Sweet success for Northern Bloc

Sweet success for Northern Bloc

An entrepreneurial duo from Yorkshire have invested over £100,000 into their rapidly growing ice cream manufacturing business, Northern Bloc, and are set for future growth after receiving a £21,000 support grant from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Josh Lee and Dirk Mischendahl have already seen £350,000 invested into Northern Bloc, with £107,000 recently invested in additional cold storage facilities and automated filling equipment to boost production capacity by 300%.

Now, the pair is looking to further investment to help them reach a £15m turnover business within the next five years.

The ice cream manufacturer currently sells its range to high end retailers, theatres and major regional visitor attractions including Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Bolton Abbey.

Northern Bloc put their unique flavours down to guidance from award-winning Italian chef Manolo Imperatori, alongside their use of all natural ingredients.

“Manolo has developed a unique natural ingredient that we use in our ice creams. It means we can make the highest quality, pure ice creams with absolutely no artificial flavourings, additives or synthetic syrups. It also allows us to make an ice cream that’s easy to scoop straight from the freezer and has a super smooth texture,” explained director Josh Lee.

“We make ice creams and sorbets in traditional flavours but with a unique Northern Bloc twist. So, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate are still the best selling flavours on the market but we make our own versions of these – strawberry and black pepper, chocolate and sea salt, Madagascan bourbon vanilla – all combined with Manolo’s secret know.”

Satisfying and growing demand for the core product range is the immediate priority for the firm but in the future business partner Dirk Mischendahl sees opportunities to expand the product ranges.

Co-director Dirk Mischendhal said: “For too many years the ice cream market in the UK has been taken for granted and people overall have not known what is possible.

“At Northern Bloc we give a lot of respect to the art of ice cream making and Manolo treats it as a science rather than a summer treat.  With the support from the LEP, for which we are very thankful, we’re confident that we can challenge perceptions and build a great business.”

Northern Bloc is just one of over 1700 businesses who have been supported to grow since the launch the LEP’s growth service in July 2015.

Roger Marsh OBE, LEP chair said: “Northern Bloc is a great example of an ambitious SME who can accelerate their growth by working with the LEP. 

“Having spoken to businesses, we understand finding time to sift through all of the business support offers can be a real issue for SME owners.  This is why we created the Growth Service and already it is paying dividends.  I encourage businesses owners to pick up the phone and talk to us.” 



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