A family firm has expanded a successful ice cream empire to their hometown of Chorley.
Gary, Karen and Carrie Tootell, of Tootsies Ice Cream, have opened a store in the new food hall at Botany Bay.
Located on the ground floor, the extravagant ice cream parlour, coffee shop and pancake house boasts 16 exciting flavours on display, from seasonal flavours such as mince pie, Christmas pudding and bubblegum to more traditional flavours, vanilla, mint choc chip and chocolate.
They also sell a very tempting array of homemade fruit pies, pancakes and waffles and have a full hot drinks menu and milkshake bar.
The family-run company, which already has a hugely successful parlour and café on the A59 between Preston and Southport, supply Dobbies Garden Centre, a leading UK chain of garden centres.
In 2008, they decided to test their recipe out at the Ice Cream Alliances National Ice Cream Competition, held every year in Harrogate and have been the highest award winners in the North West for the past five years.
They are renowned in Preston for their huge success in 2011 where they won six prestigious awards at a competition for their strawberry cheesecake ice cream and their fruits of the forest sorbet.
More recently, the company won first prize for their cherry and chocolate brownie ice cream and secured five from seven awards overall in the strongly contested 2012 Yorkshire Show Competition.
Karen Pilkington, who started the business with her husband and daughter in 2007, is over the moon at having the opportunity to bring their success home to Chorley.
She said “Our new store at Botany Bay is such an exciting new venture for us. We have taken everything that we have learned in the industry over the past five years and really thrown our heart and soul into it.
“Another upside is that it is only 10 minutes walk along the canal from home, so for the first time in years I can walk to work.”
Botany Bay has recently refurbished its ground floor and built what is being deemed as the ‘Harrod’s of the North West.’
As well as Tootsies Ice Cream, there is an artisan chocolatier, an award winning butchers, florist, English wine outlet, various cake shops and delis, a fruit and vegetable shop, a fishmonger and more.
On the top floor, there is a Christmas wonderland of decorations – making Botany Bay the place to be.