Couple turns Welsh produce into sushi and promotes it on social media.
Two years since the launch of Swshi, west Wales couple Sion and Rhiannon Tansley have finally quit their day jobs to run their business full time. Slashing both food miles and waste, the couple deliver sustainable sushi across Wales.
Deciding that a restaurant would struggle in their rural community, in 2016 Sion and Rhiannon took to the road and launched Swshi, a mobile delivery service with a twist.
Unlike other delivery services, Swshi operates as a regional ‘pop-up’.
Publishing imminent delivery dates on Facebook, there’s a feel of an underground movement as customers patiently wait for their area to activate. The internet is key. “We provide something exciting on Instagram for people to talk to their friends about,” explains Sion.
Taking a sustainable approach, the couple carefully source both products and services from businesses close to their home in Llwynygroes. A local technician built their website and mackerel and crab, both star ingredients on the Swshi menu, are caught in Cardigan Bay. “Even our soy sauce is from Wales,” says Sion, “it’s made in the Valleys.”
Prompted by the birth of their daughter, the couple returned home to Wales in 2013, having worked over ten years across the UK for a national sushi restaurant chain.
A pre-order and set delivery system incurs very little waste or repetitive travel, making sound financial sense. To bring in extra funds, the couple run workshops and attend regular festivals with the Swshi trailer which neatly doubles as a prep kitchen and retail unit.
Initial investment was kept low as Rhiannon shopped tirelessly to find best value kit. Marketing costs were supplemented by Cywain, a Welsh government business agency.
Cracking the code of their innovative business was their first challenge. Busy with their next hurdle, Rhiannon and Sion are now working on time trials to extend delivery routes whilst ensuring their sushi remains super fresh during transport.
Marking their successful nomination at the Food Award Wales 2018 finals, Sion says “the awards were customer led so it really meant a lot to us.”
Addressing new food start-ups, Sion advises, “Draw on your knowledge and take things at a sustainable and affordable pace, stick to what you want to do and do it your way.”
Find out more at: www.swshi.co.uk.