On Wednesday 14th July, 8 journalists, plus a couple of very willing Story volunteers, left the big London smoke behind and embarked on a journey to Hampshire where we would spend the day learning about the ice cream dairy, Jude’s.
Once in Hampshire, our first stop of the day was at Theo’s (the founder of Jude’s ice cream) house where himself, along with his son Chow, who also works in the business, gave us all a talk about how Jude’s started.
Named after his wife, Theo told us how he left the world of banking in 2002 and then saw a gap in the market for a good British ice cream. He had no idea how big the company would grow and ten years on and one big factory move later, Jude’s ice cream is now available to buy in supermarkets.
Before it went into retail, Jude’s was used in restaurants, both local and nation wide. It also boasts a host of famous chefs who use it in their top restaurants. These include Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey, James Martin and Raymond Blanc.
After a cup of coffee and a play with the adorable puppy Pomme, we visited the cows who produce the milk for the ice cream. They all seemed pretty happy tucked away in their shed (they were put away because the farmer had just let 30,00 people camp in his field for the Boom Town festival).
We were then taken on a lovely scenic route to the head offices and dairy for a spot of lunch and the most anticipated moment of the day…the ice cream tasting!!!!
It is fair to say that there were a lot of tubs of ice cream consumed as we tried out a variety of flavours including Very Vanilla, Double Choc, Ginger Spice, Salted Caramel, Strawberry Tease, Mango Sorbet and Dark Chocolate Sorbet. Delicious!
We were then given a quick tour of the dairy before being driven back to the train station and heading back to London. Weekend plans now = gym gym gym.