Local life - Backford Belles Ice Cream
- Credit: Archant
Eat ice cream on a hot sunny day and gaze at the cows
The village of Backford just outside Chester is home to Backford Belles Ice Cream, which is a destination for locals and visitors alike.
Although close to the built-up outskirts of the city, the shop retains lots of village charm. It is here you can eat ice cream on a hot sunny day and gaze at the cows who produced the rich Jersey cream that make it so special.
Mary Littler and her daughter, Ruth, started making ice cream at the kitchen table of the family’s Seven Acres farmhouse in 2009. They are both no longer involved in the business but son Mark and assistant manager Nicky Ault continue to make the ice cream on the farm using milk from the Jersey herd: it’s literally from cow to cone!
‘Using our own milk ensures we know exactly where it has come from and we can be sure the welfare of the cows producing our milk is excellent’, says Mark.
‘All of our Jersey cows are raised from calves here on the farm, where they stay and will one day have calves of their own.’
The milk from the 40 strong herd is taken directly from the milking parlour to the small production area where it is pasteurised and turned into ice cream within hours.
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‘We produce between 30 and 50 flavours,’ explains Mark.
‘There are some quite unusual ones too. We have honeycomb salted caramel, orange marmalade and even unicorn varieties.’
The ice cream shop also has a cafe serving locally made cakes and there’s a play area for children. From September to November there’s also a mini maize trail.
‘A lot of people use us as a place to chat over coffee and ice cream,’ adds Mark. ‘Plus our customers who have been coming since 2009 love the way that we have grown and not become over-commercialised.’
Acres Farm, Chester Road, Backford, CH1 6PE www.backfordbelles.com