Down But Not Out

There is very little as sad as an ice cream production kitchen with no churn. Except perhaps the ice cream makers.

After last week’s post on things not going our way, I was hoping not to have any excuse to revisit the topic. Well. After losing the churn to repairs (and three production days) last week, it came back, still broken. So our local distributor is flying in a new motor from overseas, which means all of this week, we are once more churnless. And as a new, small company that only makes ice cream, and only can afford one churn, it’s a pretty big deal.

There’s never a good time for this to happen, but it does feel particularly poorly timed, happening in a period when we are trying to run ten ice cream stalls a week, and roll out restaurant, pop up shop and three retailers’ orders. And getting fabulous press from the print and online media, which results in more customers, and potential pint sales. So we’ve apologized to a lot of people, pushed orders back, rationed what ice cream we have, and tried to make do.

The not-particularly-apologetic distributor has loaned us another churn, but much like the loan car you get from insurance when yours is in the shop, it is slower, smaller and less user friendly. So we’re producing a sixth of our regular production, and focusing it all on our most important commitment, the scoop stalls.

But we’ve made as much peace as we can with this setback, and are pulling together. The guys are working overtime shifts until 11pm so we can churn for longer (so if you want a pint in the limited flavours we do have, by all means stop by after work!), we’re using the spare time to start developing new mix ins like fruit chunks and croquant almonds and roast cherries and chocolate bunnies, and we’re really focusing on making our fans’ favourite flavours, that sell well and are now as comforting to us as they are to our customers. And our suppliers are going above and beyond, too: when I asked our egg supplier if she would be willing to bring out just a couple trays of eggs for us from Somerset West, she replied: Don’t worry, I will bring eggs for you, we will ride the ups and downs 🙂

So we’re really looking forward to next week, when we can get back into the rhythm of creating and making and growing this baby business which is only twelve weeks old, this week. A second new start, only this time with fantastic press coverage, a growing community of lovely, loyal customers, a great team of staff and a wonderful supplier network already in place. Bring it, Monday!




Kate is a company director. She spends her time on mentoring our leadership team, product development, new systems, finance, and business strategy. Her favourite ice cream flavours include raspberry choc chip, cookie dough, nectarine, jasmine blossom, toasted almond and berry cheesecake.