this gave us the opportunity to explore the additional farmers market. Stretching from the Senedd to the Norwegian Church, the stalls here were bursting with local produce. We chose to sample a selection of offerings, you know, for research purposes! Some of our favourites included a delicious white chocolate and raspberry sponge cake baked by Delicia Cakes and some handmade ginger and lemon biscuits courtesy of Williams Handbaked. We picked up some amazing olives with feta cheese from Food nation Wales which didn’t last 5 minutes in our house!


The selection at Roald Dahl Plass would have satisfied any appetite. We were spoilt for choice when it came to some of the very best freshly cooked foods. As you wander around it is so difficult to decide what to indulge in. The sights and smells draw you to every stall, it was great to see how the food was prepared and the tasting was even better. From stunning Greek kebabs gently perfecting on BBQ’s by Meat and Greek to huge pans of delicious curries bubbling away from The Kenyan Indian. It was a mouth-watering experience to say the least. Our boys particularly enjoyed the ice-cream from Subzero and said that it was ‘some of the best ice-cream they ever had!’, high praise indeed!

Over 30 craft stalls were also attending the event, and as we wandered down to Mount Stuart Square we were impressed with the quality and variety of hand crafted goods. We saw some fantastic art work, traditional Welsh goods, homewares and jewellery. I really loved the handmade jewellery by Lilli Wen Designs. My husband treated me to a pair of beautifully handcrafted earrings. It was so difficult choosing as there were so many lovely things on display.

As the sun came out and we had been wandering around for a while we decided it was time to take a break, so we headed back to Roald Dahl Plass to enjoy some live music and a Pimms. It sounds idyllic doesn’t it? Well, it really was. We sat back and relaxed to the sounds of Li Harding and the Gerry Phillips Band. Their set included an array of blues, jazz and rock n roll. We were blown away by Li Harding’s soulful voice, this was live music at its very best.

cbay2Once again Cardiff was a great host to a brilliant event. The Bay was the perfect location, with so much accessible outside space and views over the bay, it was everything you could ask for. We indulged in the offerings of a talented group of small businesses, unfortunately too many to mention here. Please try to take a look at some of the ones mentioned in this article, they were part of a great day out – thank you from the Outten family!