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Local suppliers are important to our business and one category where they come to the fore is ice cream.
We are fortunate to have two regional ice cream manufactures within 15 miles of our store – Marshfield Farm, near Chippenham; and Winstons near Stroud. Between them, they offer us a range of over 24 flavours in 120ml, 500ml and 1litre tubs.
To make the most of the opportunity we have five shelves in our display freezer that we allocate to ‘take home’ tubs. Throughout the year, we keep this space for local ice cream. We know that we are offering great tasting local products with these ice creams and we think that we price them reasonably at £5 for 1litre.
Working with these local suppliers is wonderful as they not only provide us with great products and a short supply chain but they also help us with in-store marketing, such as posters.
We regularly undertake tasting days supported by the two producers, who provide samples, small tubs and spoons. In particular, we have found that British Food Fortnight is a great opportunity to promote our local produce and we certainly feature our ice cream during these two weeks.
Our customers must like our range and price – last year we sold over 1200 tubs. Our top selling flavours are Vanilla, Chocolate, Heavenly Honeycomb, Clotted Cream and Honey Stem Ginger. We are also keen to stock the producers’ seasonal flavours, and Christmas Pudding and Brandy Clotted Cream have delivered great sales.
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