Cornish ice cream manufacturer Callestick has achieved strong growth throughout the recession, driven particularly by positive performance in foodservice channels and an unseasonably warm autumn.
“We haven’t had a great summer in Corwall, but there was a 10% increase in sales in August, which is our biggest month [for sales] and a smaller increase in July,” said director Angela Parker. Total sales for the business currently stand at £1.5M. Strong trade to tourist sites and events, such as the Tower of London and Ascot, has also driven sales up.
“It’s the old story. We make 80% of our sales with 20% of our product. A lot of our volume is in our flagship clotted cream vanilla product.”
Parker said the company’s biggest business was catering, but that it aimed to expand its sales among the major retailers as well. “We want to expand across the board, but would make progress faster in retail.” It had also clinched a deal to supply hospitals throughout Cornwall and wanted to extend this to National Health Trust regions throughout the UK.
In addition to constantly looking at developing new flavours, Callestick, which derives its name from a Cornish village, aimed to invest £100,000 in bigger ice cream freezing equipment to cope with increased demand, said Parker.
The company carries the Red Tractor logo on its packaging, signalling that all its ingredients are sourced from the UK. It has its own dairy herd, which supplies its own milk, and uses clotted cream supplied by Rodda’s.
The firm prides itself on the technique used to enhance the taste of its ice cream, which includes storing the ice cream mix in vats overnight.
Flavours include vanilla, lemon curd, chunky stem ginger and clotted cream and blackcurrants. The firm makes five litre; four litre; one litre and 500ml formats as well as small tubs for sale in theatres and cinemas.
It produced a limited edition red, white and blue striped variant for the Royal Wedding last year.