The innovative ice cream company from Saffron Walden that adds a pinch of local in every scoop
PUBLISHED: 15:15 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:15 13 April 2018
The award-winning Saffron Ice Cream Company has launched three new flavours and almost reached a milestone of 100 regular trade clients.
Dominic Parry, who launched the company eight years ago, started making and selling ice cream from his parent’s house in Saffron Walden after graduating from university.
He moved the company into a premises in Henham before ‘bringing it home’ to a family farm in Saffron Walden in 2014.
Explaining how his passion for ice cream began, Dominic said: “I didn’t know how to cook when I went to university and after putting two stone on in the first term, I knew I had to do something. My university flatmates taught me how to cook and one day, when I was bored and revising, I wondered how ice cream was made and I thought about how there was nowhere to get decent ice cream.
“So we’ve grown to become a major regional producer. But it has been seriously hard work. I started making it at my parent’s house so I have come from very humble beginnings.”
Two of Dominic’s five full-time employees, Harry Bond and Tommy Start, produce the ice cream in the factory on the farm and the company also has three part-time employees.
Core and seasonal flavours are handmade on site and two new products have been launched for the spring and summer season: a lemon curd and meringue ice cream and an elderflower sorbet.
A third flavour, spiced Essex rum and raisin, has also been launched as a permanent addition.
Dominic explained that they try to use as many local ingredients as they can when they make their ice cream, including coffee, honey, lavender, strawberries and raspberries.
The rum used in the new spiced Essex rum and raisin flavour is sourced locally from a distillery in Great Yeldham, which is the only rum distillery in England, and British elderflower is used to make the elderflower sorbet.
For the seasonal lemon curd and meringue ice cream, the company source the lemon curd from Wilkins & Sons in Tiptree and the company’s top-selling flavour, salted caramel, uses sea salt flakes from Maldon.
Dominic said: “We specialise in the flavours that we know people know and love, but we go the extra mile, we go a bit further, to make sure it’s got a wow factor.
“For example, adding treacle to our rum and raisin base ice cream and adding balsamic vinegar to our strawberry ice cream. We hand-make everything in small batches; take our secret recipe salted caramel, made from scratch on site.”
During the summer, the company uses about 1,000 kilograms of locally sourced strawberries, which is approximately 3,500 punnets, for their strawberries and cream ice cream and Dominic explained that 25 percent of the ice cream is made up of fresh strawberries.
As a company, they have recently decided to become more eco-friendly and switch their milk suppliers to cut down on plastic waste. Dominic said that they were throwing away 500 kilograms of plastic waste each year but since switching suppliers their plastic consumption is down to 46 kilograms.
Dominic said: “We were producing so much rubbish and we want to do anything we can do as a company to be a bit more green.”
The Saffron Ice Cream Company supplies to many local businesses, including the Saffron Suite Hotel, Eight Bells and Audley End House and they have almost reached 100 regular trade clients.
They have secured deals with the National Trust to get their ice cream to Hatfield Forest and with Watford Football Club, Dominic’s favourite team.
In one of their biggest deals yet, they are in the running to become a supplier for British Airways.
Dominic said: “British Airways wanted a completely British menu for first class and business class customers on the Airbus-A380 and they identified us as a ‘best of British’ producer. If we get chosen, we would be supplying 2,000 litres a month for the next five years.”
As well as supplying to many local businesses, the Saffron Ice Cream Company attends events and they have made ice cream for UGG, BMW and for Canada Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square, to name a few.