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Four in a row award triumph tastes sweet for ice cream parlour

By Alan Beresford

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THE taste of victory is sweet for a local ice cream parlour after scooping a national award for the fourth time.

Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour owner Sheila Gray with her trophy.
Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour owner Sheila Gray with her trophy.

Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour have added to their impressive trophy collection when they were crowned chocolate champion at the National Ice Cream Championships 2021 run by the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), the sector’s UK trade association.

This is the most prestigious ice cream competition in the country and has been running for 76 years.

Sheila Gray, who owns the parlour, said the victory was a much-needed boost after months of lockdown.

“We are so excited to have won – especially during these tough times,” she said.

“We’ve been closed for four months this year and we were shut for four months last year too. But this gives us a massive boost and its good for the staff - I have a great team - and good for the village.

“I’ve never made this much chocolate ice cream ever before!”

The award-winning ice cream establishment has been going for 11 years and employs eight people.

The firm's success has been welcomed by local councillors Marc Macrae, Shona Morrison and David Bremner.

Councillor Macrae said: “It is always fantastic news when we hear of Sheila bringing back another award for the Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour, although it should come as no surprise really considering the quality of her produce and the every growing variety of flavours she develops.

"A testament to this are the queues which form outside the shop come rain or shine. This is a great award for Sheila and staff for all their continued hard work and effort, and putting Fochabers firmly on the destination map for many across the northeast with their frozen delights.”

Councillor Morrison commented: “ I'm delighted for Sheila and her staff to be the very worthy recipients of this award for the fourth time.

"Sheila’s commitment to making award winning ice cream along with her inventiveness just goes from strength to strength. This award, coming after what has been a tough year for our local businesses must be all the sweeter. Well done Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour.”

Councillor Bremner added: "I just like to offer my congratulations to the Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour for their award in the National Ice Cream Championships 2021.

"It’s yet another, in a long line of awards, and totally deserved."

The championships are normally held at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show in Harrogate and hundreds of products are submitted across thirteen categories. However, due to the pandemic this show was cancelled.

ICA CEO Zelica Carr commented: “The ICA decided that despite lockdowns and severe restrictions on trading we needed to show our sectors resilience by continuing with these annual awards.

“I want to thank all those who entered and our dedicated panel of judges who tasted the entries and selected winners in a socially distanced and Covid secure procedure at our head office.

“Congratulations to Sheila and her team. There was very stiff competition in this category so to win gold is a big achievement – and to have won this award four times is unheard of.”

To find out more about Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour, go to www.fochabersicecream.co.uk or visit their Facebook page.

Ice cream parlours and ice cream vans have been hard hit in this pandemic losing a total of £289 million in income in 2020. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg when lost ice cream sales in cafes, restaurants and hotels and the economic impact to businesses along the supply chain – manufacturers, flavour houses, wholesalers and others – is factored in.

In response to this the ICA has launched Great British Ice Cream Staycation campaign, to support ice cream sales in the hospitality sector.

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