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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.”

Mobiler of the Year 2023 – New Sponsor Ice Cream Direct, Soft Ice Creams

Calling all ICA Mobilers! 

Entry for Mobiler of the Year 2023 is now open!

Mobiler of the Year is a fantastic opportunity to market your business and raise your profile but don’t just take it from us, here is what some of our previous winners had to say:

“Since the award I have had more media attention than in the last forty years as a mobiler”

“I’ve noticed new people on the round coming out and congratulating us on winning and then buying an ice cream at the same time”

We have been getting a lot more bookings from new companies and event organisers”

“Even from just reaching the final you will see the rewards”

Main Sponsor

Soft Ice Cream

We are delighted to announce this year we have a new sponsor for this prestigious mobiling competition Ice Cream Direct.Ice Cream Direct are a well-established company providing national coverage for Kelly’s Dairy Soft Ice Cream Mix, their own Softee Whip brands and other ice cream mixes and have been a supporter of Ice Cream Alliance for many years.

“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”.

Rules

  • You have to be an ICA member
  • You must be available for an interview at the Expo, should you reach the finals 
  • Last year’s winner and anyone from the same company cannot enter

How to Enter

Please contact Kashif via email at kashif@ice-cream.org or call on 01332 203333 to register your interest and arrange to pay your entry fee which is £99.00 plus VAT. Once you have paid your fee, a link to a SharePoint folder will be given for you to send your entry form and supporting documents to us.

  1. Contact Details
    • Name
    • Business Name
    • Membership Number
    • Address
    • Telephone Number
    • Email
  2. Entrant’s trading history (For example how you began and how long you have been running)
  3. Usual round worked by entrant (You can include specific venues)
  4. Brief description of Vehicle used
  5. What are the entrant’s thoughts on mobiling?
  6. How does the entrant promote themselves and the UK industry?

Please include a maximum of 20 photos (especially of you in/with your vehicle/s) and any evidence of activities (such as news articles, charity events etc). 

Your application must be submitted to the ICA’s SharePoint folder account by 4.00p.m on Friday 25th November 2022. The link will be sent to you in due course.

How does the judging process work?

All applications will be reviewed and narrowed down to three finalists by the ICA Board of Directors during the December Board Meeting. The finalists will be notified of their entry into the final stage of the competition in mid-December.

All three finalists will attend an interview at the Ice Cream & Artisan Food Show on Wednesday 8th February 2023 in Harrogate. During this interview you will be asked to present your portfolio and several relevant questions regarding your role, which will be sent to you in advance.

What will I gain from winning this competition?

  • The winner will be announced at the ICA Award Night Dinner on Wednesday 8th February at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Harrogate. You will be awarded a silver trophy and certificate
  • Given valuable publicity in regional and national press through our PR partners 
  • Standard ICA membership (worth £242)
  • £1000 of product from our main sponsor Ice Cream Direct
  • Opportunity to write four articles in our ‘Ice Cream’ magazine
  • Runner up and 3rd place winners will also be awarded at the ICA Award Night with a trophy and certificate.

*All finalists receive digital artwork*

Please note, due to COVID 19 – dates and judging location indicated are subject to change. The ICA reserves the right to delay judging and therefore amend the dates associated with it, according to Government advice.

Hexham Ice Cream Van has been Voted the Best in the UK

Zoe Philipson of Tyne Valley Ices in Hexham has won the biggest prize in the ice cream sector – Ice Cream Mobiler of the Year! 

Zoe was voted best Ice Cream Van at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show 2022, run by the Ice Cream Alliance, the UK’s ice cream industry trade association.  Zoe was up against two other finalists and won after being interviewed by a panel of industry experts.  Zoe won the award for her exceptional customer service and dedication to the industry and to her local community: 

“Winning Ice Cream Van of the Year means the world to me,” explains an excited Zoe.  “After many years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice its fantastic to be crowned the best in the country.  It was a fantastic experience from start to finish and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

Tyne Valley Ices was founded in 1974 by Zoe’s parents and has a fleet of ice cream vans as well as manufacturing and wholesaling ice cream and sauces made in a factory just outside Hexham.

“My childhood summers were spent with both my parents in an ice cream van, eagerly awaiting customers. It was truly idyllic – a child’s dream.”

Zoe joined the business full-time after finishing her A levels, a little over 10 years ago. When she took over the business it had one van.  It now runs five vans, two trikes and a barrow.  In addition to their weekly rounds, Tyne Valley Ices regularly attends corporate, charity, school, village and wedding events throughout Northumberland.  It also maintains regular slots at caravan parks, playgrounds and care homes. 

For more information on Tyne Valley Ices visit: @tynevalleyices

Ice Cream Van of the Year, known as the Mobiler of the Year in the trade, is awarded every year and has been running for over 70 years.  Entrants are judged on their customer service, product quality, local community support, food hygiene excellence and a host of other attributes.  All entrants are whittled down to three finalists who are interviewed by ice cream industry experts at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show 2022 in Harrogate.

“A big congratulations to Zoe and everyone at Tyne Valley Ices who have been recognised for being the best in the business,” commented Zelica Carr, ICA CEO.  “Ice cream vans, indeed, the whole ice cream sector, have had a challenging time over the last two years.  Zoe shows that the sector has overcome these challenges and has bounced back better than ever for 2022 and the future.”

Harrogate Ice Cream Van Man Wins Gold

John Taylor from ice cream van business C and M Ices in Harrogate has won a Gold Medal for his fantastic Mr Whippy ice cream at the National Ice Cream Championships 2021 run by the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), the sector’s UK trade association. This is the most prestigious ice cream competition in the country which has been running for 76 years. 

“Winning this award, especially given the unusual situation we all find ourselves in, was a massive surprise,” exclaimed John. “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 quality products as a core part of our trading.”

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, weather permitting. He also has a van in the Coach Street car park in Skipton on market days. John and his team also cater for events and weddings.

The championships are normally held at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show in Harrogate and hundreds of products are submitted across thirteen categories. Because of the pandemic this show was cancelled.

“The ICA decided that despite lockdowns and severe restrictions on trading we needed to show our sectors resilience by continuing with these annual awards,” commented Zelica Carr, ICA CEO. “I want to thank all those who entered and our dedicated panel of judges who tasted the entries and selected winners in a socially distanced and Covid secure procedure at our head office.”

“Congratulations to John,” added Zelica. “There was very stiff competition in all the categories so to win gold is a very big achievement.”

Ice cream parlours and ice cream vans have been hard hit in this pandemic losing a total of £289million in income in 2020*. That is 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 others. That is why the ICA has launched Great British Ice Cream Staycation campaign, in which Pinks Parlour is participating, to support ice cream sales in the hospitality sector.

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

For more information on the ICA visit:  www.ice-cream.org

*The ICA surveyed members in March 2021

Mobiler of the Year 2021

A massive congratulations to Jimmy Robinson, Mobiler of the Year 2021.

“I still remember my first day out in the van how much I loved it, being my own boss, I even remember, my takings of £76, & thinking this was great. I put my heart, soul, and drive into my ice cream business. 

Through a lot of hard work and a lot of ups and downs over the years, with fantastic family support me through them. I am very proud to have the biggest operation in N.I. I am in my thirty-fifth year selling ice cream and am still thinking about how we can make improvements to our business”.

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