A little about Exclusive Scoop and a lot about me
(A very stable genius)
This is the section of the website where I tell you that Exclusive Scoop was born from a love of food. That from a young age I had an obsession with ice-cream and would stare for hours through the window of the local gelateria at the multitude of flavours dreaming of one day being an ice-cream maker. That I would save up the my farthings from my weekly allowance until I had enough to order a scoop of Giovanie's specialty sorbet. I’d hand over the sweaty, sticky coins warmed by my young fingers to a tall Saturday girl. Who would look down her long elegant nose at me but crack a warm smile and give me an extra large scoop of my favourite Mint Choc Chip ice-cream.
Unfortunately most of that isn't true, I had a normal amount of obsession with ice-cream that a child would usually have. Growing up in a seaside town in west Wales I probably ate my fair share whilst enjoying the brief summer sun.
At a young age I probably didn't distinguish between real dairy artisan ice-cream and whippies finest chilled vegetable fats in fact at a young age I probably preferred the flavoured sugar water and colourings of an ice lolly. Though when it came to ice-cream there is no disputing for me Mint chop chip has always been king.
As I matured my serious love of food and interest in its production became apparent. I never considered myself much of a foodie but other people would continually tell me I was.
It was less obvious to me as is often the case that ones own behaviour is hardest to recognise. Growing up in a house of great cooks I have always considered it standard to make everything from scratch, as I grew older I realised that this was not standard behaviour.
In my early twenties someone pointed out to me that it was not normal to always travel with an electric whisk, ground coffee, a bottle of brandy and a pack of ladyfingers just in case I needed to whip up a quick tiramisu at short notice (4 minutes and 20 seconds is my record though the coffee was a little under brewed).
By this time I was fully engaged in a life long battle with the service industry, at first out of necessity than desire. The more I worked the more I realised that this love, lust and loathing was not something that would evaporate over a few split shifts but something that would hound me throughout my adult life.
Anyone who has worked in kitchens will know the thrill and buzz of a busy restaurant. The adrenaline rush of another packed house when everything runs like Swiss clockwork while your lieutenant passes you just what you need before you have to ask for it, and if you're really lucky the pot-wash will even turn up on time.
After more services than I can remember and more 14 hour shifts than is good for a young boys knees I realised that the good die young. Or at least the cheerful staff are usually just tourists to the industry and the hard working chefs burn themselves out.
The waiters who actually know the menu are just passing through and any manager worth their salt will eventually leave for a better paid/more sociable position.
This is getting further away from the point and the ice-cream rollercoaster now known as Exclusive Scoop, but I'm a chef not a writer so give me a a break (something that isn't that common for a chef).
Well back on point (we can hope), I realised I would have to do something different to break out of an industry that chews people up and spits them out. Bitter broken and usually with a bad nicotine habit as well as an addiction to energy drinks. Due to my love of sweet things my ever increasing knowledge of catering and deserts it seemed obvious that it would be something food orientated.
Since a company that did just tiramisu would probably be a bit of a long shot I did some research and decided to learn all about ice-cream.
It (Ice-cream) was the obvious choice as this new venture had to fit into certain parameters. I had to be able to serve it on my own as it would be just me to begin with. It had to be quick to serve (being that I'd be working alone) and it had to be low waste. Due to keeping costs down and because waste is the thief that doesn't just steal your profits it breaks my heart (and should be illegal).
So it seemed Manchester was primed and I was ready to change the face of ice-cream forever.
Now I'm sorry if you thought that I was going to tell you that I walked with the profits in the desert (or is that dessert?) for weeks and came home with insights into the world of frozen deserts and a craving for ice-cream. Or if you thought I'd always known I was going to be part of the ice-cream industry.
There it is Exclusive Scoop was born from quantified decisions not divine intervention. This does not make the ice-cream journey any less important or any less involved.
People often seem to believe that talent has to be natural or there has to be a driving force pushing mystically toward a goal. However my journey has been lead and driven with a desire to make the best ice-cream in the world, to work hard to understand the subtleties of frozen desert making. Natural talent loses to hard work 100% of the time as long as your committed enough.
Believe me I'm committed.
Originally a student of philosophy I spent many years wrestling with the problem of what it means to be 'good'. I knew that in my life my work had to be my vocation. I could not do a 9-5 for a company who put profits before morals. As such I struggled for a time to find my place until I realised that anything could be done with pure intentions. With the goal of increasing pleasure and decreasing harm. Any business in any industry can be run with a moral compass, some harder than others. As such the main goal of Exclusive Scoop (other than producing Ice-cream to make a grown man weep) is to source my ingredients as ethically and sustainably as possible. As well as putting the customers and the staff before the profit. We are on this earth for such a short time but we can make such a difference to those around us.