Anna Shepherd is the founder of Anna’s Ice Lollies, and has now become a member of Dorset Food and Drink. She recently gave us an insight into the story behind her artisan ice lollies……
The concept for Anna’s Ice Lollies began at my kitchen table last autumn (2016) It was a direct result of my growing awareness of the need for a healthier iced treat than that which was available in stores at that time. I had just started working as a vegan chef, having been a vegetarian chef for many years and my clients often talked about wanting something delicious and natural instead of ice creams or ice lollies that were full of additives. So I set about creating Anna’s Sorbet Lollies which are made with pure fruit pulp and no added artificial anything at all. Just deliciousness on a stick!
Where do you source your fruit? And what is the process behind making your artisan lollies?
The fruit I use is — where possible locally sourced. I do have a very large vegetable garden which provides a lot of my soft fruit, but I do top it up from local growers too. Ironically, I let most of my veg plot go wild about 3 years ago as my husband and I became busier and busier with work so my next plan is to get it up and running once again, and back into full production. I really need it now! Just recently I bought my gooseberries from Holton Lee Livability, a charity that works with adults and children with physical and learning disabilities just down the road from me. I bought their entire stock. I also buy in exotic fruit wholesale for obvious reasons. Our summers might be lovely, but it is impossible to buy Dorset grown coconuts, mangoes and pineapples!
The process is fairly straightforward. I have two large stainless steel lolly moulds into which I put my prepared lolly mixture. I freeze it and de-mould the Lollies and bingo!
The mixture is made to individual recipes using specific fruit combinations which is then frozen in containers. I then re-work the frozen mixture and pour it into the moulds when it is soft enough and freeze it hard. It is a similar process to making ice cream by hand in that the re-working breaks down any ice crystals that form. The tricky part is getting the air bubbles out of the mixture once it is in the moulds and is definitely the most fiddly part of the process.
Where can customers find Anna’s Ice Lollies?
Currently Anna’s Sorbet Lollies are available at: The Purbeck Deli and The Old Stables in Swanage, The Corfe Castle Village Stores, Burnbake Campsite, The Salt Pig in Wareham and soon to be at The Salt Pig in Swanage too. I would very much like to supply more outlets in the Dorset area and possibly beyond, but as this is my first year of trading, I am pleased with the progress that I have made so far.
Anna’s Sorbet Lollies have been showcased at local festivals and events too which has been fantastic and brilliant fun. I sell them from my vintage style Pashley Ice Cream tricycle so I can set up for the day and sell them from the freezer on the front. I have been to The Swanage Fish Festival and The Taste of The South (Poole) and have been booked for weddings too.
What is the most unusual concoction you have made for an artisan lolly and did you feature it with your other ice lollies?
My most unusual concoction for a Lolly so far has been my vegan salted caramel cashew nut ‘magnum’ creamsicle. It’s quite a mouthful to say and definitely a mouthful to eat too! There are lots more flavour combinations which are both seasonal and exciting like rhubarb and ginger, gooseberry and elderflower and mango lassi. I make alcoholic poptail Lollies too which are really popular at weddings. Strawberry Daiquiri and Lime Mojito are firm favourites.
What plans do you have next for your artisan lollies?
My future plans are simply to grow my business locally and keep on growing. I hope to stock my lollies in further locations next year and would love to get to more events and festivals with my tricycle. I will be at The Square Fayre in Worth Matravers on Saturday 5th August and at The Great Dorset Chilli Festival on Sunday 6th August. I love it!
So excited to have the finished proofs of Anna’s Sorbet Lollies’ packaging. Thank you Tradewind Graphics Wareham!
Find Anna’s artisan lollies on: twitter.com/annasicesuk
(photographs with kind permission from Anna)
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||Yes – a lolly|