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Popular Ice-cream Parlour and Café offered to the market

Natland Millbeck Farm Ice Cream Parlour and Café is being offered to the market for the first time since it was developed in 2006 as part of a family farm. Heather Gardner, who established the parlour with her daughter-in-law Louise, has made a difficult decision to retire and hang up the scoops at the attractive stone built premises which will now be offered on a leases basis for a new operator to make their mark.

 

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Heather grew up in Kentmere and learned her love of local grown food with her grandmother making homemade butter, cheese, jams, chilies and eggs and selling them at the indoor market in Kendal. The knowledge of dairy products was to set her up well when she moved to a dairy farm in the south east of Kendal with husband Roger in 1972. But when milk prices were falling in the early 2000s, the farm had to look to diversification to safeguard the young family’s future. At first they were knocked back with a planning refusal to build two small letting units however, with the help of DEFRA, CREA and Acorus, the family were encouraged to look at ways of adding value to their main product, milk, and the ice cream parlour idea was born.

This was the beginning of a major project which was set back by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, but Heather was determined to succeed and attended courses at the Scottish Agricultural College in Ice Cream Manufacturing and Food Technology and Louise studied at RSS Hereford in a change of career from a nursery nurse. The doors finally opened in 2006 and has grown to be one of the most popular cafes in Kendal over the last 11 years specialising in no less than 68 different flavours of ice cream as well as locally sourced food and refreshments.

Edwin Thompson Chartered Surveyors has been instructed to lease the land and property which serves around 55 covers in the main café, a 1st floor function room, attractive gardens with further seating, play barn and extensive car parking. John Haley, Commercial Partner at Edwin Thompson comments “Natland Millbeck Farm Ice-cream Parlour truly is a unique opportunity – it is rare that such a successful and fully fitted café is made available with an established customer base but with the freedom to develop the business as a new venture. Heather and Louise have made the café a hugely popular venue attracting local people as well as visitors serving their specialty ice-creams and foods to over 20,000 customers every year. With planning permission in place to extend the premises to the rear, there are a range of options to expand the café and uses on site”.

Louise has enjoyed being part of the ice cream parlour family business commenting that “all the staff look up to Heather and her influence over the years has been imperative to the success” She wishes her well for a happy retirement which will largely be spent with her three grandchildren. Heather and Louise will continue to run the café until a new operator is secured and are grateful for the support they have received from their hardworking staff which are a valuable asset to the business. Heather comments “Part of our employment policy has been to recruit local students and it is very satisfying to see them gain confidence and an important part of their career progression. The future owners of the ice-cream parlour and café will benefit from an area and people that is rich in local food and interest”.

Edwin Thompson are inviting expressions of interest on a lease basis and the disposal is being handled from the Carlisle Office, further information is available from John Haley – telephone 01228 548385.

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