The National Champion for ice cream was Minoli's of Machen/Basil & Rusty's (two divisions of same company), based in Caerphilly, Wales, and Zoe Philipson, of Tyne Valley Ices in Hexham won the Ice Cream Van of the Year as well as picking up an award for a new product.
Philipson was voted the winner of the best Ice Cream Van at the National Ice Cream Competition 2022, run by the Ice Cream Alliance, the UK’s ice cream industry trade association. She was up against two other finalists and won after being interviewed by a panel of industry experts. Organizers said she won the award for her exceptional customer service and dedication to the industry and to her local community.
“Winning Ice Cream Van of the Year means the world to me,” Philipson said.
“After many years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice its fantastic to be crowned the best in the country. It was a fantastic experience from start to finish and I can't wait to see what the future brings.”
Tyne Valley Ices was founded in 1974 by Zoe’s parents and has a fleet of ice cream vans as well as manufacturing and wholesaling ice cream and sauces made in a factory just outside Hexham.
“My childhood summers were spent with both my parents in an ice cream van, eagerly awaiting customers. It was truly idyllic - a child’s dream.”
Zoe joined the business full-time after finishing her A levels, a little over 10 years ago. When she took over the business it had one van. It now runs five vans, two trikes and a barrow. In addition to their weekly rounds, Tyne Valley Ices regularly attends corporate, charity, school, village and wedding events throughout Northumberland. It also maintains regular slots at caravan parks, playgrounds and care homes.
Ice Cream Van of the Year, known as the Mobiler of the Year in the trade, is awarded every year and has been running for over 70 years. Entrants are judged on their customer service, product quality, local community support, food hygiene excellence and a host of other attributes. All entrants are whittled down to three finalists who are interviewed by ice cream industry experts at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show 2022 in Harrogate.
“A big congratulations to Zoe and everyone at Tyne Valley Ices who have been recognized for being the best in the business,” said Zelica Carr, ICA CEO.
“Ice cream vans, indeed, the whole ice cream sector, have had a challenging time over the last two years. Zoe shows that the sector has overcome these challenges and has bounced back better than ever for 2022 and the future.”
Dairy Reporter had the opportunity to interview Philipson at the event.