Caerphilly based ice cream maker wins national competition

Minolis of Machen has been crowned champions at the National Ice Cream Competition. This former dairy farming family has won this most coveted prize in the ice cream industry for the fourth time – Minolis of Machen’s ice cream is served in its adjacent Basil & Rusty’s ice cream parlour and café based on the same farm – Gellwasted Farm, Machen just outside Caerphilly.

“We are absolutely delighted to win this award,” said Geraint Richards, chief ice cream creator for Minolis, and co-owner with his wife Emma of the adjacent Basil & Rusty’s parlour who made the award-winning ice cream. “Our success is all down to my late Dad, Lewis, who created this recipe that we still use today, and my Mum, Sue, who with a little help from us has carried on this award-winning ice cream making business after my Dad passed away in 2017.”

Geraint adds: “Our retail arm – Basil and Rusty’s is a family run ice cream parlour set in beautiful countryside, serving delicious ice cream desserts and gourmet coffee in a very relaxed friendly atmosphere. My mum is an integral part of our business as well. A fair description of the business dynamic is that Emma and Sue are the engine and ensure the essential work is done. I make the ice cream and talk a lot. And our kids Tess (9), Ted and Belle (both 7) are the chief tasters.”

The ice cream made under the Minolis of Machen brand is only available at the Basil and Rusty’s parlour and café and at the annual Royal Welsh Show on the Minolis of Machen stand under the grandstand.

The parlour sells the original seven classic flavours Minolis created (Dairy Vanilla, Wild Strawberry, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, Dairy Toffee, Rum and Raisin, Dairy Coffee) but keeps these up to date by creating special sundaes with high quality sauces and toppings to give different flavour combinations. They also serve superb waffles. Their new Lemon Crunch ice cream won a Diploma of Merit at the same competition.

The business sells cakes from a local cake maker who uses whole, natural ingredients, and they offer gourmet organic coffee from a small roaster just down the road. The milk and cream used in the ice cream also comes from a small, local family business. They aim to keep supply chains as local as possible and support small producers. Basil and Rusty’s will also start serving pizzas this summer.

For more information on Basil and Rusty’s visit its Facebook page: @basilandrustys

The National Ice Cream Competition is the ‘Oscars’ of the ice cream awards. It is held every year by the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), the UK trade association for the ice cream industry. Hundreds of products are submitted across 13 categories, ranging from Best Vanilla to ‘Alternative’ category products which includes those free from the top 14 allergens, dairy-free, low-fat, high-protein, no-sugar, and others. Submissions are judged blind by ice cream experts – making the results the most prestigious in the country.

“Congratulations to Geraint, Emma and Sue,” commented Zelica Carr, ICA CEO. “The ice cream sector has had a challenging time over the last two years. This family show that the sector has overcome these challenges and has bounced back better than ever for 2022 and the future.”

The National Ice Cream Competition has been running for 77 years and bestows a badge of quality and excellence on all those that win. It was judged by 43 experts over two days at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show 2022.

For more information on the Ice Cream Alliance visit:

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