Hazel Roberts chats to ice cream business founder Richard Gordon about his award-winning company and its new expansion goals.
In 2021, and for the second year running, The Willen Ice Cream Company won the Best Local Food category in the Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards.
I caught up with founder, Richard Gordon, to find out more about this local business going from strength to strength.
Following a redundancy from his boardroom level job in business governance in 2017, Richard returned to his childhood love of ice cream and decided to set up The Willen Ice Cream Company.
With the intention of bringing delicious new flavours of handcrafted ice cream to Milton Keynes, Richard set about devising recipes, collaborating with other local food and drink producers where possible.
Richard’s first day of trading was in March 2019 at Woburn Food Market and now he regularly attends Olney, Woburn and Harpenden farmers markets too.
Along with supplying local stockists, Richard also offers a local home delivery service and an exclusive subscription plan for serious ice cream lovers.
In 2020, Richard’s Simply Dairy ice cream won Best Local Food in the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards and his non-dairy Cherry Amaretto flavour won best vegan product.
The Simply Dairy ice cream also went on to receive a coveted Great Taste star at the Great Taste Awards.
Then in 2021, Richard once again won Best Local Food product at the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards with his Foxdenton Rum & Raisin Ice Cream, using rum from the local Foxdenton estate.
Again, his non-dairy ice-cream won best vegan product too, this time with his House of Luke Single Origin Chocolate flavour.
Richard is delighted to have achieved this recognition so early on in the company’s life and he is proud to be part of the local food scene and to be contributing to the local economy.
His next goal is to provide employment opportunities for young people with educational challenges.
Richard said: “We are so proud of how far we have come and I know we have so much more to achieve. Thank you to all our customers, suppliers and stockists for supporting us.”
For market dates, stockists and online ordering please visit willenicecream.co.uk