An independent real fruit ice cream business has successfully launched in south Harris after working with Business Gateway which is a service provided by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Berry Bliss Real Fruit Ice Cream, launched this year, offers a range of six real fruit ice cream flavours, the first of its kind in the Western Isles.
The process of this refreshing treat originates from New Zealand where founder, Lucy Duff, grew up and consists of either frozen yoghurt or ice cream blended with frozen berries of choice.
The ice cream is made to order, dispensed and served to customers in either a waffle cone or small tub from the Berry Bliss Real Fruit Ice Cream trailer.
To start her business, Lucy approached Business Gateway. Following a host of support from their start-up services, including 1:1 advice and funding, she was able to successfully launch her business.
Business Gateway helped Lucy develop and finalise her business plan with specialised support from a dedicated adviser, who also offered guidance on funding.
Lucy was subsequently awarded a grant through the Comhairle’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme (CERGS). This let Lucy purchase the catering trailer, from which to prepare and serve her product, and a real fruit ice cream blender.
Additionally, through the continued direction and support from Business Gateway, Lucy also accessed loan funding through the Comhairle’s Revolving Loan Fund. This allowed Lucy to invest in additional catering equipment including refrigerators and coffee machines, expanding her offering to include a selection of hot and cold drinks.
Lucy Duff, founder, Berry Bliss Real Ice Cream said: “Having grown up in New Zealand, where real fruit ice cream is a common type of dessert, I knew I wanted to bring the novelty of this delicious treat to the Western Isles. Working with Business Gateway has helped make that idea a reality and I can’t believe how far we have come.
Real Fruit Ice Cream
“It has been one of my best business decisions to engage with the Business Gateway service. The quality of support was fantastic, and their help and guidance meant that I was able to invest in premises and equipment, covering off a lot of my initial business costs.
“Berry Bliss Real Fruit Ice Cream is now available all year round."
They are primarily located at the Seallam! Centre in Northton throughout the summer months.
"We will be doing pop-ups throughout the winter and have plans to create more flavours and offer dairy free options too. I am looking forward to introducing this delicacy to many more locals and visitors of the island.”
Fiona Chisholm, Business Gateway, said: “Lucy led with her passion for real fruit ice cream and identified a gap in the market to launch the first of its kind in the Outer Hebrides."