An independent Chester-based family-run ice cream farm is celebrating substantial business growth after taking their business online with the help of Reaseheath College.
Launched in 2009, Backford Belles is one of the North West’s most popular ice cream parlours and dairy farms. Home to more than 40 Jersey cows, the farm uses their Jersey milk as the main ingredient for the family’s luxurious and award-winning homemade ice cream.
Owner of Backford Belles Mark Littler recently completed a digital marketing workshop with Cheshire-based Reaseheath College to learn how to promote the business online and connect with new customers through social media.
Alongside Mark’s wife Louise, the business worked on creating an e-commerce website to strengthen their offering and take their business to the next level, without incurring costly charges from web designers and developers.
The results have led to an influx of new customers and the ice cream parlour now ranking on the first page of Google for key search terms.
Mark said: “As a small independent business, raising awareness of our brand in the local area and appealing to local people is a key objective for us. It’s important that we tell people about the unique nature of our ice cream and about how much importance we place on employing local people and working with local suppliers in the area.
“Our next steps in terms of growth are definitely looking at ways of gaining additional funding to really take the business to the next level. It’s a really exciting time for Backford Belles and we’re very grateful to Reaseheath College for their fantastic support – we’ve learnt a great deal about digital marketing and how to take our business into the online market.”
With a shop based at the farm and the option for wholesale purchases, Backford Belles produces its Jersey milk ice cream in a range of unique flavours, including whiskey and ginger, Turkish delight and chocolate orange. A recent extension to the shop and a children’s park have also helped to draw in more families and visitors in recent months.
ERDF business advisor at Reaseheath Janet Nuzum said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Backford Belles and it is wonderful to see them benefit from the advice and support from our SME growth programme team.
“The independent agricultural industry is an area we’ve particularly focused on because it’s becoming an increasingly competitive market place. We’re lucky to have some amazing SME businesses in this sector across Cheshire and we’re really pleased to be helping local businesses like Backford Belles really standout from the crowd.”
For more information on Backford Belles, visit www.backfordbelles.com .