2015 got off to a great start with the arrival of the first of January, which we had safely predicted.
We then hit the headlines with our ‘Buttery Bombshell’, as STV described it. We’d only gone and made ice cream with butteries. Some people were outraged, like the Daily Mail where we ended up on the same page as Kim Kardashian and home secretary Theresa May, neither of whom had done anything remotely clever with butteries.
Despite the odd critic, anyone who tasted our Wowee Rowie / Lovely Buttery ice cream gave it the thumbs up. Plus we got to blether about our breakfast-pudding mash-up on the radio.
Next up were the National Ice Cream awards where we were recognised not because we’d been in the Daily Mail, but for the quality of our ice cream. We received a number of Merits and, best of all, our Dairy Vanilla placed fourth in the UK.
A series of bests
With spring in full swing, we made our debut at the North Hop food and drink festival in Aberdeen, taking our place alongside the likes of BrewDog, Fresh Revolution and Aye Love Real Food. We particularly enjoyed feeding our cask-strength whisky ice cream to a contingent of Norwegians and were delighted when one food blogger declared Stew ‘n’ Drew’s ‘some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had in my life’.
The best day of our year was undoubtedly July 1st when we opened the doors of our first ice-cream shop in Hopeman. It also happened to be the hottest day of the year. We couldn’t have scripted it better as the TV cameras turned up and Stew and Drew were beamed into living rooms across the country, causing anyone who knew them to nearly choke on their supper.
Another 2015 highpoint was our nomination for Best New Business at the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards. It was fantastic to receive such early recognition for our efforts and we duly got suited up – kilted up in Stew’s case – for the gala dinner in Inverness, which was a proud night for the pair of us.
We were also thrilled to see The List magazine include us in their Best of 2015 for Scottish food and drink. Referring to us as ‘the ambitious duo’, they majored on the buttery ice cream.
What else happened this year? Well, the Stew ‘n’ Drew’s ice-cream bike graced lots of weddings and galas. We impressed top Scottish food writer Sue Lawrence, who described our ice cream as ‘delish’. We made a Lego replica of our Hopeman ice-cream shop.
We invented Stewsday and Drewsday, two additional days of the week that can only be accessed with one of those time-bending watches you can buy in Argos. Oh, and a man travelled all the way from France to eat our ice cream. C’est vrai!
We made Green Apple & Wasabi ice cream, which got right up folks’ noses, but in a good way. We made Fig & Honey, Chocolate Pretzel, Mango & Elderberry, Peanut Butter & Jam, Key Lime Pie, German Chocolate Cake, Scottish Tablet, Cherry Chocolate, Eton Mess… and Superman, our most popular flavour of the year.
The Stew ‘n’ Drew’s range now numbers more than 90 flavours and, as well as the shop in Hopeman, our luxury dairy ice cream is supplied to hotels, restaurants, parlours, cafes and delis from Aberdeen to Cromarty.
What will 2016 hold? Hoverboards, surely. And further adventures in ice cream. Merry Christmas ice-cream lovers and all the best for the year ahead.