Thrings Eats…at New Forest Ice Cream, Lymington

Thrings eats new forest ice cream

In this series about the region’s food producers and farmers, Holly Algar from Thrings talks to the team behind a delicious family business

Four decades ago, a postmaster’s five-year-old daughter posed a question that would change her family’s lives.

Lawrie and Sue Jenman ran a Post Office in The New Forest, with ice cream on sale in the shop.

“The van would turn up to deliver it but, especially if it was a sunny day, we couldn’t get a decent enough supply and we’d sell out,” remembers Christina Veal, now 49. “So, I said to Dad: “Why don’t we make our own ice cream?”

They did – and soon started selling it to local shops, pubs and restaurants. Fast forward to the present day and New Forest Ice Cream, based at Lymington, sends out thousands of scoops of frozen treats every year.

Christina, her twin Niki and their cousin Dave Bishop head up a team of 43, with the sisters in charge of sales, HR and finance while Dave runs production.

The factory is gleaming – even though some of the equipment dates back to the early days of the business. At capacity it can produce 15,000 litres of packed ice cream a day, with around 40 flavours on the menu at any given time.

These include limited edition runs – for example a Ruby Ice Cream containing Processo, raspberries and white chocolate to mark the business’s 40th anniversary.

Product development is informed by customer feedback and the trio’s own tastes. “If we like it, we do it!” says Niki. “A few years ago, we heard rumblings about salted caramel, so we put it together and said ‘we’ve got to do this’. Now it’s our second top seller, after vanilla.”

The factory has been at its current site in Lymington for 12 years, following several moves over the years. The production process is eco-conscious, with solar panels and a system that re-uses retained heat and cooling as much as possible.

The resulting ice cream is sold through wholesalers across the south and beyond, served everywhere from beach kiosks and vans to places like Moors Valley Country Park and Paulton’s Park.

At busy times, like the height of summer, it’s all hands to the pump. “We all muck in,” says Dave. “If the drivers and warehouse people are out then you’ll find Niki, Christina and I in the freezer picking out orders.”

All the team are local, and many have been with the business a long time – some for up to 25 years. “They take pride in their work, and they care about the company and our name,” says Dave. “That pride is reflected in the factory and in the final product – you can taste it!”


Thrings Business growth lawyers

Related Articles