Purbeck Ice Cream was born as a result of diversification from dairy farming over 30 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 renown 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 quotas 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.