Company History

Company History

Roots

Purbeck Ice Cream was born as a result of diversification from dairy farming 29 years ago. My husband Peter, myself ~ Hazel and variable ‘help’ from our three boys of 6 months, 1 & 2 years’ ran a 60 Friesian dairy herd on 126 acres of lush green hillside directly opposite the historic remains of Corfe Castle in the heart of Dorset. The Isle of Purbeck is renowned for its outstanding beauty, with the result that during the summer months the population almost doubles with people basking in the countryside, idling away the hours on the beaches or pushing themselves to the limit on bikes up and down the surrounding hills.

With the introduction of milk quota’s we found it impossible to maintain the farm as a viable enterprise and had to come up with something pretty fast that we could do with our lovely milk that didn’t result in penalties for over production or tread on anyone’s toes by embarking on a venture which was already being done locally.

Along with the occasional pub crawl we had developed quite a passion for ‘ice cream crawls’ and it seemed a natural progression to make our own ice cream….but sooooo much better than anything we had ever come across on our ‘crawls’. We were adamant from the start that our ice cream should be utterly natural with no artificial additives and most certainly not coloured ~ who needs a ‘fairy liquid green’ in their mint ice cream….that was not for us. After we hit upon ice cream we beavered away finding out everything we could so we knew exactly what we were getting into….we were in for a few shocks along the way!

We started production in a converted building next to the dairy, one of us milking and skimming some of the milk for double cream and the other batching up small tubs of Purbeck Ice Cream. We flipped a coin to decide who would drive off in our little van complete with chest freezer in the back and who would stay at home looking after the boys.

The Future

Many people ask us just what the future holds for Purbeck Ice Cream and, as we get older and slightly more wrinkly (to Peter and me!), one thing we know is that we have no plans to sell the business and will continue to run this family business making what we feel is the best possible ice creams and sorbets whilst delivering an exemplary service. With Patrick managing all sales and two of our sons following in our footsteps, our team has evolved with managers in place to harness and direct the skills of each team member for the benefit of the business and our customers. Over the years we have learnt that life is a series of hurdles with a never ending set ahead and, in order to survive, we must face these, assess the height, skill and nerve needed, and leap nimbly over them and our team is in the best possible position to do just that so….onward and over we go!

Little Steps

One step first came about at the end of 2001 when we were approached by Springbourne Fire Station in Bournemouth who asked us if we could make a ‘chilli’ ice cream for a Mexican Evening. We always enjoy a challenge and set to work blending various concoctions to come up with a product to satisfy the hottest of Firemen! After several trials we had a product not too mild and not too strong that it would take your head off but leaving you with a wicked giggle! The Mexican evening was a roaring success with the ‘chilli theme’ running throughout the party with foods, beers and our
ChilliRED ice cream proving a real hit.

ChilliRED is a simply delicious product of Purbeck Ice Cream with minced red chillis. It remains cool on the tongue and kicks off on the throat leaving you laughing out loud at the stunning effect! At first you taste the pure milk and cream of the ice cream on your tongue where the majority of your taste buds are. After a short delay you think…..’Mmmmmm scrumptious, mighty fine ice cream with hints of chilli but where’s the kick?’ then you swallow and…’whamm, wow, gadzooks..hot, hot, hot….giggle, giggle!’ Because there are few taste buds in your throat, the kick dissipates quickly and you are left with thoughts of how unusual a product
ChilliRED is, cold and hot, sweet and savory, a whole new dimension of ice cream.
When chefs tasted it they immediately went into raptures on what/where and how it can be used…little did we know just where this would lead. We have a range of recipe suggestions and creative ideas based on our chefs ideas on how to make the most of
ChilliRED be it lacing soups and sauces or gracing steaks and seafood. Rick Stein enjoys serving it with steaks!

Chefs Secret Weapon ~ Spice Rack

Following on from the hugely successful and versatile
ChilliRED, the team was let loose to develop more outstanding and courageous flavours for chefs to use in their culinary delights chiefly as accompaniments to standard courses to add that little twist of flavour and excitement. New blends of savoury ice cream were born with Stem Ginger harmonizing with Thai foods, Dorset Chai Latte served with toasted cinnamon roll and Dorset Truffle delicious served with fresh pasta!

Sales

We supply direct from the farm throughout Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire to our local customers including The National Trust, very many prestigious Hotels & Restaurants, lots of the best independent discerning food shops, farm shops and deli’s, beach front scooping parlours and seasonal tourist attractions.

Deliveries go to the ship stores for the P & O Cruise Ships and into the heart of London to some of the best hotels, rather gorgeous eateries and sumptuous restaurants. We also supply 80ml flight tubs for airlines outward and inbound flights including being flown out to Athens and Rome – yippee!

For trade customers currently outside direct delivery areas, we have several friendly and reliable Wholesalers who distribute nationally, specializing in foods of outstanding excellence increasing our distribution to include most of the UK.

Fin Hazel Hartle 30/01/2017

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Purbeck Ice Cream

Lower Scoles Farm
Kingston
Wareham
Dorset
BH20 5LG
01929 480090