Ice cream delivery boom saw Yorkshire Dales firm nearly 'run out' of flavours

Ice cream may be the ultimate traditional childhood treat, evocative of sunny summer days and ever popular in its indulgence. Now, under lockdown, it seems Yorkshire folk have been pining for a taste, even if it means buying at wholesale level to ensure it is delivered to their doors.

Ellie Coultherd, whose partner's family own Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream near Skipton. Picture Tony Johnson
Ellie Coultherd, whose partner's family own Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream near Skipton. Picture Tony Johnson

The family-owned Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream company, best known for its stands at the region’s county shows, has been overwhelmed with orders since readying to sell stock.

So much so that it has now reopened its factories, making enough ice cream in a single day to potentially sell 25,000 scoops.

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“Originally, it was just to see what might happen,” said Ellie Coultherd, 25, the partner of family member Scott Rogers.

Customers have been bulk buying stock from the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream company. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“We were worried we would lose the summer, that the ice cream we had would go to waste.”

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Miss Coultherd, furloughed from her own job, offered to try and sell some of the trays, which hold 25 scoops each.

Mr Rogers, whose family also owns neighbouring Billy Bob’s Parlour, had agreed so long as she sold four lots.

Ellie Coultherd, with partner Scott Rogers whose family own Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream near Skipton. Picture Tony Johnson

Within 10 minutes of being advertised on social media, all four were gone. A month on, so have 1,000 more trays – so many that the company has had to create a daily delivery rota to ensure it can reach towns and villages across the region.

“It was suddenly so much bigger than we thought it could be,” Miss Coultherd said. “It’s been so popular we’ve been running out of flavours.

“The comments people have sent back to us have just been so nice. It is such a treat. One boy made his own ice cream stall out of cardboard to give them to neighbours.”

Supporting local businesses

Darius Barkunas factory manager at Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream near Skipton. The company, worried about selling its stock when lockdown hit, was inundated with calls for home delivery for its wholesale tubs. Having sold so many they reopened the factory, making enough for 1,000 trays of Yorkshire ice cream a day, each with 25-30 scoops. Picture Tony Johnson

Always popular are the farmhouse vanilla, double chocolate, raspberry ripple with shortbread pieces, cinder toffee and apple crumble. But even the more unusual flavours such as liquorice and blackcurrant, which usually sells a single batch per year, have sold out.

The traditional dairy, with ice cream made on the Bolton Abbey farm, uses milk from cows a mile down the road, cream from Grassington, and biscuits and brownies from Keighley’s Grandma Wild’s.

It has made a huge difference, says Mr Rogers, to pass on those benefits to local suppliers. And when it came to making deliveries, he has been driving the ice cream van himself, determined to keep strict social distancing in place.

“We were nervous about going back out trading,” Mr Rogers said. “We didn’t want to just be casually driving around.

The wholesale trays of ice cream from the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream company have proven so popular under lockdown they ran out of stock in some flavours. Image: Tony Johnson

“When people saw our van, they would come running out to try and buy some – but we were delivering in bulk, not street to street with the ice cream tunes on. Normally our customers come to us, at places like Bolton Abbey and Fewston Reservoir.

“It’s been pretty good fun to go to them.”

Bulk buy trays

The company’s bulk deliveries, with each tray usually sold at wholesale and containing 4.5l of ice cream, have proved so popular that it has had to set up a village rota to meet demand.

Miss Coultherd said: “Many people haven’t been out of their homes, they may not be able to treat themselves. Who would normally have 4.5l of ice cream at home?

“I think people just want something to look forward to. It’s crazy, but really nice.”

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