It IS a brand most people would have seen in the supermarket or on sale in hundreds of restaurants and ice cream stands across the country.
Jude’s ice cream, with its striped wrapper, is quickly becoming a household name, rivaling big names such as Haagen Daz and Ben and Jerry’s.
However, the business, which employs around 60 people, started 20 years ago in a small barn in the Hampshire village of Easton.
The business was the brainchild of Theo Mezger, who was looking for something to occupy his time after quitting his high-flying banking job in London.
Luckily for Theo, his two sons Alex and Chow were eager to get on board, as was his wife Jude, and when the business started to take off in 2003, they were on hand to put on the graft, make and package the ice cream. in the barn, promoting it and also selling it to restaurants in London.
A rebranding in 2009 gave the business a boost and saw it gain its recognizable stripes, enticing theaters to buy, then in 2015 the family brand burst into supermarkets.
It now operates from a warehouse at Northfields Farm in Twyford and makes dozens of flavors of dairy and plant-based ice cream, and it offers a range of popsicles.
This year is its 20th year, and it’s proud to become the first carbon-negative ice cream company – and says it hopes to set an example of a better way to do business.
The three directors of the company Alex and Chow, as well as their university friend James Wright, all share the same passion to be a “champion of change”.
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Chow said: “Jude’s was started by my dad and named after my mum. It all started 20 years ago and we’re based in Hampshire. We try to make the most delicious ice cream and we try to do it in the most sustainable way possible.”
James said: “We make incredibly delicious ice cream, but we believe business can be a force for good.”
After a tough time during the pandemic, which saw it lose 50% of its business overnight, Jude’s is bouncing back.
The company has reduced its carbon intensity by 20% in the last year alone and made changes such as reducing its plastic and increasing its recycling, as well as adding more flavors to its products low carbon dairy free.
Surprisingly, the most popular ice cream is not the one you expect. Chow says Jude’s sells more vegan vanilla ice cream than any other flavor.
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In fact, their plant-based products are generating so much interest that they recently launched a new salted caramel stick that would rival any Magnum and a limited-edition plant-based peach and champagne ice cream. to mark the 20th anniversary.
Along with a range of weird favors – which even includes dark coconut, salt and vinegar – Chow said the salted caramel, which the company launched in the UK after spotting it on sale in Italy during his vacation in 2009, also remained one of his best sellers.
He said: “We’ve had a real journey, working with restaurants, now trying to make the most indulgent ice cream people can enjoy at home on their canapes.”