The ice cream king Alistair Jessel

PUBLISHED: 14:05 25 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:57 20 February 2013

Taywell ice cream

Taywell ice cream

Kent entrepreneur Alastair Jessel on why he has quit farming, fruit-growing and farm shops for ice cream

Never afraid of a challenge or a new direction, Alastair Jessel has taken the radical decision to sell a 260-acre farm that has been in the family since 1870, move to a new home in Sissinghurst and shift his Taywell ice cream business to the same site in Paddock Wood where he began his career with a stone tile business two decades ago.

Now running what he believes is Kent's first purpose-built ice cream factory, Alastair says: The business was meant to be a hobby for me and it was great fun, but I hadn't realised how successful it was going to be and how much it was going to outgrow the farm.

The feedback in letters, emails and tweets from customers has been so encouraging when weve had so many grotty times on the farm.

These include having to close his specialist shop in Tunbridge Wells after failing to attract enough customers and dealing with with what he describes as unjustified complaints from neighbours about the ice cream business on his farm.

Although clearly a labour of love, there are no shortcuts with ice cream of this quality. From growing his own raspberries in order to keep up with the demand for their best-selling sorbet, to insisting that every stage is done by hand, the standards are impeccable.

Its not a business you can turn into a multi-million pound industry, says Alastair. Our usp is that it is all done by hand and that whatever we can get, grow or source locally, we will.

Despite intending to not only become a dominant player in Kent but also to establish a serious presence in Londons golden triangle from Putney to Battersea, you wont find Taywell ice cream in the supermarket but rather in your local farm shop, select theatres such as Trinity in Tunbridge Wells and via an Ocado-style home delivery ice cream service with online orders.

And Alastair, whose own favourite ice cream among the 100 different flavours he offers is white Malteser, is aiming for an ambitious 100 per cent growth in 2011. Pass me the honeycomb tub...


GET IN TOUCH:
Taywell Ice Creams, Forstal House
Maidstone Road, Beltring, Paddock Wood, Nr Tonbridge TN12 6PY
01892 835555
alastair@taywell.co.uk

More from Food & Drink

Friday, May 15, 2020

We have teamed up with the Oxfordshire distillery to offer one lucky winner a gorgeous hamper of gin

Read more
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

‘Kent, sir, everyone knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women,’ proclaims a character in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. We have gathered some traditional dishes from around the county that were borne of the fruitful orchards and seas of Kent

Read more
Friday, May 1, 2020

These Kent restaurants are offering delivery and takeaway services during the lockdown – so keep supporting local businesses while enjoying delicious local food

Read more
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A new small batch craft gin called Cantium, the ancient Roman name for Kent, truly honours its origins

Read more
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

If The Game Changers is on your self-isolation playlist, you may need to delve into the detail before making any life-changing decisions.

Read more
Monday, March 23, 2020

Recipe by kind permission of Karen Reynolds of Kincott Dairy

Read more

Under new management, The Marquis of Granby has changed its name, transformed its look and brought a fresh, exciting approach to ‘pub classics’

Read more

Focus on producers, makers and growers who have all been helped by Kent Farmers’ Market Association

Read more
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

What better way to spoil those special ladies in your life on Mothering Sunday than to prepare a delicious afternoon tea? Our award-winning food writer prepares a pretty table of delicious Kentish goodies

Read more
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Shrove Tuesday falls on 25 February so why not make some classic pancakes using local eggs from your favourite market and maybe even stoneground flour from Pure Kent?

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life