Va va voom to Largs Car Fest this Sunday

Get into gear for the Largs Car Festival this Sunday 31st July.  This festival promises to be a great event for classic car enthusiasts and visitors alike.  With live music, food stalls & a licensed bar, children’s entertainment and a marquee full of beautiful vintage cars, there will be something for all of the family.

Seeing these classic cars is bound to make you feel a little nostalgic.  On your way home, pop into Sugar & Spice to browse our range of Stewart’s iconic vintage gift tins.  These beautifully embossed tins of luxury Scottish Shortbread and Fudge will bring back memories of a by-gone age.  Not only are they the perfect momento from your trip to the Largs Car Fest, but they are also a tasty treat for your journey home.

 

When is World Gin Day?

World Gin Day 2016

If you’ve been living on a desert island, incommunicado for who knows how long, I would understand you not knowing but it seems everyone has gone gin crazy.

This Saturday, 11th June 2016 is the 8th year of a global celebration of my favourite tipple of all time.  Keep calm, keep it simple, get together with your favourite friends and taste and try a selection of gins. Whether it’s a cocktail, with your favourite tonic or on it’s own, do whatever you like with it and rest assured:

Gin is in!

In case you’re wondering where to purchase your favourite gin, our range has now grown to over 30+ so why not try something new for World Gin Day?  We’re open 7 days till 10pm so there’s still time to pop in and pick up something new or you could pop over to our Facebook Page and enter our competition to win the gin of your choice this Sat and really have something to celebrate.

Have a G & T!

Happy World Gin Day 2016! x

Celebrating ‘the water of life’ at Largs Food Fest

What better way to celebrate World Whisky Day last Saturday than having a wee dram at Largs Food Festival. We were delighted to team up with Jim Irvine from Gordon & MacPhail in the marquee, offering our food fest visitors a taste of the creamy, award-winning 10 year old Benromach and the delicious boutique liqueur Atholl Brose. For many, it was their first taste of these whiskies and boy, did they go down well.

And the celebrations continued. As the food and drink producers were packing up their stalls in the main marquee, whisky enthusiasts made their way around to The George to soak up more information on ‘the water of life’. Cameron McCann, Director of Stirling Whisky, gave a fascinating talk and tastings of the fresh and vibrant 10 year old Arran Malt which was enjoyed by all.

With only a week left in the whisky month of May, we invite you to try a wee dram. Pop into the shop and browse our growing range of whiskies from all five regions of Scotland. With such a diverse selection, you’re bound to find one that tempts your tastebuds.

 

It’s Father’s Day tomorrow…

Number 1 Dad

In memory of Gerald Dawson 5th Dec 1937 to 20th Jun 2005

Today, 20th of June, marks a particularly poignant day for me as it’s 10 years ago today my father, Gerald, died of cancer.  Many of you know my story and how my father inspired me in so many ways to grow and develop my business so for any of you who haven’t read the story of ‘Geraldo’s’ here’s the link to ‘The Story of Geraldo’s Ice Cream.’

To a lot of people Father’s Day is just another day created by the retail industry to encourage you to spend money.  It seems everywhere I’ve been over the last few weeks there are marketing messages and sales offers to entice you to spend, spend, spend and show your dad he’s number one.  If there’s anything I would like to ‘spend’ my money on it would be to give up everything I’ve worked for during the last 15 years to ‘spend’ just 1 day with my dad.  Knowing my dad, if I could actually hear his voice, his response would be “Don’t be crazy, you know I’m with you every minute of every day anyway!”  There are times when I absolutely do feel that but there are also times when I feel like screaming “Where the hell are you dad when I need you?”  Inevitably something always happens to remind me he’s never far away.

Traditionally, Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June every year.  A lady called Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington State was the first person to think it up back in 1910.  Her father was a civil war veteran named William Smart. When Sonora’s mother died giving birth to her 6th child, William was left to raise all the children on his own.  After a church sermon about Mother’s Day, Sonora suggested to her pastor they should have a Father’s Day and proposed her dad’s birthday, 5th of June, but the pastor had no time to prepare a sermon and moved it to the 19th of June.  One of the earliest ways of celebrating the day was to wear a red rose if your dad was still alive or a white flower if your father was deceased.

What do fathers want?

According to a recent survey I read online 87% of dads would rather have dinner with their family. Simple, don’t you think and me – a retailer?!!  Most fathers don’t want another tie, as 65% said they would rather get nothing than have yet another tie and before you go running out to buy your dad aftershave, only 18% of Dads said they would want some kind of personal care product. Not surprisingly only 14% of fathers said they wanted some kind of car accessory so why not make him something really special for his dinner tomorrow night and perhaps treat him with a little gift at the table.  That’s something I’ll always remember my Dad doing and he always did it when we least expected it.

Whatever you do with your dad tomorrow, make the most of it and cherish every minute with him.  If like me your father is no longer here these are for you.

Toni x

White Flowers

There’s a Bank Holiday Weekend coming up…

Well here’s the 2nd instalment of my Did You Know feature and I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that this weekend is a Bank Holiday weekend.

 

That means only one thing – all systems go for those of us catering for tourists or day trippers in any way. Stock orders in, all hands on deck and fingers crossed for some good weather, and let’s hope it’s several degrees warmer than it has been in the last few days.

Despite the drop in temperature I still have to be prepared for a hot, sunny spell and last week my delivery of ice cream cones came in, all 60+ boxes of them, so you could say I’m ready for some sunshine. We’ve changed our range of waffle cones this year and have a couple of new additions on offer including one rolled in popcorn and another rolled in milk chocolate vermicelli and, of course, our best selling nutty waffle. (My personal favourite!)

Our premium waffle cone selection for 2015

Thankfully I did actually manage that day away last week at the spa with Sweet Caroline. Unfortunately, after a somewhat painful massage to remove the lumps and bumps from my back and neck, I was guided into the relaxation room to recover then promptly fell asleep for the next 2 hours so most of the afternoon was gone!  For those of you not working this weekend take time to relax, enjoy some family time and take advantage of the time off; you deserve it I’m sure.

Did you know this weekend also signals the start of Whisky Month and World Whisky Day is only a few weeks away when we Scots pay homage to our national drink. My display window is being dressed on Thursday and I’ll have more about what we’re doing in the shop in next week’s instalment including a fantastic offer on the newly acclaimed online Whisky School Courses.

Finally, did you know you can vote for us in the Waverley Golden Cone Awards?  It’s the annual search to find Scotland’s favourite place to enjoy ice cream and since this is Geraldo’s 10th anniversary we’d love you to vote for us please.  All you have to do is fill in the form online for your chance to win a fully stocked ice cream cart for a special event of your choosing. Closing date is Tuesday, 5th of May.

 

 Good luck with your entry and have a great weekend everyone!

Toni x

Did you know?

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After last week’s blog about the start of the ice cream season and Geraldo’s 10th birthday I was sitting in my office this morning wondering what to write about next.  So I’ve decided to introduce a weekly (this may be wishful thinking on my part) blog called:

Did you know?

Haven’t a clue what its going to be about but I’m sure if I book myself in for a day spa at Cameron House this week the inspiration will come to me. (Now that’s definitely wishful thinking!)

Here goes for this week’s instalment…

Did you know that Monday is our usual day for stripping down our Mr Whippy ice cream machine?  The whole process takes about an hour or so, all the parts are sterilised and lubricated then the machine is filled again with fresh ice cream; Geraldo’s ice cream, of course, and we’re the only shop in Largs who puts fresh ice cream in our Mr Whippy machine.  Did you know it’s Gluten Free? And did you know we now have Gluten Free cones to serve it in?  Please tell your coeliac friends all about it and they’ll be your BFF!

 

Monday is also a day for stock orders and Bon Bons is usually first on my list.  Did you know we stock over 100 different flavours of traditional hand packed sweets from Bon Bons? They also supply us with their melt in the mouth fudge, giant chocolate slabs, gourmet mallows and gorgeous gift bags filled with retro sweets, cinder toffee and flying saucers.

BON BONS 001

After a busy weekend with lots of visitors to Largs, did you know that the days following a busy period is when most small business owners like me start preparing for the next one?  After all the stock orders for the week ahead are done, there’s admin, banking, accounting, payroll, staff rotas, forward planning, website updates, marketing…..the list is long but if the business is going to be ready for the next instalment of good weather and lots of visitors, we have to be organised and prepared for it.

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Despite all of this, did you know Monday is my favourite day of the week?  I like it even more if I’ve had a busy weekend.  It’s a real shame for those of you who don’t enjoy, sorry LOVE, what you do, dread Monday mornings and the idea of going back to work.  For someone like me who, 15 years ago didn’t like the idea of starting a business in Largs one little bit, did you know I absolutely love it here.

Have a great week everyone and keep your fingers crossed for me that I manage that well-deserved spa day.  I’ll let you know next week!

Toni x

It’s Geraldo’s 10th birthday!

Year of Food and Drink 2015

Celebrating the Year of Scottish Food and Drink 2015

We’re already well into celebrating the Year of Food & Drink in Scotland and at the first sign of sunshine Largs is overflowing with day-trippers, tourists and residents of the surrounding areas making the most of the good weather.  Good weather brings lots of smiles to people’s faces and it also heralds the start of the ice cream season too.

Big smiles all round in Largs.

Big smiles all round in Largs.

With April being the month for award-winning foods we thought it was a perfect month to announce that Geraldo’s Ice Cream is celebrating  its 10th birthday this month.  There’s quite a story attached to how Geraldo’s began and you can read that here. We’ve picked up numerous awards over the years for our Classic Vanilla, Mint Choc Chip, Scottish Tablet, Gerry Berry and Natural Strawberry to name but a few but we have loads more flavours to choose from with 16 on the go at any one time.

10 years old this month!

10 years old this month!

My ice cream is made with Scottish milk and cream supplied to me by Mills Dairies in Largs and I use only the finest fruit purees and ripples.  It’s also Gluten Free and Sugar & Spice is the only ice cream shop in Largs to put fresh ice cream in our Mr Whippy machine too.

Fresh, gluten free ice cream in our Mr Whippy too!

Fresh, gluten free ice cream in our Mr Whippy too!

We’re open late every night until at least 9pm so if you’re in town or driving through, drop by and give us a visit.  If you’re on Facebook, why don’t you LIKE our page, CHECK IN if you’re in the shop and you can pick up TWO FREE TOPPINGS ON YOUR ICE CREAM.

LIKE and CHECK IN for 2 FREE TOPPINGS

LIKE and CHECK IN for 2 FREE TOPPINGS

Choose any 2!

Choose any 2!

Me and Mama Mia (Sweet Caroline) look forward to seeing you!

Toni x

Me and Sweet Caroline