Dennetts Ice Cream company was started in the 1920s by Robin’s grandparents who had a dairy farm. Using milk from their herd of Lincoln reds/Friesians, Arthur and Mary Dennett sold milk by the pint along with butter and cheese and ultimately ice cream but, with no freezers in those days, it was a case of make it and sell it immediately!! As the popularity of their ice cream grew, they decided to sell the farm and concentrate on making ice cream along with their son Eric.
During WW2, Eric served in the RAF and, whilst on tour in Italy, he discovered the secret of Italian gelato so, when he took over the business in 1948, rather than just selling vanilla ice cream, he started adding Italian flavouring. By now commercial freezers were available which made it possible to store ice cream in bulk so, armed with an assortment of delicious natural flavours, he took his ice cream to sell at seaside resorts along the Lincolnshire coast. Sales skyrocketed because it was still a new concept to have flavoured ice cream, and the Company’s reputation rapidly spread.
Dennetts now sell approximately 400 litres of ice cream on a daily basis and although vanilla is still the most popular, they also offer over 30 different flavours. The milk and cream is bought in from just one dairy thereby ensuring the butter fat content always remains consistent; their range also includes frozen yoghurt and frozen sorbet.
In 1995, Dennetts opened an ice cream parlour in Lincoln’s Bailgate which is run by Robin’s wife Claire and, when his father Eric died sixteen years ago, Robin took over as the Company’s Managing Director; his mother Joan however, still likes to visit every day to ‘keep an eye on things’. Robin and Claire’s son and daughter have also now joined the Company so the family tradition will continue for a fourth generation.
Dennetts ice cream is delivered in refrigerated vans all over the County and, has won many awards over the years however, Robin maintains that the best publicity is by giving demonstrations, attending shows and word of mouth and, judging by the amount of lick smacking that could be heard after we had all chomped our way through a delicious bowlful of three different flavours, his reputation for producing excellent ice cream will be broadcast yet wider as it was indeed very yummy!!