WHAT INSPIRED ME TO START RAYS ICE CREAM, SWINDON?
I’m Hadi, I founded Rays Ice Cream in 2011 when we opened our first shop in Old Town, Swindon. I hadn’t planned to be an ice cream maker, but I was made redundant whilst heavily pregnant with my daughter and I knew I’d find it almost impossible to get another job.
As I was thinking about what I could do, my mind kept drifting back to when I was a little girl, growing up by the seaside in Pembrokeshire and the delicious, ‘proper artisan’ ice cream I used to love. So…I followed my intuition and Rays Ice Cream was born! The artisan ice cream we make is very different to the ice cream you find in a supermarket in lots of ways…for a start there’s the ingredients… at Rays Ice Cream we use whole milk and double cream, whereas lots of ice cream you’ll find in supermarkets are mostly air, with a bit of vegetable oil and no milk or cream at all! Then there’s the taste…artisan ice cream tastes thick, velvety and full of flavour, whereas supermarket ice creams are thinner, blander and taste sugary. See our Why work with us page for lots more detail on why hand made ice cream is better
When I decided to start making ice cream, I wanted to make it the best that I could, in small batches using great quality ingredients and no cheap fillers. I sourced local milk and local cream and where the best ingredients weren’t available locally, I bought Italian ones.
If I was going to get people to buy artisan ice cream in Swindon, Wiltshire (nowhere near the sea!) I knew I had to make it special so that they would want to come back, tell their friends and leave great reviews.
Since starting my first shop more than 8 years ago lots has changed, we’ve now got a second shop in Royal Wootton Bassett and we operate pop up shops in the summer as well as our mobile units for selling at weddings and events locally.
I wanted to be able to share my ice cream more widely and so increasingly Rays Ice Cream are selling wholesale, business to business within about an hour of Swindon. So if you own or operate a restaurant, desserts shop, foodie pub, hotel, events company or any other business that uses ice cream in bulk then please get in touch, I would love to talk to you. Our delivery area is expanding all the time and currently includes the Stroud district, the Cotswold district, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Newbury, Hungerford, Royal Wootton Bassett, Chippenham, Lechlade and Cirencester – if you could drive to Swindon in about an hour then we probably deliver to your area. We also use a local distributor, Heritage Fine Foods, who deliver our ice cream in Bristol, Bath, Berkshire, Hampshire and down to the south coast.