By IH 20/07 Updated: 20/07 07:48
A SWEET-TOOTHED receptionist with a lifelong love of ice cream is living her dream after renovating a vintage ice cream van and setting up in business.
Liz Baldwin-Martin, who works part-time at Avonvale Veterinary Centres, is spending her evenings and weekends selling ice cream at events throughout the county.
“I’ve always had a passion for ice cream and have wonderful childhood memories of ice cream vans and their chimes,” she told The Observer.
“When I couldn’t find such a vehicle in the locality to attend my recent wedding reception, I decided to make my dream come true and use some of the money my mother had left me when she died to buy my own ice cream van. After much searching, I eventually found exactly what I was looking for on e-bay in April and went to Loughborough to buy it.
“My husband and I then spent the next two months and even more money refurbishing her. She has had a body ‘makeover’ and re-spray to return her to a colour scheme typical of her era and now sports flower patterned surfaces, plenty of bunting and always has fresh flowers on board. She’s part of the family now!”
They did such a good job on restoration that the van won first prize in the Vintage Vehicle competition at the recent Kenilworth Carnival.
Liz added: “It’s wonderful. She’s a 1976 Bedford and plays 32 different tunes. I’ve named her after my mother, Annie, and I know she would have been as thrilled as I am about my new venture. We’re selling ice cream made with milk from cows which graze the common surrounding the dairy where it’s produced. It’s all organic and flavoured with natural fruits. There’s nothing like ‘Annie’ in this area; we’ve found a real gap in the market.”
Liz, who has lived near Stratford, has plenty of help from husband Hugh and twin 17-year-old daughters Fleur and Imogen.
Liz sells traditional Winstone’s Cotswold ice cream, together with soft drinks and old fashioned flavour ice lollies, and ‘Annie’ had her first outing during the Diamond Jubilee weekend in Tiddington, near Stratford, and then at the Mayor of Warwick’s garden party.
Since then she has been booked for corporate days, celebrations, special birthdays, weddings and charity events – and even by two young ladies wanting to arrive in ‘Annie’ at their school Prom with the chimes playing.
For further details or to book 'Annie' call Liz on 01789 204491 or follow ‘Annie’ on Twitter @Annies_Antics and Facebook at Annie’s Antics.
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