Opening a business is all about timing and opportunity. Opening a business at the start of a nationwide lockdown might be considered ill advised. However, Glynneath resident Dean Waters identified that the need for his business idea in his local area was more pressing than ever.
Returning from the Cotswolds to Glynneath just over two years ago, former chef Dean could see that there were limited choices to buy fresh food conveniently. Most shopping trips involved traveling to Neath or further afield, which for some residents in the community is difficult. Dean was determined to do something about this. Using his catering experience, Dean’s idea was to open a local quality fresh food store. Then Covid- 19 hit. Rather than shelve his plans for the future Dean realised that his community would need a local supplier of fresh produce now more than ever. Dean pushed on with his plans and on the 26th March, 2020 he opened up his business ‘Fresh and Fine Foods’ in the Oddfellows building in central Glynneath . Stocking fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, eggs, flour, pasta and a range of other foods. The shop has been busy and Dean is hoping it will become an established part of the community.
When he returned to Glynneath, Dean’s local Jobcentre Plus referred him to the employment support service Workways+ to help him return to work. Workways+ assigned Dean a dedicated mentor, Neil Sullivan to work with him to get back into employment. Neil helped him with skills training and purchasing kit. Neil also helped Dean to get his confidence back. Workways+ now offers a telephone service so that people can get employment support without leaving their homes. Officers employed by Neath Port Talbot Council deliver Workways+ within Neath Port Talbot. Neath Port Talbot Council part funds the service.
Dean said, “After coming back to Glynneath there was a bit of an adjustment period with regards it being quiet compared to where I was living. However, this is a wonderful community and despite feeling a little down when I first got back, I have adapted to the pace of life here. Living on my own, needing an income and being out of work was hard and Workways+ was a definite positive influence for me. They helped me with practical support like identifying and funding training and purchasing kit I needed. They also offer that nice human touch, just being there to talk things through and being positive. They have been a great help.”
Fresh and Fine Foods operate a delivery service starting from £1 and orders can be phoned through. BACS transfer payments and cash are accepted.
For more details or to place an order please call 01639 865656 or see their regularly updated Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreshandFineFoods/shop
All the help Workways+ can give is now available over the telephone. For Neath Port Talbot Workways+ please telephone 01639 684250 or see www.workways.wales for your nearest office.
Workways+ is part funded by the European Social Fund via the Welsh Government.