Lucy Bergius of Over Langshaw Ice Cream
An ice cream maker in the Borders is set to double the size of its manufacturing unit after securing funding through the Scottish Borders LEADER fund.
Over Langshaw Ice Cream is set to receive 50% of the £90,000 needed to double the size of its manufacturing facility after successfully obtaining a grant from the Scottish Borders LEADER fund.
The funding also help the company, run by Lucy Bergius on her family farm in Galashiels, buy a larger ice cream making machine that will double production to 1,400 litres during the busy summer months.
The extra capacity will help the producer target new wholesale customers, adding to the 40 restaurants in Edinburgh and the Borders it already supplies as well as sell more ice cream from the Police Box it owns in the capital’s Grassmarket.
Bergius said: “I’ve had support from Business Gateway right from the start, initially attending its start-up courses, which built my business knowledge and confidence, and more recently my adviser suggested we apply to the LEADER fund to help us grow. His letter of support for the application was invaluable.
"Without the funding we would not have been able to expand or take on the full-time ice cream maker who has just started with us.
“Our growth over the past 10 years has been gradual, and getting the clients we have has taken a lot of hard work and perseverance. However, we were at a crossroads last year, running to capacity and having to turn down work.
"We could either have stayed the same or grown and I decided there were too many opportunities, particularly in the capital, for our ice cream so the new machine, walk-in freezer and overall larger storage area will help us to do just that.”
Chris Trotman of Business Gateway added: “The Scottish Border’s LEADER fund has already awarded £1.5m in grants since it was launched in February last year, helping small businesses throughout the region innovate, expand and create jobs.
"When Lucy came to us for advice on which direction to take the business, applying to LEADER seemed the best route to secure the money she needed to expand.
"Now the company is in a strong position and has the capacity needed to comfortably take on more stockists and sell direct to customers at local events and in the Grassmarket.”
The idea for Over Langshaw Ice Cream arose in 2007 when Lucy’s mum and dad, Martyn and Shelia, dairy farmers for over 30 years, decided to diversify their business, using milk produced by its 120 Friesian cattle on their 500 acre farm to produce ice cream.
Starting out with just eight flavours, the ice cream maker now has over 60 including unique blends such as Heather Honey & Pink Peppercorn, Blue Cheese, Pea & Mint, and Marmite. The company also produce a wide variety of sorbets that are made using local sourced seasonal fruit.
Lucy said: “I fell into making ice cream, returning from travelling in 2007 to work in the manufacturing unit my mum and dad had just built. I’ve always been interested in good quality food with provenance so our ice cream is now my passion as I know where all the raw materials come from.
“Ideas for new flavours generally come from the chefs who work in the restaurants we sell to. Nothing is too wacky for us to try, and it keeps things exciting. We produce small batches so if something doesn’t work it’s not a huge loss but when it does it is amazing and that’s what our clients like - we aren’t afraid to try anything.”