The Welsh Baker Story
Croeso (That’s “Welcome” in Welsh). My name is Denise Carbone, and this is the story of my company, The Welsh Baker. I was born Denise McCarthy in Usk, Wales and I was raised in the beautiful rural setting of Llantwit Major, a hamlet not far from the capital city Cardiff. That's my mother holding me as a baby in the picture at right. My first memory of Welsh Cakes was as a little girl. I was barely tall enough to see over the kitchen counter as I waited for Mum to finish cooking them using a family recipe handed down from her mother. Oh, how the aroma filled the house! They were always a rare and special treat because of the all the time and effort required to make them.
Flash forward a few years, and I find myself a young nurse in her 20's leaving Wales to work in America. I left the UK with just a few suitcases of clothes, some pictures and mementos and of course, my family recipes. I settled in Southern California (it's warmer than Wales!) and I worked as a nurse at the Sherman Oaks Burn Center for a good long while before meeting and marrying my soul-mate, Joe. With his love and support, I gave up nursing to become a full-time homemaker, a wife and a mother to two wonderful children - first a boy - Thomas - and then a girl - Rebecca.
Around the time of the birth of my daughter, I felt my Welsh roots reawakening after a visit from my mother and her companion Bill Mahoney. Bill made Welsh Cakes for us and they were delicious. I had long wanted to introduce my traditional family recipes to my American family so I started with Welsh Cakes which was among my very favorite. Soon they became a favorite of my American family too. “So different, so delicious!” Everyone loved them. Joe would tell me “You could go into business selling these!” Easy for him to say, but what mother of two young children has the time for that?
In 2009, the “great recession” hit our family and Joe found himself made redundant after spending 25 years in Information Technology. We were at a crossroads in our life. We had always talked about starting a business we could work at together but we never found the right fit nor did we ever have a real need to pursue it. Before leaving town on his final business trip before his impending layoff, Joe turned to me and said “Denise, I bet we could make a business with Welsh Cakes. You can’t do it alone, but we can do it together!” It seemed like a neat idea to me so I set off to find a place we could do it. In very short order we found ourselves working together to figure out how to do in a big commercial way something I had only ever done in a small way. Let me tell you folks, bringing a new food to market ISN’T EASY but it IS exciting! We have taken some liberties with the introduction of new flavors (I call them “California –fusion”) and we worked to lower the fat and calories while staying true to the traditional taste and texture. We have retained the “All Natural” label, which we vow will ALWAYS remain. Please try one - we're sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
Mwynhau! (That's Enjoy in Welsh!)