A Barnsley-based luxury ice-cream company which supplies top restaurants, hotels and farm shops has introduced a tasty new range of products for dogs.
The Cowlick Creamery, owned by husband and wife team Rory and Carly Fallon, specialises in selling its up-market ice-cream at weddings, corporate and special events and also already counts a number of high-end retail and hospitality venues amongst its customers.
Set up in March 2015, the business is growing fast and now Carly has spotted a new niche in the market for pampered pets.
Carly said: “On hot days a large number of our customers were buying ice creams for themselves and then asking if they could have a vanilla cone for their dog. So I decided to make some special doggy flavours which are safe for them, and us, to eat and great for cooling them down.”
Carly has already tested her peanut butter flavour ice-cream out on a number of enthusiastic canine customers and is in the process of developing new flavours such as cheese and bacon as well as apple and carrot with biscuits.
All of Carly’s doggy ice-cream recipes include ingredients which are suitable for doggy digestion.
“A lot of dogs are lactose intolerant so I use ingredients which are easier to digest and are good for their coats,” said Carly, who will be selling the company’s new range of ice cream for hot dogs this summer.
Carly was supported to set up Cowlick Creamery through the Barnsley business start-up programme – Smartstart, which is managed by the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), at Wilthorpe, working in partnership with Barnsley Council.
Carly said: “I applied to join the six week Smartstart business start-up programme about marketing and finance and found it really helpful. The presentations were of a very high quality and gave me the confidence to get my own business started.
“After just four months we are already supplying our ice-cream to a Yorkshire-based Michelin trained chef, which is a ringing endorsement.”
Carly’s husband Rory, a former Barnsley FC player, who is currently in pre-season training with Scunthorpe United, has been helping with the early stages of the business as he recovered from a knee ligament injury.
“Rory has become the official flavour tester and he always tells me if he is happy with the product,” said Carly.
The Cowlick’s luxury ice-cream flavours include lemon curd, rhubarb crumble, key lime pie and pear and pecorino. The company also specialises in alcoholic sorbets which they make for corporate events and weddings.
Rory said: “The most popular flavours are prosecco with strawberry and Locksley gin and rhubarb.”
The pair take their products out to events in a specially designed vintage tricycle called Maisie, which has been hand crafted and painted with their logo.
Carly, from Swansea, originally qualified as a solicitor but wanted a change of career and decided to take a cookery diploma. She was taught how to make Italian ice-cream and became totally hooked.
Carly said: “For the past four years, I’ve been learning about the science of ice cream making. I don’t want to use artificial flavourings, so we include fresh ingredients in all our products and you can really taste the difference.”
SmartStart has helped more than 200 business set up over the last two years with free business advice, guidance and workshops.
BBIC’s Smartstart business development manager, Sarah Valentine-Bull, said: “It’s great to have a brand new business like The Cowlick Creamery based in Barnsley.
“Carly and Rory are already making their mark in the Yorkshire region. They are enthusiastic and innovative and keep developing fantastic new ideas for flavours and products.
“I am sure they will go on to build their client base and eventually open their own ice-cream parlour – with room for dogs naturally.”
The next Smartstart open day for people who are thinking about setting up their own business will be held at BBIC on Tuesday 7th July 101m-4pm. Visit www.barnsleystartup.co.uk for details.
The Smartstart programme is part of a wider strategy to help grow the local economy, as set out in Barnsley Council’s Jobs and Business Plan 2014-2017.