A WOMAN who runs an ice cream business with her mother in Bognor Regis has been hailed as a ‘rising star’ of the industry as the pair prepare to open their first parlour in the town creating seven new jobs.
Georgia Alston, 26, scooped the national ‘Guido Morelli Rising Star’ award from the Ice Cream Alliance, the trade body for the UK's £1bn ice cream industry.
Her mother Katy started Pinks Vintage Ice Cream Vans and Tricycles, 17 years ago and Georgia joined ten years later, initially helping out in the summer holidays at the end of her first year at university, after her mum had broken her leg.
“I fell in love with it,” she said, and so, after writing a 24-page business plan explaining how she felt the firm could be grown, she decided to leave university to join her mother in running the firm.
She said the business had since grown from one ice cream van to two vans and a retro tricycle, which they now took to 250 weddings each year across southern England, along with parties and corporate events - including parties held by celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Keith Richards.
Now, after years of preparation and research, she said she and her mother were planning to open their first ice cream parlour in Waterloo Square, just off the seafront, where they would also make their own ice cream for the first time.
“We are hoping to open by April,” she said. “The parlour will probably employ another six or seven people.
“It will be very transparent. You will be able to see the amazing product being made. We want to deliver the same high-end product and level of service as we do with the vans and the tricycle.
“We have been researching it for a number of years and are actually off to Italy next week to start really getting into it.”
Georgia revealed that she had also gone back to university, this time to study for a degree in business management at the University of Chichester.
Zelica Carr, Chief Executive Officer of The Ice Cream Alliance, said the Rising Star award had been created in memory of a past president of the ICA, Guido Morelli, of the Alliance’s Northern Ireland division.
She said the award was now in its third year and Georgia was the first woman to win it. "It’s a great achievement for her to win this honour and it’s quite clear that she is, indeed, a rising star of the industry who is set to go far."
Written by Steve Verrill for the Ice Cream Alliance