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Parlour of the Year 2024 – Otter Valley Ice Cream & Field Kitchen – Winner

The Parlour of the Year Competition 2024, sponsored by RSS Hereford has now concluded for this year. We have been overwhelmed with the quality of exceptional entries this year and only one entrant avails as the winner. We congratulate Otter Valley Ice Cream & Field Kitchen as the winners and commend them as the best ice cream parlour in the UK and Ireland.

The Bond family have been making Gelato Ice Cream on their 4th generational dairy farm since 2009, using milk from their own cows. Based near the busy A30, it was a perfect opportunity for them to create a summer house to sell their delicious treats. Their popularity rapidly increased, entering numerous competitions all over the UK, winning many regional and national awards and have been featured on numerous radio shows and have even presented their award winning ice cream to the now King and Queen!

Supporting the community by running raffle prizes, collection boxes, fundraising and supporting local sports teams, they pride themselves in making everything themselves when it comes to making gelato and never cut corners when making their gelato. This year they celebrate 15 years of making Gelato Ice Cream.

Congratulations to Otter Valley Ice Cream & Field Kitchen for being the winner of the Parlour of The Year 2024!

Guido Morreli Rising Star Award 2024 – Winner

Zara Taylor from Stafford was awarded the Guido Morelli Rising Star 2024 accolade at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show, an award which marks 30 years since the 41-year-old started out selling ice creams as a teenager.

She joined Tony’s Ices, a family-run enterprise established in 1992, and has risen to the role of director, working to acquire new business opportunities and effectively managing the company’s financial aspects.

Ms Taylor said she was thrilled to come out on top as the great and the good from the country’s ice cream world came together in Harrogate in North Yorkshire to celebrate their 80th anniversary.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be recognised with this fantastic honour and in many ways it’s a dream come true.

“I started in ice cream as a 13-year-old doing a Saturday job and I’ve worked really hard over the years and now have four vans.

“Everyone wants to be recognised for doing something in life and doing well at something and this is my thing and I really couldn’t be happier.”

“Just being nominated was great and a real achievement so when I won, you can imagine I was absolutely thrilled but, frankly, I didn’t expect to win so when I went to pick up my award I just didn’t know what to say.”

“It was a brilliant event and I’m just so happy to be recognised in this way and now I can’t wait for the season to get underway.”

Makers and sellers of ice cream gathered at the Yorkshire Event Centre to showcase the best of the best with an award ceremony capping the three-day expo, organised by the Ice Cream Alliance, the trade body for the UK’s £1.4 billion per year ice cream industry.

The Ice Cream Alliance president Katy Alston, owner and founder of Pinks Vintage Ice Cream in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, said she was delighted with this year’s event and paid special tribute to Zara Taylor.

She said: “To win the Guido Morrelli Rising Star 2024 award is a fantastic achievement and Zara is a worthy winner.

“This year’s expo was a big one for us as it’s our 80th anniversary and we couldn’t be more delighted as we’ve had so many more visitors this year at the conference centre.

“It shows the ice cream industry is thriving in the UK and is very much the best in the world.

“It’s our biggest award ceremony ever and shows that ice cream is very much at the heart of Britain’s heritage.

“For me the biggest reward is seeing so many happy children tucking into their favourite treat and we’re committed to seeing it continue.”

Mobiler of the Year 2024 Winner: Loraso Ice Cream

Delighted Paolo Loraso says he has realised an ice cream dream by scooping a top accolade at the industry’s prestigious annual awards ceremony.

Paolo, aged 34, owner of Loraso Ice Cream, which specialises in providing ice cream vans, modern and vintage, operates in Leighton Buzzard, Woburn and surrounding villages in Bedfordshire.

And his dedication to the Milton Keynes business paid off handsomely at this year’s Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show by winning the Mobiler of the Year 2024 category as the great and the good from the country’s ice cream world came together in Harrogate, North Yorkshire to celebrate their 80th anniversary with their biggest-ever event.

Makers and sellers of the family favourite treat gathered at the Yorkshire Event Centre to showcase the best of the best with an award ceremony capping the three-day expo, organised by the Ice Cream Alliance, the trade body for the UK’s £1.4bn per year industry.

Having finished third in the 2023 awards, Paolo said reaching the summit is even sweeter before paying tribute to those contestants who provided such stiff competition.

He said: “This is such a ‘wow’ moment for me, a dream come true if you like. I’m competing against such top opposition. I’ve worked in ice cream my entire adult life and even helped my dad out in the trade as a kid.

“I have had to adapt in recent years due to the problems caused by the pandemic. During that time, I even helped out my community by doing some deliveries of basic essentials and even toilet roll.

“During that period, you really had to think on your feet, you own your own business and you have to plot a way to survive.

“But It’s been great to get back to doing what I do best and this is a career highlight for me there is no question about that. It’s really exciting and I couldn’t be happier.”

The Ice Cream Alliance president Katy Alston, owner and founder of Pinks Vintage Ice Cream in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, was delighted with this year’s event and paid special tribute to Paolo.

She said: “He is a worthy winner and you could tell by his reaction that winning meant the world to him. It’s great to see. This year’s expo was a big one for us as it’s our 80th anniversary and we couldn’t be more delighted. We’ve had so many more visitors this year at the conference centre.

“It shows the ice cream industry is thriving in the UK and is very much the best in the world. It’s our biggest award ceremony ever and shows that ice cream is very much at the heart of Britain’s heritage.

“For me the biggest reward is seeing so many happy children tucking into their favourite treat and we’re committed to seeing it continue.”

Harrogate Man

HARROGATE MAN WINS ICE CREAM VAN 2023

Harrogate man, John Taylor from ice cream van business C and M Ices in Harrogate has won one of the most prestigious awards in the ice cream sector – Ice Cream Van 2023.  The award was announced at the National Ice Cream Championships Gala Dinner, the ICA Award Night 2023 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Harrogate last night.  The competition is run by the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), the sector’s UK trade association.

Ice Cream Van 2023 (known as Mobiler of the Year in the trade) is sponsored by Ice Cream Direct in Doncaster.

“We are proud to sponsor the 2023 Mobiler of the Year competition, providing us with the opportunity to support and celebrate the Great British tradition of mobiling and the dedicated people within the industry”.

“Winning this award is the biggest honour of my life,” exclaimed John, Harrogate man.  “I am not often lost for words but the moment it was announced I was literally speechless.  As an ice cream van operator, you can’t get a much more prestigious award, and it proves to everyone we put our all into our business.”

C and M Ices was established in 1889 and remains a family business.  John is the 4th generation and has been working in ice cream vans since he left school (over 25 years ago).  John can be found in one of his vans pitched outside the Victoria Shopping Centre in Harrogate most days (April to September), weather permitting.  John and his team also cater for events and weddings.

“Congratulations to John,” added Zelica. “There was very stiff competition among the three finalists – so to win is a very big achievement.”

For more information on C and M Ices visit: www.harrogateicecream.co.uk

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ICA Working Hard to Save Our Sector

‘The Great British Ice Cream Staycation – ice cream smiles, today, tomorrow and always’

We are mobilising our members, the wider industry and other parts of the hospitality sector to promote their products to all those holidaying in the country this summer. Our campaign, The Great British Ice Cream Staycation,  is encouraging businesses of all types and sizes to get involved. A free, downloadable DIY Marketing Toolkit is available now at www.ice-cream.org/webform/great-british-ice-cream-staycation  

“Ice cream parlours and ice cream vans have been hard hit in this pandemic losing a total of £289 million in income in 2020*,” comments ICA CEO Zelica Carr. “And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you add lost ice cream sales in cafes, restaurants and hotels and the economic impact to businesses along the supply chain – manufacturers, flavour houses, wholesalers and many others.”

The Great British Ice Cream Staycation campaign is all about reminding people what a delicious, fun, happy and affordable treat ice cream is and what iconic childhood memories it generates. Of course, it is also about supporting our members and the ice cream industry to safeguard their survival.

“This campaign is not about dictating to businesses how to market their products,” adds Zelica Carr. “It’s about harnessing everyone’s creative flair and dynamism and providing them with the tools – across digital marketing, PR, influencer marketing, POS – to maximise sales and bounce back from a truly horrid twelve months. We are providing marketing materials, guides and templates free to everyone who wants it – not just to ICA members.”

The ICA surveyed members on the effects of the pandemic on business in 2020*. It revealed that 90 ice cream parlours have closed in the last twelve months and that 800 mobilers have ceased trading over the same period.  However, the governments Furlough Scheme has been a life saver for many businesses with up to 62% of staff furloughed at some point during the pandemic.

Zelica Carr concludes: “The ICA was founded just after the Second World War to promote a fledgling sector during the post-war years. The ice cream industry successfully expanded since then but has faced its biggest threat since the war from the pandemic. We felt the ICA had to play a major role in helping our sector to recover and flourish again.”

To download the FREE Great British Ice Cream Staycation DIY Marketing Toolkit or to find out how your hospitality, tourism business or trade association can get involved, visit www.ice-cream.org/webform/great-british-ice-cream-staycation

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