It could easily be argued that ice cream can be consumed all year round. Ballater resident Cheryl Barr would certainly agree.
Those that reside in and around the Aberdeenshire village may already be familiar with the 33-year-old entrepreneur.
For those that aren’t, Cheryl opened one of the region’s most in-demand ice cream parlours Shorty’s in April 2017 – roughly three months after the business’ initial launch.
Located on Bridge Street, it has proved popular ever since with locals and tourists alike flocking to the store in order to curb their sweet tooth.
However, Shorty’s Ice Cream Parlour also serves hot takeaway food ranging from soups, sausage rolls and pies to paninis and baked potatoes.
The team can serve as many as 600 visitors on a busy summer’s day.
The inspiration behind the parlour and Cheryl’s love for ice cream as a whole comes from her childhood.
“No matter the weather I would request ice cream,” she says. “I loved to travel and came home one Christmas to visit my parents and then never left.
“I then worked in marketing before the idea of Shorty’s was born.”
The product portfolio at Shorty’s is impressive, to say the least. Ice cream flavours include butterscotch, toffee, raspberry, bubblegum, mint chocolate, Ballater crème, strawberry and chocolate.
These flavours are thought up by Cheryl and her talented Shorty’s Ice Cream Parlour team, as well as customers themselves.
Visitors can also bag hot desserts such as pancakes and waffles as well as doughnuts, cookie pies and milkshakes.
Peak season approaching
Cheryl added: “The ice cream is made in our production unit within Ballater Industrial Estate.
“Our staff figure is 10 to 15 in peak season and we produce between 150 to 200 five litre Napoli pans [a heavy duty pan made for displaying ice cream] every week during this period, too.”
Shorty’s products are available in-store as well as at its list of north-east stockists and regional farmers’ markets.
Premium one-day food and drink festival Taste of Grampian will be among the events that Cheryl is attending in the coming months to showcase the brand.
Taste of Grampian 2023 is being held at P&J Live in Aberdeen for the second consecutive year and the business owner is “looking forward to meeting new customers”.
Cheryl added: “We will be selling our infamous cookie pies and cookie slabs including Nutella Creme Egg, white chocolate Biscoff and Mars bar caramel.
“We’ll also have our Gunniess cake, raspberry and pistachio loaf and much more!”
When asked about what she thinks people admire most about Shorty’s Ice Cream Parlour, she went on to say: “Our willingness to go the extra milk.”
Shorty’s has secured a string of industry awards and Cheryl’s main aspiration going forward is to open more venues, so ice cream fans better watch this space.
“Our most recent award was from the Ice Cream Alliance’s National Ice Cream Competition – the Oscar’s of the ice cream industry,” says the entrepreneur.
“Our white chocolate won bronze, while our traditional crème came seventh and our vegan pina colada came tenth.
“We were also awarded Ice Cream Parlour of the Year at Scotland’s Business Awards last year, the 2021/2022 Scotland Prestige Awards and the Scottish Enterprise Awards in 2021.
“In terms of expansion, we would definitely keep it more local to begin with so Aberdeenshire for the next venue.
“But then I’d like to go further afield to Moray and then into a city like Edinburgh.”
Shorty’s Ice Cream Parlour is currently open from noon to 4pm Thursday to Sunday.
For more information and the list of stockists so you can get your fix, visit shortysicecreamparlour.co.uk