DYLAN's is looking to expand its 'at home range' into major retailers across the UK.

Dylan’s, which has three waterside restaurants across North Wales, turned their attention to producing thousands of ready meals and distributing them to vulnerable people [in collaboration with other groups and charities through ‘Neges’] during the pandemic.

In its first two weeks Neges delivered food parcels to 1100 vulnerable people in Ynys Môn and Gwynedd and lunches to 2500 critical care staff Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan.

By August 2020, the project had seen 5,000 volunteer hours from Dylan’s team members, 30,212 meals delivered to the NHS across Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd and 3,292 food boxes delivered to individuals across the three counties. A total of 40,246 people in the NHS were supported by the initiative.

The project sparked the idea of an at home range.

A spokesperson for Dylan's said: "In 2020 when the pandemic hit, Dylan’s saw an opportunity to offer the best of the restaurant, the most loved dishes, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands each year, prepared by their chefs to the same restaurant recipes, all perfect to enjoy at home during lockdown. The restaurant reported a huge success in demand for it’s at home products and has continued to expand and offer the Dine At Home range via store pick up or online.

"Dylan’s Central Prep-Kitchen & Bakery was built in Llangefni (central Anglesey) in 2016.

"The hub was a half a million-pound investment to take some pressure off the Dylan’s chefs by bread, fresh seafood, meat, veg and sauces etc being prepped off-site but proved fruitful during the events of 2020 and when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and it became the central point of the business as everything changed overnight.

"Starting with just three people, the hub now employs 30 people and delivers freshly prepared produce and baked goods to Dylan’s Criccieth, Llandudno, Menai Bridge and their general store every day."

Dishes in the 'Dine At Home' range include Dylan’s Fish Pie, Dylan’s Chicken In A Basket, Dylan's Welsh Lamb Hotpot and Dylan’s Cauliflower Mac n Cheese.

Dylan's also began selling their breads, sauces, pickles and preserves on a table outside their Menai Bridge restaurant during the pandemic.

The spokesperson added: "This practice developed into a weekly market at the restaurant and then into a shop open five days a week at our welcome bar in the restaurant. This temporary site was perfect for testing products on the local market, and their pizzas and soups range was launched during this time.

"As lockdown restrictions eased, and the restaurants were allowed to reopen, Dylan’s moved its brand new ‘Baked Goods & General Store’ to the Menai Bridge High Street.

"The shop is open seven days a week and serves 1,000 customers weekly."

As well as looking to expand its home range into retailers across the UK, Dylan’s - which in 2012 had just 17 staff members employed, but now employs more than 200 people - plans to set up its own academy that will take on 12 apprentices.

Apprenticeships will include roles in front of house or as professional chef with Dylan’s affiliating with a catering college based in the area to obtain the qualification.