Our Story

  • Windermere Ice Cream was originally thought of by Ernest Atkinson the grandfather of one of the present owners. Having spent two years as a prisoner having been captured on the Some in 1916, Ernest started his own Confectionery and Tobacco business in Bowness in early 1920, specializing in fine chocolates which he delivered to many of the large houses in the area. As luxury goods became more and more available during the 1920’s and new tastes for the likes of Ice Cream, Ernest started to produce by hand, a small quantity of Ice cream, the forerunner to what we now know as Windermere Ice Cream.
  • The production was very much on a small scale, no mechanical devises were used, just hours of hand churning with dry ice to freeze it down. This type of production carried on until the early thirties when production had to stop due to shortages and the recession that had befallen the county at that time.
  • After the second world war and rationing had ceased Ernest’s two sons Sydney and Maurice took over the business after his untimely death in 1949. A purpose built factory was purchased at the back of the sale rooms along South Terrace in Bowness. A partnership with a local firm of bakers (Nicolson’s Bakery) was formed and the Windermere Ice Cream Co was established. Throughout the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s the brand Windermere Ice Cream was well known in the area, with several accounts throughout Cumbria taking the one flavour, Vanilla, to sell in their shops and cafes.
  • In 1976 the business was sold, the Nicolson family had retired and ill health of one of the Atkinson family left the two families very little option. The company continued to trade for a few years after the sale, but failed to embrace the new treads that had come from Italy and USA, that being Multi Flavour ice cream. In 1978 the decision was made by the Atkinson family to start there own production of multi flavours which are today the bedrock of the Windermere Ice Cream we see today.
  • In 2001 after the death of both Sydney and Maurice, a decision by Andrew (Ernest’s Grandson), and his brother in law Dave Tucker to create a new production and wholesale company to sell the ice cream that had been made famous in the shops in Bowness. After ten years of management problems and the company drifting, Andrew & Dave took over full responsibility for the business three years ago and have transformed it into a business that I’m sure Ernest would be proud of.
  • The ethos of the business is one where it sources from local suppliers, for instance, milk from Sizergh Barn Farm, practically all its ripples and jams are made by Geoff Monkman in Staveley using Scottish raspberries, strawberries and English Blackcurrants.  The Mint is from Hampshire where it is grown on Southern Down Farm. Over the past three years our production team have worked tirelessly to  rid all  colourings that many ice creams have. Our Bubblegum Ice cream personifies the lengths we have gone to. The blue colour is Spiralis, a super food that does not cause hypoactivity in children, as is the mint, but with the addition of Cartimus another super food.
  • All our packaging will be compostable in the next 18 months, any plastic is recyclable, with our goal to have a zero carbon footprint by 2022. We still have a way to go. Sugar free and dairy free options will be part of our development program, which will still carry the same ethos as our full dairy products.
  • If your company wants to be a step ahead of the rest, look seriously at the Windermere Ice Cream Company. We believe we produce the best ice cream in the area, we don’t cut corners and we don’t use vegetable fat to make our product cheaper. Our flagship shop in Bowness has sold over 6 million scoops of our ice cream in the past 18 years, it is in over 50 guide books in the far east and is a destination for thousands of visitors every year.

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