The Producers: Caprilatte Ice Cream, Abberton
- Credit: Archant
IF you heard there was an award-winning ice cream producer with its own recently revamped café, farm shop and children’s play area, all in a farmland setting, you may well have it on your list of summer holiday activities.
Caprilatte Ice Cream is produced by Warren and Ellie Goff at Butterfly Lodge, a farm they have created together from the ground upwards. Ellie has a farming background and Warren has marketing and sales expertise, so the couple proved a great pairing to begin a new business.
They moved onto the land in September 2001. Ellie explains: ‘There was literally nothing here but grass. I was the one who could initially lay bricks, however Warren quickly learnt and what you see around you now has all been built by us.’
Today there is also an Education Centre, where Warren and Ellie teach vulnerable young people life skills. The couple have also built a Post Office building, which has been voted as one of the top 10 in Great Britain, and the newly-launched café is called The Crafty Goat Ice Cream Parlour. A small children’s play area indoors with a fenced garden makes it a great place to take children while you look over the range of local foodstuffs.
What you might not realise as you let the soft, creamy flavoursome ice cream slide down is that it’s actually made entirely from goats milk. The farm, which houses cattle, sheep and pigs as well as goats, was supplying goats milk to other larger manufactures in the past, but with unstable milk markets Warren decided it would be more beneficial to bring the entire process in house.
He explains: ‘I’d not eaten ice cream since I was 12, but once I started to experiment with the goats milk the results were impressive. The herd have been in Ellie’s family for the past three generations and we know how to look after our goats to get the richest, creamiest milk.’
Warren has more than 50 ice cream flavours in his secret recipe book, including some unusual offerings such as country fruit cake with a hint of brandy and honeymoon pie, which was created with Ellie in mind.
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‘He was working ridiculous hours just after we got married, so his way of making it up to me was to create a flavour named in my honour,’ says Ellie. ‘Its Essex honey with honeycomb pieces and more honey drizzled over the top.’
Caprilatte supply local farm shops and in the past have done plenty of county fairs although lately they’ve been in demand with their Victorian ice cream cart for weddings and also corporate events. They serve five different flavoured ice creams for guests at the venue and some couples even request their very own unique flavours.
‘A young bride asked us to come up with a flavour incorporating Malteser, Minstrels and Irish cream, and we’ve done key lemon and lime pie with basil. We can produce almost any flavour, but we prefer to make the best quality, creamiest ice cream we can produce.’
They also do a range of fruit ices – with no dairy in at all, but intensely whipped to make them velvety soft.
So, what’s the most unusual flavour request? Full English breakfast!