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Duncan Bridge and Mike Tuckwell - the ice cream producers of Pulborough

PUBLISHED: 16:41 30 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:41 30 May 2014

Seriously Real ice cream, Pulborough

Seriously Real ice cream, Pulborough

Kate Eastman

In the lovely West Sussex village of Pulborough Duncan Bridge and Mike Tuckwell produce sumptuous ice creams in some unusual flavours

Seriously Real ice cream, PulboroughSeriously Real ice cream, Pulborough

Situated in the picturesque village of Pulborough is the delicious ice cream producer Seriously Real. Directors Duncan Bridge and Mike Tuckwell run the business together. Paul Langtry is an investor but has no active role in the business.

“My background for the last 10 years was in website projects, but I have always had a keen interest in food and have cooked as a hobby for many years,” says Mike. “I made some ice cream for my uncle who came for lunch one Sunday and he liked it so much he said I should sell it, I laughed at the time but then after a while started to think that perhaps it wasn’t such a bad idea.” He goes on to say: “In August 2012 I asked my local pub and restaurant, The Rising Sun at Nutbourne, if they would like to use my ice cream to sell to their customers, at first they were apprehensive as I had no track record.” In response, Mike suggested an experiment, providing some free samples for the pub to sell at half price in exchange for customer feedback. “It soon became apparent that the customers loved it and after a couple of weeks The Rising Sun sold my ice cream exclusively.”

In the Autumn of 2012 Duncan Bridge was the chef at the Rising Sun. “After a few chats we discussed how to expand the business and decided to move the set-up to a suitable barn on Duncan’s farm. We formed a partnership and converted the barn into an ice cream production unit. The barn was completed in August of 2013 with the approval of the local food hygiene and health authorities,” explains Mike.

Seriously Real currently offers 35 different ice cream flavours and eight sorbets.

“We make small batches, mainly made to order, but we do keep some popular flavours in stock. Some of our flavours we have designed ourselves and others are requests, like the Roquefort & Pickled Walnut for Britten’s Restaurant in Guildford to go with a Pear Tatin. We also provided a Armagnac and Bourbon Vanilla to the Roundabout Hotel and Restaurant in West Chiltington,” says Mike.

Seriously Real’s most popular flavour is Classic Bourbon Vanilla with “Wild Strawberry, Belgian Choc Chip, Honeycomb, Minty Belgian Choc Chip, Ginger & Honey, Sea Salted Caramel, Jamaican Rum & Raisin, Banoffee, Peanutoffee, Coconut and Elderflower and Limoncello Sorbet close behind,” says Mike. “In 2013 we made about 1,500 litres and in 2014 we hope to make between 6,000 to 8,000 litres.”

Mike and Duncan are constantly trying to find ways to help their production of ice cream run more efficiently. “We had a brand new large sausage stuffing machine converted by retired local inventor and engineer John Coxon to fill the 120ml and 500ml pots,” explains Mike. “The ice creams that take more time to produce are the ones where we make our own ingredients, so for the Choc Fudge Brownie we make the brownie and the choc fudge and honeycomb from scratch.”

Two of the most important ingredients in their ice cream are the cream and milk, which come from Sussex Farmer of the Year, Southview Farm Dairy in Bury, Pulborough. “They produce a very high quality product which we are very happy to use in our ice creams. Their herd is a cross of Holstein and Guernsey cows, which in our view produces the best cream.

My personal favourite is the Classic Bourbon Vanilla, as well as many others in our range. Duncan likes the Sea Salted Caramel.”

All of Seriously Real’s ice creams and sorbets can be purchased from www.seriouslyreal.co.uk. Both retail in 120ml and 500ml takeaway pots and are served in the restaurants listed. Please note some restaurants use their ice cream and sorbet for either special occasions or with a particular dessert, so please ask first.

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Closer to home?

Caroline’s Dairy - Sidlesham | West Sussex

Caroline Spiby went into business in 2008 making ice cream from the family dairy herd’s milk. You can find the delicious range in local pubs, restaurants, farm and village shops, and Caroline also supplies the South East National Trust and British Airways. Flavours include Sea Buckthorn and Banoffee.

www.carolinesdairy.co.uk, 01243 641001

Downsview Farmhouse - Ringmer | East Sussex

Made in Sussex using quality natural ingredients with no added artificial colours or preservatives. The company sources ingredients locally, with their eggs coming from an East Sussex producer. The range of about 200 different flavours is available at lots of local outlets, including Laughton Village Store.

www.downsviewfarm.co.uk, 01825 841002

Sussex Ice Cream Company - Littlehampton | West Sussex

Made by hand by an experienced pastry chef, this ice cream showcases local ingredients including honey from Paynes, and local strawberries and raspberries when they’re in season. The ice cream is made with double cream from Southview Farm Dairy in Bury near Arundel. If you fancy trying it, you can buy the ice cream from local stockists including The Hungry Guest in Petworth and Shoreham’s Ropetackle Centre.

www.sussexicecreamcompany.co.uk, 01903 717113

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