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Quality ice cream production - How it all began

In 1920 Bristol-born Alfred Tarr ran a small general store in St Philip’s Marsh in Bristol. He bought his bananas from an Italian family in Old Market who made and sold ice cream. Because their English was poor, he did their paperwork and while doing this he saw the traditional way ice cream was made. Being a canny businessman he set about making his own and selling it from his shop. The Italians were not impressed and sent a tricycle down to sit in front of the shop giving away their own ice cream for free! But Alfred knew free ice cream would not last, and after three weeks they gave up and so Tarr’s was set up, the only English family to make ice cream in the area at that time.

He started selling from a handcart, pushed around the streets, then from a pony and cart and in the 1930s employed a teenage boy with a tricycle to go to the Downs and back selling ice cream. They sold vanilla cones and wafers (with ice cream sandwiched between them) at a ha’penny each.

Award winning ice cream

1970s-awardIn 1945 Alfred moved to the dairy in Brislington where the business is still based today. He was way ahead of his time in buying machinery which proved to greatly help efficiency, and in the 1950s had five ice cream vans and Tarr’s own freezers in many corner shops throughout the city.

Alfred’s son, Colin, was born in the old general store in ‘the Marsh’, and he and his brother and sister all helped to run the business and make it such a success.

From the late 70’s Tarr’s began to become acknowledged for their high-quality ice cream, winning the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA) Silver Challenge Cup for artisan ice cream, one of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Our business today - Best Judged ice cream

Tarrs ice cfeam awardsColin has now passed the reins over to his son and daughter, Mike and Deana. They are helped by Mike’s wife Marilyn and in turn by their son and daughter, Bradley and Stacey and her husband Colin.

Tarr’s continue to win awards and accolades for their ice cream, winning no less than nineteen prestigious awards since the 1970’s, most recently winning the ICA Silver Cup Challenge for the ‘Best Vanilla Ice Cream’ in the UK 2019.

They also celebrated winning the prestigious Bristol Post Family Business of the Year Award 2018, a massive achievement for the much loved, local family business.

They are also the proud winners of the SME Business Elite Awards, South West Ice Cream Manufacturer of the Year 2018.

They were also finalists for ‘Family Business of the Year 2019’ in the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Awards.

The Tarr family have been making ice cream for over a century, and have now grown to become one of the leading ice cream producers, wholesalers and retailers in the South West, yet they still manage to keep the family atmosphere very much alive.  PHOTO:PAUL GILLIS / paulgillisphoto.com

Tarrs ice cream award

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Meet the team

Deana Pimm

Deana Pimm

Deana is in charge of the Trade Counter and is always ready to help our wholesale customers with a friendly smile.

Bradley Tarr

Bradley Tarr

Bradley heads up the production team, ensuring stock levels are well maintained and orders are met.

Mike Tarr

Mike Tarr

Mike is the owner and in charge of day to day business operations, ensuring every aspect runs smoothly.

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2 Sandown Road, BS4 3PN

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