Clifton Pedigree Jerseys

Abbott Lodge Jersey Ice Cream

The idea for diversifying into ice cream came rather like a thunderbolt! Steven had brought back a Jersey Cattle Society magazine from the Pattinsons dispersal sale, in August 2000, of the Calthwaite herd when he bought Vivian (daughter Lizzie’s cow). The magazine contained two particular articles that shaped our future: the first was about Richard and Christine Tonks fine herd, the second about the Roskilly family who have been making ice cream since quotas came in and both were in Cornwall.

As soon as the farm was "clean" we went to visit in October 2001. Roskilly’s inspired me completely with the ice cream and gave invaluable advice on where to go and who to speak to. Our visit to the Tonk’s was to keep the farmer happy and let him learn as much as possible about this new breed we had decided to re-stock with (no-one had told us they were a different species).

We applied to DEFRA for a grant from Rural Enterprise Scheme, this was unexpectedly frustrating but it would have been impossible to finance as tenants with a limited asset base. Permission to begin the building work had come through on 16th April and there followed 6 frantic weeks to opening, with the ice cream equipment arriving that final week and I learned how to make the ice cream on the Thursday and Friday of our opening weekend!

The tea room was opened at the beginning of June 2002 in time for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee bank holiday weekend. The first customer came, and steadily the business has grown. We make over 40 different flavours of ice cream and I employ 3 part time staff and 5 or so students for weekends and holidays.

We completed the function room the following winter; this is used for group visits, conferences, birthday parties etc. We particularly enjoy hosting farm walks for schools and people who have never been on a farm before, explaining the link between the way the countryside looks and farming, also where food comes from. The indoor play area became an obvious expansion and that was completed for Easter 2005 when we also added the pedal tractors for the under 8’s.

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Abbott Lodge Jersey Ice Cream
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