Ice cream manufacturing firm Northern Bloc has received an investment of more than £100,000 from its entrepreneur owners Dirk Mischendahl and Josh Lee thanks to a support grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The company is now selling its products in regional visitor attractions such as Bolton Abbey and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, along with theatres and high-end retailers, and the firm has put its success down to fresh natural ingredients and the know-how of Manolo Imperatori, their award-winning Italian chef.
Manolo was a winner at the 2011 World Gelato Championships and lectures at Italyâs âgelato universityâ and is a third generation ice cream maker from Civitanova, a town on the east coast of Italy. His grandfather, father and several other family members have all owned successful ice cream firms.
Lee said that Manolo has developed a unique natural ingredient that is being used to make the firmâs ice creams, allowing the company to make pure, high quality products with no synthetic syrups, additives or artificial flavourings whatsoever.
Lee added: It also allows us to make an ice cream that’s easy to scoop straight from the freezer and has a super smooth texture.
Since the LEP growth service was launched in July last year, 1,700 companies have been supported to grow, with Northern Bloc one of the latest to receive their £21,000 grant.
Roger Marsh, Chair of LEP, said that the group is pleased to be celebrating its first year of the LEP Growth Service, adding: I am delighted 80 per cent of businesses that worked with the LEP growth service, being delivered in Leeds through a partnership between the LEP, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds City Council, said that they were ‘very likely’ to recommend the service.
Lee and Mischendahl are now looking for further investment to help them reach their target of a £15 million turnover business in the next five year period.