Caterer Spotlight: Tyne Valley Ices

Tyne Valley Ices is an ice cream manufacturer, wholesaler and mobile business based in Hexham, Northumberland. Winner of the 2022 Mobiler of the Year Award, and runner up in the 2021 competition, owner Zoe Philipson was born into the ice cream business and is keeping the legacy going for future generations.

Here, we catch up with her to get the ‘scoop’ on why she loves being her own boss, and why it’s so important to buy British.


Hi Zoe, thanks for joining us for a chat! How did you get involved in Tyne Valley Ices?

The business was started by my parents in 1974. I joined after finishing my A levels just over 10 years ago. We’ve very much kept our traditional values but have a fresh outlook on the ever-changing industry.


You source your produce locally. Why is it important for you to do so?

Buying British is very important to us. Not only do we have ice cream vans, but we also manufacture our own ice cream and topping sauces. British ingredients are key to us during production – not only to support our local economy – but to reduce our impact on the environment.

When stocking the ice cream vans, we are conscious of where the different products come from. To give one example, our delicious cones come from Antonelli Bros who manufacture right here in the UK.

It’s important to support local! Tell us what you love about having your own business?

It’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice but nothing beats seeing your own product out there being enjoyed by new customers and regular faces coming back for more.


What made you become an NCASS member?

I love keeping up to date with information involving the food industry. NCASS kept coming up on newsfeeds on social media and catching my eye. I saw that they covered some fantastic topics and I wanted to be a part of it.


Covid was a tough time for our industry. What did you miss most during that time?

Most definitely the events! The weddings in particular- they are great fun to do in the vans or with our ice cream trikes and they have been sorely missed. Seeing many events come back this year has given a real feel-good factor and I can’t wait to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a busy summer’s day again.


What’s in store this year?

Adjust to the new normal. I can imagine price rises and stock availability are going to cause extra stress this year but most of all, to keep doing what we love and enjoy it as much as possible. Be as creative and crazy as possible and love each challenge that comes our way, no matter how hard they seem at the time.


What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt about running your own business?

Every day is a school day. The moment you think you have everything under control, life will humble you the hard way. The most important thing to remember is to trust your gut and do what you think is best, always seek advice but don’t be afraid not to take it.

Good advice, Zoe! Name your food idols?

I’m always too busy eating the food rather than knowing who’s cooked it. I appreciate the quick wit and decisiveness of Gordon Ramsay, the Italian passion from Gino D’Acampo and the crazy creativity of Heston Blumenthal. I had the pleasure to chat with Gennaro Contaldo while at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show earlier in the year. He’s a true gent full of knowledge and took the time to try our award-winning luxury white chocolate topping sauce.

We couldn’t round off the interview without asking you this. Favourite ice cream flavour?

Sorry to be a bore but its 100% vanilla!

What memories does ice cream invoke for you?

My childhood was enriched with the smell of the ice cream being made in the factory, even now the smell of milk and vanilla essence fills me with nostalgia.

Follow their journey here & for more cateter spotlights, look here

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