Cream­ery cream­ing it at awards

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On - ABBY BROWN

The New Zealand Ice Cream awards felt like the Os­cars for Wa­haroa based ice­cream com­pany Kowhai Cream­ery.

They won sil­ver awards for their salted caramel gelato and blueberry gelato.

The owner of com­pany, Jan McIn­tyre, said she couldn’t have done it with her ‘‘best lit­tle helper Laura Smith who got me through all the ups and downs and ins and outs, and who I will never forget as be­ing a huge part of Kowhai Cream­ery’s suc­cess’’.

Dur­ing the sum­mer McIn­tyre sells fruity sor­bets and yoghurt ice creams, as well as reg­u­lar ice creams, from a car­a­van parked at the Wa­haroa re­serve on State High­way 27.

The car­a­van’s mo­bil­ity also meant the com­pany could sup­port a wide range of com­mu­nity events by sell­ing the icy treats at them.

She said Wa­haroa was grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity for vis­i­tors trav­el­ling north and south who stopped for a toi­let and a refreshment break.

‘‘From my time in Wa­haroa with Kowhai Cream­ery I was blown away by the amount of in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors that vis­ited my trailer,’’ she said.

‘‘The New Zealand and over­seas vis­i­tors loved the con­cept of the ice cream be­ing hand crafted from fresh lo­cal in­gre­di­ents, and often re­turned to the car­a­van to pass on their com­pli­ments.’’

That gave her the en­cour­age­ment to en­ter the awards.

She said the more busi­nesses in Wa­haroa, the more peo­ple would visit the area, which acted as a gate­way to des­ti­na­tions like Hob­biton, Ro­torua and Taupo from Auck­land.

‘‘It just needs a cou­ple more in­ter­est­ing lit­tle shops and or at­trac­tions to make it a des­ti­na­tion.’’

Kowhai Cream­ery started last De­cem­ber af­ter McIn­tyre noted that a cousin of her hus­band, who grows straw­ber­ries, was mak­ing fresh berry ice cream with his fruit.

The for­mer dairy farmer, who now grows and ex­ports blue­ber­ries with her hus­band John, thought she could do that with their blue­ber­ries.

So she found a for­mer chef to teach her how to make ice cream.

The New Zealand Ice Cream Awards be­gan in 1997 with 61 en­tries from just 7 ice cream com­pa­nies.

This year eight judges took two days to judge 334 en­tries en­tered by 37 com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als.

Laura and Jan McIn­tyre from Kowhai Cream­ery at the NZ Ice Cream awards.

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