It’s not every day that you get to say your job involves tasting and inventing some of the finest ice creams or sorbets the Highlands has savoured – but for two Moray businessmen this is part of their daily routine at work.
Stewart Sutherland and Drew Parkes swapped their roles as a VAT specialist and an engineer, to produce and sample sweet treats on a daily basis at their ice cream manufacturers and wholesalers, Stew n Drew’s, which is headquartered in Hopeman, Moray.
The business, which was established by the duo after the owner of Miele’s of Hopeman made the decision to retire, approached the duo with an opportunity that they couldn’t resist.
Mastering the art of ice cream making from a young age ice cream maker, Stewart Sutherland worked at Mr Miele’s ice cream factory as a young boy, building up his ice cream knowledge while working part-time until he was finished at university.
Owner and ice cream maker at Stew n’ Drew’s, Stewart Sutherland, said: “I’ve had a passion for ice cream for as long as I can remember. I used to make ice cream when I was younger and got a job at Miele’s of Hopeman where I developed my ice cream skills. I learned a lot from the business which has allowed me to utilise my business and ice cream knowledge into running Stew n’ Drew’s. We saw the perfect opportunity to get involved in the ice cream business and we’ve never looked back since.
“It’s been a huge risk for both of us and it’s a demanding 24/7 job, but getting to do something we love is totally worth the long hours. It’s great fun getting to be so creative in our line of work, experimenting with a number of different flavours to get the tastes we want. Over the festive period we offered new flavours like champagne sorbets, Christmas pudding ice cream and a selection of flavours of ice cream cakes, which went down a treat as Christmas day desserts.
“We only pasteurise our milk once which gives our ice cream its distinctive taste. We use small batch freezers that benefit the overall taste of the ice cream and we also add in our top secret special ingredient, which really helps bring out the flavours.”
The young entrepreneurs have marked the Granite City as the next market to break in 2015 following a successful first year in business in the Highlands.
Known for their quirky flavours including favourites; Scottish tablet, Apple pie and Ferrero Rocher flavoured ice cream, peach and mango, champagne and mulled wine flavoured sorbets, the business has proven extremely popular with consumers in the Highlands.
After a successful first year in the market, the pair are looking forward to their second year in business and hope to sample the sweet taste of success when they venture into the Aberdeen market from spring this year.