We've only just started working with Baboo Gelato, so the relationship is still in it's infancy. It happened by accident really. We publicised our Food & Beverage (Dorset) event with Fordington Gin and Sam emailed to book a place. He mentioned that he uses Fordington in his gin sorbet, so we asked him to bring some along. It seems like a match made in heaven!
When did you start your business and why?
We set up Baboo Gelato in 2015 having moved to Dorset with our four children. We had bought a crumbling house with an overflowing garden and orchard and were inspired by the incredible fruit that appeared in our first summer. We felt that so much British fruit just didn’t seem to make it to market because it wasn’t beautiful or didn’t transport well, despite how delicious it is. We settled on making ice cream, and Annie went to Bologna to train as a professional gelatiere. Gelato is a different way of making ice cream, having less air pumped into it, and using less cream; the end result is more intensely flavoured. We spent all of 2015 perfecting our recipes before opening our kiosk in West Bay in 2016 and our kiosk in Lyme in 2017.
We are doubling our capacity every nine months and now have over a hundred restaurant customers as well as a rapidly growing list of farm shops and delicatessens selling our ice cream. We have just broken ground in Salway Ash for our next stage of expansion which will allow us to sell into London.
What’s your favourite product and what makes you and your product special?
All our ice cream is made from scratch in small batches, using real ingredients. We pick fruit only when it is in season. It is incredibly rare to do this, and Annie and I spend a lot of time sourcing the best ingredients. Much of our fruit comes from our own garden and orchard or from local farms like North Perrott Fruit Farm or Forde Abbey. We also buy our nuts directly from farms in Veneto (walnuts), Bronte (pistachios) and Piedmont (hazelnuts). We are always being challenged to produce new bespoke flavours by our restaurant customers, but probably our favourite flavour currently is Plum Sorbet, made with rare and delicious Czar plums.
Tell us about a notable challenge/success
We are growing very rapidly, but we are lucky to have a great team working for us, and a very supportive landlord (Pineapple Business Park) who is able to add more space for us when we need it. Our next challenge is to take our cult Doggy Doggy Yum Yum to a national audience. Doggy Doggy is an organic frozen treat for dogs which we created for all the lovely dog owners who visit our kiosks. We have now developed the brand identity which we will be rolling out in the next few months. We’re very excited about the potential of this product.
What are your plans for the future?
We want to grow Baboo Gelato into the preferred ice cream brand for chefs nationally, as well as having a Baboo Gelato in every seaside town on the south coast.
What is the best thing about living in Dorset?
Bridport. It's a quirky, arty, foodie little town that punches miles above its weight. And it's full of people who care passionately about it.
A note from the author:
Check back soon and we'll post some thoughts after our event at Shire Hall. Our Yeovil Young Professionals are also hoping to host a similar event at our Yeovil office later this year.