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SPOTLIGHT: Geraint Jones

Geraint and Beryl Jones
This month we find out about Geraint Jones 4x4 near Carmarthen. Marie from the company answers the questions.

Mis yma ry’n ni’n clywed am fusnes Geraint Jones 4×4 ger Caerfyrddin. Marie o’r busnes sy’n ateb y cwestiynau

Name of Business: Geraint Jones 4×4

Contact: Marie Jones – 01267 290900 

Location: High Noon Garage, Whitemill, Carmarthen SA32 7EN

Website and socials: geraintjones4x4.co.uk / facebook.com/Geraintjones4x4 

History of the business:

Dad, Geraint, ddechreuodd y busnes ar y fferm yn 1968, cyn symud i garej Wern ar yr A40 yn Nyffryn Tywi. Yn y flwyddyn 2000 mi wnaeth e wireddu breuddwyd, gyda Mam, Beryl, wrth ei ochor, ac agor y safle lle ry’n ni nawr yn hen gaffi High Noon.  Wnes i ymuno â’r busnes yn 2005 pan roedd iechyd Dad yn wael ac erbyn hyn mae’r chwaer fawr, Diane, a’r brawd-yng-nghyfraith yn rhan ohonno hefyd. Yn anffodus bu Dad farw yn 2021 – ond mae gennym lu o atgofion melys.  

Geraint – Dad – started the business from the family farm in 1968. In 1986 he moved to Wern Garage, situated on the A40 in the Towy Valley, where the business went from strength to strength.  

He then had the opportunity to purchase the old High Noon café and petrol station. He reopened the petrol station before starting on what had been his lifetime dream – building a large indoor showroom.

In May 2000, the hard work paid off and the dream came true – with his wife Beryl by his side, he opened Geraint Jones High Noon 4×4 Centre.

In 2005, Dad’s health took a turn for the worse and I came to help in the business. I’m the youngest daughter and I was only supposed to be here a year – but here I still am, years later! Dad made a full recovery and was soon back behind his desk and we were working together. 

In 2012 Dad’s health took another turn and he underwent serious hospital treatment, but the business kept growing. Diane and Gavin, my eldest sister and my brother-in-law also came to work in the business.  In 2016 Neil our main mechanic joined the team – and he’s my partner. So we are a real family business!  We had several years of being shown the ropes by Dad, and he was the best teacher we could have asked for.

Dad’s health was deteriorating but he kept coming to work, a place he loved, but sadly in June 2021 we lost him.  It was a difficult year for us as a family and as a business, but we have a lifetime of memories to cherish. 

What do you do?

Gwerthu pob math o 4x4s –yn newydd ac ail-law – rhywbeth i bawb!

We sell 4x4s of all kinds!  With an indoor showroom and outdoor space, we can keep a large stock of 4×4s – any make, any model, new or preowned. Whatever size of 4×4 you’re looking for we will have something to suit you.

What’s been the biggest change in the business?

Yn sicr mae pethau wedi newid dros y blynyddoedd.  Efallai y peth mwyaf, slawer dydd fyddai’r ffermwr, a’r gŵr fyddai hwnnw gan amlaf, eisiau Land Rover a’r wraig yn cael y car…erbyn heddiw mae’r ‘pick-up’ yn neud y cyfan, y gwaith caled ar y fferm a’r gwaith hamdden.

Times have definitely changed in the industry, years ago the farmer would have his Land Rover and the wife would have her car, but we now find that a pick up can do as one vehicle – to do the hard work and the towing on one hand, but also works as a nice vehicle for any leisure purposes on the other.  

Best advice you’ve ever received?  

Dad oedd yr athro gorau – ddysgodd e popeth i mi pan o’n ni’n blentyn yn mynd i weld cwsmeriaid gydag e.  A ro’n ni’n gwario’r gwyliau mewn sioeau ac yn helpu gyda phopeth a dyna sut wnaethon ni ddysgu.  Roedd Dad yn credu’n gryf, os gwneud rhywbeth, gwneud e’n iawn.

It’s not so much advice but as I say, Geraint – Dad – was the best teacher.  He taught me everything I know about the business.  Even when I was a child and I went with him to see a customer and he was doing the deal, I was learning. As children, our holidays were spent at the shows, and we’d get involved with the setting up, everything, and that’s how we have learned.  He used to say, “If a jobs worth doing we might as well do it right.”

The most satisfying moments have been when we have been awarded the best displayed trade stand at The Royal Welsh Show.  We’ve won it a few times now, it just gives us a great sense of satisfaction, as so much work goes into these events with months of planning. It’s not a case of turning up the day before, so to win means a lot.  

And now our children come along with us to the shows and they are learning, just like we did as children.

Have you had some customers return to you for many years?  

Yn sicr.  Rwy’n delio nawr gyda plant y cwsmeriaid oedd Dad yn delio gyda – ac rwy’n joio cofio’r hen ddyddiau gyda nhw.  Mae’n cwsmeriaid ni mwy fel ffrindiau erbyn hyn, ac maen nhw dros Gymru gyfan.  

Absolutely. I now deal with the children of the customers that Dad used to deal with, and I love reminiscing about the good old days with them.

Our customers have become more like friends, and we deal with customers all over Wales.

What’s the funniest/strangest question a customer has ever asked you?  

Llawer – rwy’n cofio un cwsmer yn dweud wrthai am y tro wnaeth ei ddadcu brynu fan wrth Dad a talu amdano fe’n rhannol gyda buwch godro!  

There have been many, I remember one customer telling me the story of when his grandfather had bought a van from Dad when he had first started the business and he part-exchanged a milking cow as payment!  I am glad those days are over as I can value a 4×4 but wouldn’t know where to start with dairy cows!

What would you say to potential customers about why they should come to you?

Rydym yn gwrando ar beth maen nhw eisie.  Dyna un o’r pethau mawr wnaeth Dad ddysgu i fi.

We listen.  It was one of the things my father taught me from a very young age – treat everyone the same, talk to everyone, offer everyone a cup of tea and listen to what they say.  That’s how you’ll give the customer what they want.  I hope I still put that advice into practice – and they’ll be offered a cup of tea!

Will you be attending any spring/summer events this year?  

Yn sicr.  Mae llawer o waith yn mynd fewn iddynt, ac mae llawer o “stress”, ond mae nhw hefyd yn dod â llawer o fwynhad.  Dyma’n ffenest siop ni a ni’n cwrdd â chymaint o bobol yn y sioeau. 

Ohhh yes and they are the events we love to hate!  The amount of work that goes into them can be very stressful, but also very rewarding.  They are our shop window, we meet people from all over, meet current customers who are always glad of a sit down and a cuppa and meet new people who then hopefully turn into customers. 

We have found over the years that people remember seeing us at these events; the Royal Welsh is held in July, but we might get someone walk into the showroom in November and say, “Oh yes you’re the stand with all the flowers around the 4×4’s.”   Which makes mam very happy as she’s the one in charge of growing all the flowers!

What next for the business? 

Dyw pethe ddim yr un peth ers colli Geraint – ond mae ganddom y wybodaeth a’r angerdd i gario mlaen – gobeithio am hanner canrif arall!  

Since we lost Geraint, it has been difficult, and it’s not the same – but Beryl, Diane and myself know we have the knowledge and the passion to carry on, and we have a great team behind us.  We were taught by the best so now it’s up to us to carry on maybe for another 50 years!

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