This is a very last-minute article. This morning when I woke up, I realised my time as Food and Drinks editor for Quench Magazine is coming to an end soon; with our final issue’s pitches sent in, the only creative space left for me is our online outlet. Then I realised it was International Women’s day. I scrolled through social media, seeing women lifting each other up and celebrating each other’s work and I felt proud and powerful. I decided to put a tweet out on our Quench Food Twitter account, asking for the women of the food industry in Cardiff to step forward and be celebrated. I was shocked at the outcome.
Within 15 minutes our mentions were on overload. Oodles of women tweeting us with lists of other women they wanted to celebrate! I wanted to celebrate this small slither of women for two reasons: firstly, they’re Cardiff-based and so are the women of Quench, and that solidarity is important to me; secondly, we often celebrate women of history, or activists now, but why not celebrate the small businesses and the women working the daily grind? The food industry is still one with a lot of bias and gender inequality. With phrases such as ‘female chefs’ still being a thing. They’re just chefs. When I was 18 I worked in a holiday camp where I was told I would be a waitress and the guys would work the bar… because it was a girl’s job to serve food and the boy’s job to pull pints. This sort of sexism is ripe in the food and hospitality industry and I wanted to call out for women fighting that… the women changing the face of Cardiff with their restaurants, bars, management and hard work.
I warn you, this is a long list of women and it may seem monotonous or one of our less-fun articles. I’m not sorry. Today, I’m simply giving a platform for women’s voices to celebrate other women. So without further ado, I want to let you in on the women who got in touch and who lifted each other up today:
Nicki, or @Cardiffbites on twitter, is a successful, hilarious and lovely regular face on our twitter feed: based in Cardiff, she strolls the local streets looking for the best mac and cheese. Her blog invokes laughter and her social media talks honestly of her own struggles, uniting people in open discussion, as well as tackling more social issues too! She also writes for The Mouthful food magazine. She rocks. https://macnmeblog.wordpress.com/ .
Nicki gave a shout out to:
- Grace, the events team manager at Park Plaza in Cardiff City Centre, for running such a great hospitality service.
- Julie at @luvlygrub runs a delicious burger bar café in Splott. The food is homemade and has recently initiated a Save Our Ocean campaign – where they welcome anyone to come in and fill up their water bottle with their water fountain, in order to avoid buying unnecessary plastic bottles.
- The two smoky ladies, Sam and Shauna at @hangfirebbq, who have a cookbook, a restaurant, and even a tv show coming up! Killing it!
- @Bakedbymel is based in Llantwit, Mel cooks up some tasty cakes, and other baked goods in her very own bakery – #yesgirl to the lady running an independent business involving cake. The dream.
- @onemilebakery is run by Betty Mahoney. Another female bakery boss and owner!! (it is seriously so hard not to just put #yaaaas in every single lady’s overview.) Betty traded in her journalism boots back in 2012 and turned to artisan breads, soups and preserves instead. The best bit? She delivers them by bike. Fitness, nutrition, and an independent business woman! She also teaches baking classes to more than 2000 people.
- Kate (@gowercottage), an advocate for balancing mum and businesswoman life, makes brownies from home and sells them to people across South Wales. She built her business up from 2007, selling locally at first and then expanding her clientele through time. They are normally purchased as exquisite gifts and are gift-wrapped and sent out the same or next day!
- Ceri at @ArbennigCardiff, for her hard work providing a seemingly effortless service… which always means there’s lots of efficient hard work going on behind the scenes!
- @binkirees for being a landlady and hospitality consultant that always embodies ambassadorship for women in food and hospitality. She’s also the head of events for @hangfirebbq. It’s great to see the women of Cardiff helping and working with each other without competition or resentment. We truly raise each other up.
@pip_says then got in touch, Pip is a food, travel and lifestyle blogger, who although is based in Cardiff- always seems to be jetting off exploring! Her blog is inspirational due to the very fact she does what she does through hard work, saving, and then being able to travel. She gives tips on where to see, go and how to get there- with life advice such as money-saving tips! She lights up our feed with positivity every day! https://pipandthecity.com/ .
Pip bigged up:
- @Lliioangharad is a gin-loving, blog-writing, Hollyoaks-watching, foodie. She manages her own hilarious and chilled-vibe blog, as well as her @cardiffginclub blog, website and events. She loves to bring gin-fans together through events around South Wales and I really commend her for making such a community of women (and men) alike, as they bond over their tipples. Even if you don’t like gin you should definitely check out the 10 commandments on the website (they’re very funny!) http://cardiffgin.club/.
- Kacie, or @therarewelshbit, started her blog in 2010. Writing on food, travel, sight-seeing and more. Kacie also writes for the likes of Thomas Cook, Sainsbury’s Mag, Icelolly.com! She is an inspiration for all journalists who want to travel and be a success but who don’t want to be sucked into the tedious career ladder of the Big Smoke. Read her blog at https://www.therarewelshbit.com/
- @liaskitchen works with @greencityevents, to reduce Cardiff food waste. Lia is a self-taught chef, who runs pop-up food events, cooking classes and social enterprise projects around the world. She has delivered food-waste workshops in schools, campaigned with Love Food Hate Waste and the Food Standards Agency, and the Sainsbury’s Waste Less Team. You can read more about her great work at https://liaskitchen.com/. #wastelesscardiff
- @annaB_cdf co-owns @mezzalunacdf with her husband, serving tasty Moroccan and Lebanese food to the hungry tummies of Cardiff. On the side, she is a freelance Polish Translator too.
Lia (Liaskitchen) celebrated:
- @natacouk is a Portuguese bakery company, based in Cardiff. Lia would like to thank Ana for her tireless work in the bakery.
- @cardiffsio is a culture café in Cardiff Bay, in the Chapter Arts building. It is a new café, that is one of the few independent businesses in the bay! It offers vegan cuisine and uses locally-sourced ingredients. Lia wanted to celebrate the work Kate and Della do at Sio.
- @mealsquared2 is a group of ladies who collaborate the local food outlets, bars and restaurants of Cardiff to host events for people to enjoy. They boost people and their businesses up!
- Mel at @penylanpantry, runs a small deli-come-café. She offers hampers, events, catering and café products too!
- Lia also wanted to congratulate and praise Sam and Shauna at @hangfirebbq.
- Bettina at @brodbakery may not be based in Cardiff, but after Lia’s experiences with the panderia’s success and owner in Argentina, she wanted to celebrate her anyway!
- @duffyericka is a queen of all trades… I would list everything her website includes but there aren’t enough hours left in the day! She specialises in Scottish coffee liqueurs, food, teas, beer and chocolate… check out her website https://erickaduffy.com/
Kacie (Therarewelshbit) thanked:
- @cardiffbites, for being the inspiration behind her starting her own @therarewelshbit blog.
- Laura at @LPooledesign is based in Newport and Cardiff, she works to transform businesses with graphic design. An independent tech-businesswoman – we are all rooting for her! Check her out https://laurapooledesign.weebly.com/ .
- @hungrycityhippy prides herself on eco-friendly living and her blog promotes this lifestyle. Based in Cardiff, she has an award-winning blog and is commended by WWF in her fantastic work. https://www.hungrycityhippy.co.uk/ .
- @Katiebrickle has her own blog on her experiences sampling the cuisine of Europe. She jokes that she’s come a long way from eating cucumber and lemon curd sandwiches. She now dines out at some of the loveliest restaurants and writes them all up at https://www.katiebrickle.com/ .
- @melandjake99 is a luxury lifestyle blogger. She is a wife, mum and business owner who is based in South Wales. She’s proud of her 80% female readership, and she reaches women across the globe with her tips and recommendation in food, fashion and travel. Her success can be seen with the extensive list of big-name brands she has collaborated with in her blog! Keep it up Mel, you’re doing great. Check her out at http://www.thediaryofajewellerylover.co.uk/.
Thank you to everyone who sent in shout-outs and celebrations. This one’s for all the women in the food and hospitality services, the bloggers, and every other domain too! Long may we celebrate each other’s success.
Words by Charlotte Clark