Rachel's boss takes helm at Loseley Dairy Ice Cream

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Burchell: Focus, care and attention
Burchell: Focus, care and attention

Related tags: Ice cream, Milk, Ice cream maker

Ex-Rachel’s boss Neil Burchell has taken the helm at Cwmbran-based ice cream maker Loseley Dairy Ice Cream (formerly known as Hill Station Ice Cream).

Burchell said he wanted to attract new customers but remain true to the heritage of the brands in Loseley's stable: “Loseley controls a range of well-known and much-loved dairy ice creams which will benefit from further focus, care and attention in the future. From experience, it is possible to build success by attracting consumers while staying true to the brands’ heritage."

Executive Chairman David Eades said he was "extremely pleased to have been able to attract such a credible and relevant md."

Chequered past

Hill Station, which was set up by investment bankers Charles and Gina Hall in the 1990s in Calne, Wiltshire, became the UK’s third-largest ice cream business in 2006 after striking a £5.6m reverse takeover deal to acquire Loseley Dairy Ice Cream (based in Cwmbran) and Granelli McDermott (which had factories in Tattenhall and Cheadle).

All production was then gradually consolidated into Loseley's Cwmbran factory.

However, the AIM-listed company was hamstrung by cash-flow problems and eventually called in the administrators in October 2008. It was then acquired by investment group Acuity Capital which funded a management buy-in led by David Lavelle, who invested significant amounts of his own money into the business.

At the time, Lavelle said he saw Loseley as primarily an own-label operation in the short- to medium-term, but with the potential to drive selected brands such as Loseley, Thayers Real Dairy Ice Cream, Granelli’s of Cheshire and Yorkshire Dales Old Fashioned Ice Cream in the longer-term.

Modern facility

The Cwmbran factory has the capability to produce a wide range of tubs, yogurts, sorbets and impulse products such as choc ices and lollies.

Customers include Morrisons, Iceland and a wide range of other clients from restaurants to theatres, sports venues, airlines and leisure facilities.

Burchell was unavailable for comment as FoodManufacture.co.uk went to press, but we hope to catch up with him shortly.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Ice Cream

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