My first foray with food was years ago when I opened a restaurant in north Wales, but Drunken Dairy was born in the spring of 2013, after months of my amazing daughters and their friends convincing me I should go for it.
I’m from Wales, so used to having cows around and the drunken cow was an obvious concept to go with. Our ice creams are based on traditional dairy produce, and everyone loves a bit of alliteration don’t they? Drunken Dairy tells you what we do, and it’s easy to remember.
Well, I just love ice cream, but if you make it at home it’s really hard and needs tempering before you can eat it, and I’m too impatient for that. Then I discovered that alcohol lowers the freezing point – so suddenly I had two of my fave things in one hit. And, as long you get the recipe right, it’s soft scoop and tastes amazing.
I’d been umming and aahing for months, then I went on a food entrepreneurs course run by Lambeth Council. The final session was a tasting one: people just loved it, and when a very famous food/restaurant critic (who writes for the Observer and has a programme on Radio 4) said I should set out, I had the confidence kick and got going.
Our very first sales were at Crystal Palace Overground festival in 2013. Just a couple of weeks later we got an order for 300 tubs for Yahoo’s staff summer event on a recommendation from someone who had bought one at the festival.
Because of the amounts of booze we use, you have to have an alcohol licence to sell it. I’ve now got a personal alcohol licence, but it is still restrictive when it comes to pushing sales. Finding a second-hand freezer van was tough too – Daisy came all the way from Whitby.
People have had enough of mass-produced, over-processed food that they can’t trust, or that just doesn’t taste good. Provenance, integrity and quality are critical these days, and street food in particular has become an event in itself. So it’s an exciting time, the demand is there and the ideas are there – I spotted some amazing doughnuts a few days ago – fresh rhubarb & real custard filling. Yum!
We’ll be at Taste London in Regent’s Park in June, Lambeth Country Show again, and also at the Foodies Festivals at Clapham Common, and of course the Overground Festival at Palace. We do corporate events and parties too – best thing is to follow us on Twitter.
There are lots of different outlets for us – we are already in a couple of Picturehouse Cinemas, and so developing this and aiming for theatres is on the list. If we can, a pitch to Waitrose or Wholefoods would be brill. Ooh, and I want to create a couple of new flavours – so let me know any suggestions!