We’ve always believed that the North is an untapped goldmine when it comes to food innovation and flavour ingenuity!

JAM-PACKED WITH NORTHERN KNOW-HOW!

Sorbets – Ice Cream – Patisserie

At Beckleberry’s we are passionate about making incredible ice cream for fine pud enthusiasts. we keep things simple in our single-minded pursuit of the perfect pud. We’re an award-winning, family business where phrases like handmade, small batches, locally sourced and hand-piped all ring true.

We leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of the finest ingredients and most involving flavours and will always nurture ‘traditional skills’ over new-fangled machinery.

  • 1993

    After his A-levels, Peter decided he wanted to jump off the conveyor belt of life, opt out of uni and do something entrepreneurial. His father Ian, a recently made redundant colliery engineer decided that Peter was far too young to have all this fun on his own.
  • 1994

    Having decided that he didn’t want to go to university, Peter pondered what to do next? Curiously the answer was to enrol his dad & himself on an ice cream course at Reading Uni!
  • 1995

    Some of my favourite ‘early’ business memories are of me, my sister and an enthusiastic gaggle of our friends conducting late night food raids on the latest batch of fantastical flavours that Dad & I had squirreled away into mum’s freezer. Sampling was certainly more spontaneous than scientific but always jam-packed with around-the-table laughter. Birth of 1st Beckleberry’s Ice Cream: Peanut Butter
  • 1996

    In the early days our roles seemed straightforward. Dad xwould bring the metallic tangle of redundant machinery we’d bought spluttering back to life, whilst I’d paint them a stunning shade of Hammerite white. From Day.1 we only sourced our milk and cream from local dairies
  • 1997

    By now, news of our mouth-watering flavours had leaked out to the local restaurant & hotel community who wanted our help when it came to bringing some extra theatre to their deserted desserts trolleys, either as a stunning, standalone sundae or as a stylish sidekick to a much loved pud. Birth of 1st Beckleberry’s Sorbet: Mango & Lime
  • 1998

    No Beckleberry’s story is complete without mentioning Betsy, a slightly shabby but much loved refrigerated van that trundled around the local conurbations drumming up trade. Betsy was worth her weight in rust because without her we’d never have got going!
  • 1999

    By and large creating best-in-class ice creams and puds is a great gig which is why whenever feasible we like to give a little back to local causes such as: People’s Kitchen, The Stroke Association & our local Foodbank (see our story).
  • 2000

    Ian is an enthusiastic alchemist! His imaginative taste buds have been central to Beckleberry’s success, although he’d be the first to admit that Curried Pineapple, Parsnip & Balsamic Vinegar were never going to upstage our top notch vanilla when it comes to the bestsellers list! Birth of our 1st patisserie offer: Choc Truffle Torte
  • 2001

    At Beckleberry’s we never settle for second best. We couldn’t hold our heads up high or even attend a family barbeque if we’d cut any corners. That’s why we make our ice creams with less sugar than most producers, never flirting with sickly sweet or synthetic tastes. Instead we plump for adult palates, full-throttle flavours and all-natural ingredients.
  • 2002

    This was the year we created our Pear & Almond tart that to this very day stands proud as our best ever seller; a perfectly executed classic where fresh frangipani and succulent pear halves huddle together in a crisp, all-butter pastry case.
  • 2003

    Whilst we suspected that our Pear & Almond Tart was rather special, we were nevertheless a little taken aback when it brushed all its beautifully baked rivals to one side to win our very first speciality food prize. Best Speciality Product (North East)
  • 2004

    The 10,000sq foot factory we’d bought had begun life as an ambulance station which seemed apt since we felt our mission was to resuscitate neglected taste buds. The same year Beckleberry’s began being consumed at 36,000ft by the UK’s favourite underdog luxury airline
  • 2005

    A great vanilla is actually harder to find than one might imagine, which is why so many puds feel a little lost until they’ve mingled with our vanilla. Ours is a fine-tuned fusion of fresh local milk & cream with Madagascan bourbon vanilla pods. Simple, But very effective!
  • 2006

    This was the year we decided we needed a swish coffee shop to properly parade all our fabulous puds. Instant feedback from customers can’t be beaten – which is why all our team take turns working behind the counter. Choc Orange is the top seller at our flagship store
  • 2007

    We’d always wondered why so many sorbets were riddled with citric acid and synthetic flavourings? We decided that pink grapefruit was the perfect zingy flavour to lead our ‘real ingredient’ revolution. Pink Grapefruit – Our 2nd Best Speciality Product (North East)
  • 2008

    Our finest hour (thus far!) came when our glorious Blackcurrant & Kirsch sorbet sauntered off with three Speciality Food Gongs in one night including the biggest prize in ‘foodiedom’, the Fortnum & Mason Supreme Champion trophy! We celebrated our success with a shiny new London listing!
  • 2009

    Inspiration can strike when you least expect it, like the moment you root around the back of your dad’s drink cabinet and unearth a dusty, long forgotten bottle of your gran’s homemade sloe gin Sloe Gin Sorbet – Our record-breaking 4th Speciality Product award (North East)
  • 2010

    As budding foodies we sensed the time was ripe to broaden our horizons and embark on an annual gastronomic pilgrimage to Paris. Indeed, it was a fleeting encounter with a Parisian tarragon macaroon that inspired us to win the prestigious Golden Fork food prize a few years later. Ian’s second son David joins the family business
  • 2011

    Yet another year of intriguing taste innovation which included origin chocolate tiffin, a gluten-free Bakewell Tart and what was to become our best-selling sorbet, Sour Cherry & Amaretto.
  • 2012

    The birth of my daughters Alice-Ellen & Mollie (2013) meant we officially become a third-generation family business. Of course everyone has to pull their weight which is why we put the two Becklebairns in charge of tastings and factory hide-and-seek.
  • 2013

    I’m sure a Knightsbridge posting sits near the top of most food producers’ wish lists, so imagine how chuffed we felt when one of the finest food halls in the land embraced our first foray into gluten-free treats - tart au citron/marbled chocolate truffle.
  • 2014

    Our business received a seismic overhaul after we teamed up with the world’s largest airline. Even now thinking about the investment we needed, new dry store space, new mix production space, new staff and whizzy new machinery, makes us feel giddy. However being chosen over every other any ice cream in the WORLD by their exacting culinary team still makes us smile.
  • 2015

    Although a golden spoon or scoop might have been preferable, we won the Golden Fork (Top Northern Food Producer) with a Passion Fruit & Tarragon sorbet inspired by our very first Paris expedition.
  • 2016

    A step change year when our dashing ‘Made With Northern Soul’ packaging was conceived, we opened our state-of-the-art taste lab and recruited a top notch Head Pastry chef. If that wasn’t enough, we also won our 99th food award, which is an iconic number for any pukka ice cream connoisseur.
  • 2017

    The year Beckleberry’s comes to the assistance of taste buds in different time zones, be that 3,570 miles away in N.America or 1,152 miles away in Spain. Our first celebrity employee arrived in the shape of Nelly the vintage (1975) Ice Cream Van. We hooked up with Nelly on e-bay and have already booked her a gig as a guest of honour at our David’s wedding!

Our ethos is all about putting great taste and textures at the heart of everything we do.
We believe that Britain is in the midst of a fine food renaissance, and yet, for all our region’s tireless work and thriving artisan food & drink community, the North East doesn’t always get a fair rub of the green plaudits wise.

Our stance is one of always going the extra yard, never contemplating compromise and never wondering, ‘I wish we’d been a little braver with our flavours.’

LOOKING FORWARD

Although we’ve now been going for twenty years, we appreciate that we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to decadent tastes, dazzling desserts and momentous eating occasions.

Naturally sublime sorbets and ice creams sit at the heart of the Beckleberry’s offer. However, with the resurgence of afternoon teas, the rapid evolution of gluten-free, on-the-go and a growing appetite for small batch patisserie, we feel the future looks very bright indeed.

OUR TEAM

David Craig

As the younger brother, David had been forced to endure many Sunday roasts and family get-togethers where both his dad and big brother rambled on incessantly about the dearth of discerning ice cream in the North East. They painted a gloomy picture of a frozen pud backwater where low-grade synthetic ice cream made from sub-standard vegetable fat ruled the roost.

After helping out for a number of years at trade shows and in the factory, (as is the way for small family businesses) David finished university (2010) and decided that it was time to join the family adventure. Today he oversees engineering, the purchase of new equipment and most recently our flagship coffee shop.

David keeps his deep-seated love of ice cream in check via his slightly obsessive love of healthy eating regimes and personal training.

Ian Craig

Feeling at a loose end having been made redundant after 22 years as a Durham colliery engineer, Ian didn’t know whether to fuel Peter’s enthusiasm to set up his fledgling business or encourage him to reconsider college.

A shared love of ice cream and Peter’s all-important promise to provide him with plenty of machinery to tinker with helped Ian come to the conclusion that Peter shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy this entrepreneurial adventure on his own.

Peter Craig

Having waded through his A-levels, Peter was unable to shake from his head a nagging notion that departing to uni would mean stepping onto a rigid and potentially unsatisfying ‘conveyor belt of life’ that might ultimately suffocate his enthusiasm to set up his start-up business.

Like his father, Peter felt very proud about Britain’s manufacturing heritage and was determined to make something ‘real’ for a living.

Peter hates heights and harbours a secret enthusiasm for the arts & crafts movement.