AN historic award-winning ice cream company from Uttoxeter is celebrating its 80th birthday this week after surviving its worst ever summer.
Ashmores Ice Cream, based in Park Street, is celebrating the milestone after it began trading in 1932.
The family business has created whipped and scooped home-made ice cream which has won awards including a silver medal from both the Royal Dairy Show in 1964 and The Ice Cream Alliance Exhibition in 2002.
The company is currently run by John and Juliette Ashmore who have a fleet of ice cream vans which work across the county.
The couple has numerous staff that trade in vans, while they spend most of their time creating the ice cream from their secret family recipe.
They have pitches in Burton’s Station Street and at Stafford Market, and the rest of their fleet travel to local events including concerts, fairs and even weddings.
Mrs Ashmore said: “We’re really excited to turn 80-years-old — we think it’s a bit of an achievement.
It’s not easy and you have to drive yourself, but we’re always trying to come up with new ideas.” It was Mr Ashmore’s granddad Leonard who created the business with his wife Phyllis in 1932 and they began trading as L&P Ashmore.
Mr Ashmore’s dad John Ashmore helped in the business when he was 12-years-old, selling ice creams by riding around the local area on a pushbike with a refrigerated box on the side, and eventually took over the company.
Mr Ashmore was the third generation to join the family business in 1982 aged just 13.
In 2002 he married his wife and she also joined the ice cream trade.
The pair has gone from strength to strength, surviving the worst summer in their history this year due to the torrential rain and still providing employment for local people.
Mrs Ashmore said: “We have all kinds of people working for us — it’s a real range of staff. For some of our employees it’s their first job and we have to train them up from scratch, while for others they have retired and want to do something part-time.” The couple made a substantial investment in equipment to update their fleet of vans two years ago so they can continue to provide the best service to their customers, and they are now looking to the future.
Mrs Ashmore said: “We’re really proud of our state-of-the-art vans, and we would love to keep the business running and expand it even more.”