The boss of an Anglesey tourist attraction has hit back over a complaint on TripAdvisor about the mill he owns. Richard Holt, a former head pastry chef at two Michelin star restaurant The Gilbert Scott in London, bought the Melin Llynnon windmill at Llanddeusant, Anglesey from Anglesey Council in 2019.
Mr Holt has set about restoring the mill to full working order by 2023, while also setting up several projects to help keep profits flowing in. This has included Mr Holt’s Mônuts, a range of specialty Welsh chocolate called Goobars and the “Model Saffari” site for kids.
Each project has proven to be popular with locals and visitors alike, with the donut store being so busy people were queuing for up to two hours at peak times. Mr Holt also purchased the neighboring water mill in a bid to restore it to a fully functioning flour-producing mill, although this project is expected to take a few years before coming to fruition.
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It appears, however, that not everyone was impressed with the site, with one customer taking to TripAdvisor to complain about the mill. The customer, who now appears to have removed their comment from TripAdvisor, had said that the mill’s new offerings were “so disrespectful to this beautiful mill” referring to the quirky and colorful designs the Mr Holt’s branding uses.
A post on the Melin Llynnon Facebook page responded to the criticism, and said: “Someone said yesterday that Mônuts, GooBars and our Model Saffari are “so disrespectful to this beautiful mill” (without which the mill would be closed and stand very little chance of ever turning again, but whatever).I would like to remind everyone that we are here for the mill and everything else is designed to draw more people here and future-proof the business.We also like to have a lot of fun.
“We are delighted to say the the windmill is being repaired and will be working again at some point in 2023. Flour will probably take a little longer to achieve since we have a lot of obstacles ahead of us regarding new food safety standards. Being obsessed with Anglesey windmills and having made Melin Llynon my life, this hurt a bit. This is why I don’t ever check TripAdvisor … This will be on my mind for days now, despite breaking the record number of visitors to the mill!”
The post prompted over 300 responses offering support for the business, and telling Richard to “ignore the haters” with even former visitors from Australia stating how good the Mônuts were. This prompted another emotional response from the owner, who said: “The emotional aspect of running a business is by far the hardest part … But I can’t comprehend the support you have shown today. It made me realize that we rarely show the same appreciation to you.
“We have never felt the need to print leaflets because your word of mouth fills our carparks everyday. We know our products are more expensive than supermarkets, yet you buy them anyway. The windmill hasn’t turned in three years, yet you turn up and return all the time.My dad has his own full time business, but he will often be seen attending the carpark because he loves meeting you.
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“We all get recognized in public, including the Mônut Ninja, and you are so incredibly kind to us. I can’t go to the pub without being bought a pint or 3! You send gifts to the mill. You send friends to the mill. Above all, you’ve always been there when we’ve needed you.”