We just wanted to tell you about the Artisan Food Trail – because they are such a great supporter of small businesses! We need all the help we can get in the fight against the march of the multiples and having them on our side gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling.
The clever peeps do lots of tweeting and tell people about producers that they like, and they retweet our stuff, and they put it all in a newsletter. They are really good at all of that. They also have a website http://www.artisanfoodtrail.co.uk/ and a blog – http://theartisanfoodtrail.blogspot.co.uk/ and use them to try to connect people who like to eat with people who like to make yummy food…to eat…
They are also pretty clever with photo editing – check this out (we didn’t even know they had done it!)
Isn’t it fab!
So thanks Artisan Food Trail, for caring!
We like to think of our vintage ex-ambulance, Audrey, as being a bit of a superhero, so we were excited to hear that she used to work at the British Xylonite Co. Ltd.
It turns out that we got a bit confused:
Xylonite – REAL
Kryptonite – Superman’s only poison – NOT REAL
Perhaps it is better that way, as she’s a lovely vehicle and was an ambulance, so was better at helping real people and now, in her newest role as a cream ice van she is where people buy lovely fruity ices. We don’t like to think of her having any involvement in harming superheroes!
Xylonite is another name for Celluloid, which is a term that more people are familiar with. It was first used in the mid 1800′s to make products that were synthetic versions of the more expensive horn, ivory or tortoiseshell, such as combs and jewellery.
Here’s a picture of our own little superheroes, “helping”!
We took our wonderful Audrey out to Framfest this weekend. We hesitated at being asked to trundle down the steep grassy hill (she is an old girl, after all!) and got a prime spot near the entrance which was great as everyone saw her as they walked in!
It was also April’s first trip out with Alder Tree. April has recently joined our team as expert cream ice seller and she got the scary job of taking our prize vehicle out for the first time. She did a great job, although as Audrey’s top speed is about 55mph these days she wasn’t really at risk of getting a speeding ticket! (Apparently she used to be able to hit 70 in her prime, but we all slow down as we get older!)
It was also the first time we went out with our new CHOCOLATE flavour. It was our best seller of the weekend and everyone loved it!
Were you at Framfest or did you spot Audrey on the road? Let us know!
We are delighted to tell you that we have been accepted as one of Suffolk’s Green 100 Businesses. We have always done our best to be nice to the world and our environment and when people notice it always feels lovely!
We are off to an event on April 27th at Wherstead Park, to meet the rest of the green 100 gang; all those others who green their business, reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills and to work together to make Suffolk the Greenest County. Watch this space for photos of us dressed up in our finest rather than the fetching overalls and hairnets we wear in the kitchen!
One thing that helped us to get into the Green 100 was the new solar panels that we installed last year. They have ticked over during the winter months and we are really excited to see how much power they generate when the sun shines in the summertime! If you’re down at the farm have a look at the roof by the courtyard – lots of power when it’s sunny right there!
We also source all of our ingredients as locally as we can; sugar is from British Sugar, just up the road in Bury St Edmunds, and fruit comes from our own farm as much as we can and from local farms when we run out!
We have added something rather special to the range. It took us 20 years to make vanilla and so we are rather pleased that it has only taken us 2 more to add….chocolate! It is has passed the taste test of some serious chocoholics, including my 9 year old daughter who is extremely picky when it comes to chocolate!
To celebrate we will be giving away a pot to the first 25 lucky children who take part in the Easter Farm Trail at Alder Carr Farm this Easter weekend. There will also be vouchers in the EADT on Saturday; pop over to the farm on Sunday and be one of the first to see Audrey, our vintage Morris Ice Cream Van, and swap your voucher for a free pot of choc as well!
At the moment chocolate is available in the new 125 mls and 4 litre catering tubs - but look out for 500mls later in the year.
Audrey, our vintage ambulance, soon to be our extremely funky cream ice van, spent the winter living under a great old oak tree on the farm. It appears that many little tiny six legged creatures made the most of this opportunity, and tucked themselves in for a snug winter.
We love that she provided a safe home for the bugs and the bees but, due to the lovely warm sunshine, the little invertebrates are waking from their slumber and there are ladybird footprints in the fresh paintwork!
We have always been quite “eco”. Stephany, the MD, used to be an adviser to businesses on how to green up their credentials, so she knows her stuff (she even has a Masters Degree in something extremely clever and green)
We recently received the Suffolk Carbon Charter Silver Award. It is part of a goal for Suffolk to become “the greenest county” and we are quite proud of that certificate in the frame (it’s not on the wall yet – we only got it yesterday!)
How we got silver:
- We installed solar panels towards powering our production facilities,
- We changed our packaging to create less waste and more recycling (and it is prettier too – pretty is important!)
- We even gather the elderflowers for our gooseberry and elderflower flavour from the hedgerows,
- We source everything we can as locally as possible; fruit from our own farm, and we use local services and suppliers as much as possible.
- Stephany worked with the Low Carbon Champions Programme by the Green Light Trust (she is clever with this kind of thing!)
- We have a carbon production and reduction plan.
- We always switch of the lights when we leave the office and are brave enough to sleep with the lights off too!
We popped over to James Newell in Stowmarket who are restoring our vintage Morris LD ambulance and converting her to a retro type ice cream van. Still not quite there as she is still in her undercoat with a few patches of green that need to be sanded, but she looks amazing! Once she is topcoated she will be strokeable!Steph & Graham &with Audrey in her undercoat!
Steph & Graham &with Audrey in her undercoat!
Audrey's Gorgeous Curves
We had such great responses to our new tubs last year that we decided to bring up the rest of the packaging to match; same colours but the little ones have the colours sort of inverted – have a look at the picture below to see what I mean;
Our new 125ml pots alongside our 'sharing tubs' (sharing not compulsory!)
They are also a little bit bigger. 125ml now as opposed to the 100ml of the older pots. People always told us that they were too small, so we listened and made them bigger. Sometimes even that isn’t enough; last week yet another customer admitted to eating a whole 500ml tub. By herself. She wanted to know the calorific content so we have sent a sample off to be analysed but we did some sums of our own and we think that our strawberry flavour is about 33% fewer calories than a big competitor’s strawberry shortcake, Not bad, eh? Ours is made with real fruit too, lots of fruit. So better for you too (do I have to write an official disclaimer here?! – um, all natural, no additives,no preservatives, lots and lots of fruit….)
We bought a vintage Ambulance last year and are now getting it (…”her”; she is most definitely a “she”) ready for events this year. Despite having bought her from way over in the west of the UK, she was originally an East Suffolk Ambulance, trundling around the lanes of coastal Suffolk. Trundling describes her top speed perfectly, and I can’t imagine she got to any emergencies particularly fast. Those were the days, eh?……
Audrey has been undergoing some surgery recently. We have had to pop a pod into her roof so that we don’t brain ourselves when selling our wares, and also the large window at the back has got even bigger and become a serving hatch. She has also had all the cracks in her aged bodywork repaired.
The poor old gal isn’t looking her best right now….
However the worst is done and now the fun begins! Watch this space for updates.