CREAM OF THE CROP
Using seasonal fruits and Italian gelato methods, Ganders Goat is transforming Britain’s artisan ice-cream market
One of just three goat’s milk ice cream producers in the UK, Ganders Goat is based on an idyllic 11-acre farm in the East Midlands. Home to a herd of goats, chickens and a raft of organic produce, it’s owned and run by husband-and-wife team Ian and Lauren Horton – with a little help from eight-year-old son William. Bought as a hobby farm back in 2012, today the Hortons have a full-time business providing award-winning mail-order ice cream.
“The environment is at the centre of everything we do,” says Ian. “Where most ice cream manufacturers tend to buy milk and cream in, we create everything on the farm itself, or source it locally, within 10 or 15 miles.” It enables Ganders Goat to create seasonal options, such as rhubarb and honey in early spring, or blueberry, chocolate and basil in the summer months. Two of these flavours placed highly in the Carlsberg Food and Drink Awards. “Our gooseberry and elderflower flavour was runner-up in 2017-18,” says Ian. “We went back the following year with apple and blackberry to take the win. They’re two of our most popular flavours – the gooseberry is quite sweet, while the apple and blackberry is tart and sharp.”
Their ice cream is made according to the Italian gelato method. Where American-style commercial ice cream uses high amounts of processed fat, powdered egg and chemical emulsifiers, Ganders Goat concentrates on a gelato-based recipe using just milk, fresh eggs, sugar and natural fruits. “It results in a cleaner tasting ice cream, less heavy on the palate with a bit more texture,” says Ian. This also means it has around half the fat and calories of standard ice cream. “I’d love to say it’s a health product,” he laughs. “But it’s the closest you can get with an ice cream.”
Ganders Goat actually started out with a different product. “We initially made soap, to help with my wife and son’s eczema back in 2015,” says Ian. “But ice cream was always the goal.” Using goat’s milk in soap brings the pH levels down, helping with dry skin, and the success of this helped them purchase the expensive machinery needed to make ice cream. By using the riches of the UK countryside to create innovative products, while maintaining strong eco-conscious principles, Ian and Lauren have created a homegrown success story, in every sense of the word.