Name: Tony and Nerys Simpson, Rachael and Richard Simpson

Business: Chirk Trout Farm and Smokery

Opening hours: Farm shop open from 9am until 4.30pm from Monday to Friday, and Saturday 10am until 4pm, closed on Sunday

Address: Castle Mill Road, Chirk, LL14 5BL

When did you open your business and why?

We OPENED the business on Bonfire Night in 2000 – we have the trout farm and a smokery and farm shop. It was a business my husband wanted to go into, he’s a trained trout and fish farmer, and it was a family business we wanted to follow on in a way. When we initially bought the farm, it was just a trout farm, and we’ve added the farm shop and smokery to it to accompany it.

Why in this location?

The farm came up for sale, so with it being in the area, it was too good an opportunity – it was on our doorstep pretty much.

Over the last 12 months with the Covid situation, people have supported us even more than ever and people are shopping locally a lot more and want to support businesses local to them.

People have said to us this year that they don’t really need to go to supermarkets – they can get their fish here, vegetables and the fruit and veg shop in Chirk and so on – so I think the support has been great.

We usually get good support from tourists too when they visit.

Tell us about your business

We’re one of the only registered trout farms in Wales now, so there aren’t too many of us about.

People who come into the shop and want trout can wait while we physically go out and catch them for them, so it is fresh trout to go home with for tea or for a barbecue.

There are not too many smokeries about, so we have that side too – we smoke everything on site, and people can bring us whatever they want and we’ll smoke it for them.

People grow their own pigs in the area and want the bacon smoked, so we can do that. We’ve also added a fishing lake to the farm the year before last, so people are able to come fishing here now.

Obviously it has been a difficult year from the fishing point of view because of restrictions.

The fishery is closed at the moment but the farm shop remains open.

We deliver live fish all over Wales and we have delivered as far as Suffolk. We supply a lot of local restaurants in Chirk,Llangollen and Shrewsbury – it is nice to have support from other local businesses – we smoke the bacon for Jamie Ward’s butchers in Chirk too. It’s nice to support each other locally.

What is your proudest moment?

Our smoked trout was served on the Orient Express which was great.

The past 12 months has made us feel really proud with the support of the community too. We’re a family business, so we really try to offer a family feel to the customers.

Any strange requests?

One customer once asked for some of the guts from the trout which had been gutted, so he could make a Roman Soup – we’d never been asked for that before.