Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
Producer: Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, Manchester
Product: Pure Origin Chocolate and Lush Brownie Ice Cream
Region: North West
Category: From the dairy, artisan
What they do:
While working in the kitchens of several Manchester’s restaurants (including Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc), Claire Kelsey came up with the idea of setting up her own ice cream business. In 2009, launched Ginger’s Comfort Emporium: a mobile ice cream bar delivering quirky flavours of ice cream and sorbets to the streets of Manchester.
Claire spent many summers touring the UK’s food and music festivals, serving scoops of small batch, hand-churned ice cream out of her refurbished bright pink 1997 Ford Transit van, described as “an ice cream van for grown-ups”. In 2013 Ginger’s set up permanent residence on the first floor of Afflecks Palace in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
Claire and her small team hand-pasteurise all the ice cream themselves, rather than using an automated batch-pasteurising machine. They experiment with new and unusual flavours each week using milk from high-welfare, small dairy farms within a 30-mile radius of their Chorlton kitchen; second-class, over-ripe seasonal fruit from Smithfield market; and chocolate from Pure Origin just 20 miles down the road. Flavours include peanut butter and salted caramel, goat’s cheese and cherry, marmalade on toast, and white chocolate and pink peppercorn.
Working with Mustard Tree, Crisis and The Booth Centre – homeless charities that across operate across Manchester, Ginger’s Comfort Emporium offers paid roles in the kitchen and emporium to people who have fallen on hard times.
What the judges said:
The judges were inspired by Ginger’s use of seasonal ingredients and their interesting and unusual flavours. Her small but dedicated team, their work within the local community and the company’s dedication to smallholdings also thoroughly impressed the panel.
Visit the website: Ginger’s Comfort Emporium