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FOOD: The delicious story behind Saffron Ice Cream Company

Dominic Parry
Dominic Parry

Aged just 10, Dominic Parry complained to his Mum about the lack of ‘decent ice cream’ locally. So, when he grew up, he decided to churn his own, and is now the proud owner of Saffron Ice Cream Company

-What inspired you to launch Saffron Ice Cream Company?
A passion for food, a love of seasonality and wanting to showcase the quality ingredients we have in our very special local area. I wanted change as I said to my Mum back when I was about 10: ‘There’s nowhere to get a decent ice cream around here!’. How very grown up of me! Back in the very early days someone quoted us as being ‘a celebration of the local area’ and it’s kind of stuck. We want to be the best and to make the people of Saffron Walden and the local area proud of what we do as we’re using the ‘Saffron’ name.

-Tell us about that first batch of ice cream you made in 2010 with your mum?
Strawberry ice cream! We purchased some strawberries from what was Grace’s Farm Shop just outside Saffron Walden in Wimbish and set about making the best strawberry ice cream ever! It is still one of my favourites. You simply cannot beat the sweet smell of freshly pureed strawberries on a warm summer’s day.

Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes

-You’ve got some incredible luxury flavours of ice cream and sorbet – which are your favourites and bestsellers?
My favourites are Cinnamon Biscuit, British Honey & Lavender and Mince Pie! The best sellers are Finest Vanilla Pod, Salted Butter Caramel and Sherbet Lemon Sorbet, all of which are Great Taste Award winners. We try as much as possible to produce with a nod to our ethos of ‘local, seasonal and honest’. There’s always something new to try. A gym membership is a small price to pay for all the ice cream enjoyment! We love to respect the preciousness and uniqueness of seasonality; as I sit here writing, we are eagerly waiting for the elderflowers to fully bloom here in the farm hedgerows for our British Elderflower Sorbet. Mother Nature is great, so long as you can wait!

Saffron Ice Cream Company's delectable flavours
Saffron Ice Cream Company's delectable flavours

-We love that you source ingredients from micro producers – can you tell us about some of those?
We’re super lucky to have so many passionate producers and growers locally to us here in East Anglia. Strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberries, apple juice, honey, rum, lemon curd, milk and cream, free range egg yolk, roasted coffee beans and elderflower all come from local likeminded producers. Our suppliers are more like friends; we’ve worked with many since the first batches of ice creams were produced back in 2010 and we’ve stuck by one another. Take our strawberries, grown by Jonathan on Cammas Hall Farm near Bishop Stortford, I think the first year we had about 60kg of strawberries – and recently we’ve been taking 1,500kg a year; at roughly 10g a strawberry you can do the maths!

-What flavours do you recommend for summer?
Lemon Curd & Meringue, British Elderflower Sorbet and Late Summer Blackcurrant Sorbet. I promise you will enjoy these and think WOW!

Artisan ices in cones
Artisan ices in cones

-And where can we buy your delicious ice cream?
In and around Cambridge there are many cafes and restaurants as well as farm shops selling our luxury artisan products. You can grab a freshly scooped ice cream at outlets such as the Riverside Hatch (new and opposite Scudamore’s punting); from the kiosk on Jesus Green; or from the ice cream bike at King’s College, when you’ve been for a swim at the Lido; or if you’d like a tub to enjoy at home, visit The Gog, Pearce’s or Bury Lane Farm Shops.

-What makes Saffron Ice Cream Company so unique?
We like to think we do things properly. We’ve all fallen in love with ice cream over the years and we want to rekindle that feeling for everyone. We’re not interested in chemical ‘wonder’ ingredients – we simply champion the great British ice cream. We’re proud to be local, to be famed in the local area for what we do. Everything from ice cream to packaging, which is now compostable!

-The Saffron Ice Cream Company is based in Saffron Walden. Find out more at saffronicecream.co.uk

- See our ice cream special, featuring a tantalising selection of local producers, in the July issue of Velvet Magazine. Read our e-edition here

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