Suffolk ice-cream on Harrods’ shelves

A new approach to making ice-cream has catapulted a Suffolk family into the limelight, after their award-winning product was listed by Harrods.

Alder Carr Farm’s “fruit cream ice” is made with only cream, sugar and fresh fruit, and is still made on the farm, according to manager Stephany Hardingham, whose parents run the business.

It appears alongside 500 other British products being promoted at Harrods, where a spokesman praised both its quality and the story behind it.

The ice-cream can also be bought in farm shops up and down the country.

“I don’t expect to sell an awful lot in Harrods, but the prestige that comes with it will be very valuable,” said Mrs Hardingham.

More importantly, she has just struck a deal with foodservice giant 3663 to supply them with ice-cream as part of a new local sourcing initiative.

It all began in 1985, when Mrs Hardingham tried out an ice-cream recipe that belonged to her grandmother.

The dozen tubs she made sold out almost immediately from their farm shop and she realised she was on to a good idea.

Now, she produces 20,000 litres of the ice-cream in 15 different flavours, based on 37 weeks of production a year.

“Most of the top fruit comes from my uncle and we grow the majority of the soft fruit used ourselves, including strawberries, tayberries, blackberries and redcurrants.”

The farm grows 15ha (37 acres) of vegetables and 3ha (7.5 acres) of soft fruit, as well as keeping some Highland cattle and other livestock for visitors to the shop and caf.

The cream is supplied by Dairy Crest, but the Hardinghams are in discussion with a number of local farmers to see if it would be possible to source it closer to home.

“We have in the past bought our cream locally, but we had problems with the quantity and quality.”