Special gifts for Father’s Day

Looking for something special for your Dad? From a vast choice of whisky and gin, to sweet treats of luxurious handmade chocolates, gift-wrapped confectionery or some of our beautifully embossed tinned biscuits, we’ve got the perfect gift for him in Geraldo’s of Largs.

Whisky loving Dad

Nothing beats a warming whisky to wind down in the evening. We have a lovely selection from many independent distilleries across all of the regions. Our newly qualified in-store whisky connoisseurs are also at hand to give you advice and help you find the ideal dram for your Dad.

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Gintastic Dad

Perhaps your Dad prefers a gin. With a choice of over 40 artisan gins in store, you’re bound to find one that would tempt his tastebuds. Pair it with a refreshing Fever-Tree Tonic and you’re all set to go.File 12-06-2017, 17 38 32

You could also give him the opportunity to sample many different gins at one of our gin fests in Largs. We’re sure he would be delighted to receive a ticket for either Regatta Gin Fest in August or Geraldo’s Gin Fest in November. A real treat to look forward to!

Sweet tooth Dad

Luxurious handmade chocolates and gift-wrapped confectionery are always a winner for a sweet-toothed Dad. We have a wonderful range of chocolate liqueurs, high quality turkish delight, embossed tins of shortbread and wonderfully moist and delicious whisky cakes.

We hope this helps you find his perfect gift and wish all the Dads out there a wonderful Father’s Day this Sunday.

Stuck for ideas for Father’s Day?

Let’s face it, Dads like to know that they are appreciated and what better way to make him feel special than to get him a thoughtful gift on Father’s Day. So what to get?

Well pop into the shop or have a look at our website for some inspiration. From a vast choice of whisky and gin, to sweet treats of luxurious handmade chocolates, gift-wrapped confectionery or some of our beautifully embossed tinned biscuits. You are sure to find something he’ll love.Arran 10yoGlassPack

Whisky is often a popular choice. If your Dad has a particular preference of whisky, we have several expressions to choose from and can suggest something different that’s not found in the supermarkets. If he is keen to learn more about the ‘water of life’ our new whisky learning set makes the perfect accompaniment.

 

IMG_9895pwOr perhaps he is a gin drinker? With over 30 artisan gins to choose from, you’re bound to find one that would tempt his tastebuds. From Rock Rose in the North, to NB Gin in the East, The Botanist in the West and Hendricks in the South, we have a craft gin from every corner of Scotland. Pair it with a refreshing Fever-Tree Tonic and you’re all set to go.

 

For Dads with a bit of a sweet tooth, our luxurious handmade chocolates are out of this world. Create a thoughtful gift by carefully choosing his favourite chocolates, have them boxed by hand and beautifully packaged for his special day.

He’ll also love our new range of iconic Stewart’s mint and shortbread tins or make his day with a Cuba Venchi full size chocolate cigar.

Whatever gift you choose for your Dad, we hope you spend a wonderful day together, cherish every moment and have a very Happy Father’s Day!

It’s Father’s Day tomorrow…

Number 1 Dad

In memory of Gerald Dawson 5th Dec 1937 to 20th Jun 2005

Today, 20th of June, marks a particularly poignant day for me as it’s 10 years ago today my father, Gerald, died of cancer.  Many of you know my story and how my father inspired me in so many ways to grow and develop my business so for any of you who haven’t read the story of ‘Geraldo’s’ here’s the link to ‘The Story of Geraldo’s Ice Cream.’

To a lot of people Father’s Day is just another day created by the retail industry to encourage you to spend money.  It seems everywhere I’ve been over the last few weeks there are marketing messages and sales offers to entice you to spend, spend, spend and show your dad he’s number one.  If there’s anything I would like to ‘spend’ my money on it would be to give up everything I’ve worked for during the last 15 years to ‘spend’ just 1 day with my dad.  Knowing my dad, if I could actually hear his voice, his response would be “Don’t be crazy, you know I’m with you every minute of every day anyway!”  There are times when I absolutely do feel that but there are also times when I feel like screaming “Where the hell are you dad when I need you?”  Inevitably something always happens to remind me he’s never far away.

Traditionally, Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June every year.  A lady called Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington State was the first person to think it up back in 1910.  Her father was a civil war veteran named William Smart. When Sonora’s mother died giving birth to her 6th child, William was left to raise all the children on his own.  After a church sermon about Mother’s Day, Sonora suggested to her pastor they should have a Father’s Day and proposed her dad’s birthday, 5th of June, but the pastor had no time to prepare a sermon and moved it to the 19th of June.  One of the earliest ways of celebrating the day was to wear a red rose if your dad was still alive or a white flower if your father was deceased.

What do fathers want?

According to a recent survey I read online 87% of dads would rather have dinner with their family. Simple, don’t you think and me – a retailer?!!  Most fathers don’t want another tie, as 65% said they would rather get nothing than have yet another tie and before you go running out to buy your dad aftershave, only 18% of Dads said they would want some kind of personal care product. Not surprisingly only 14% of fathers said they wanted some kind of car accessory so why not make him something really special for his dinner tomorrow night and perhaps treat him with a little gift at the table.  That’s something I’ll always remember my Dad doing and he always did it when we least expected it.

Whatever you do with your dad tomorrow, make the most of it and cherish every minute with him.  If like me your father is no longer here these are for you.

Toni x

White Flowers

The story of Geraldo’s ice cream…

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My Dad, Gerald Dawson, aka Geraldo!

I guess most girls think of their Dad as handsome but I remember this picture in particular because I took it. He had a great sense of style, a fabulous smile and was always upbeat, outgoing and full of energy. That was before the recession of the 90’s kicked in and he lost everything, home included, after 35 years in business. My parents moved in with me and shortly afterwards he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. That was the beginning of a long hard struggle against ill health and trying to make a start again in business. Dad was absolutely determined to keep going no matter what.

I took the opportunity to start up myself in Largs operating a seasonal ice cream outlet near the CalMac ferry terminal. With a great deal of family support, Mum and Dad moved to Largs and whilst I accompanied Dad to hospital for ongoing treatment, Mum assisted me in the business. Two summer seasons later another shop came on the market directly opposite me. Dad was obviously feeling better around then and encouraged me to “go for it!”  After successfully securing the lease on the property, Sugar & Spice started up in March 2000.  With little more than a few £100 in cash to get going, I fitted out the shop with very basic kitchen units, hand painted them in bright candy pink stripes and tried to get really creative filling such a large space with well-packaged confectionery and holiday rock.

My Mum had always been in the ice cream business and started up ‘Caroline’s Ices’ in Ayr back in the early 60’s and I knew from the family’s previous business interests that I had to sell ice cream to make the business work long term.  Largs has a strong history of Italian ice cream families and the Nardini name is known all over the world.  Equipment is hugely expensive and there was no way I could afford to buy.  What chance did I have with so much going against me?  I decided to contact several suppliers to see who could loan me a display cabinet and supply me with good quality ice cream.  The Orkney Creamery was a family business like ours and their wonderfully creamy ice cream was just what I wanted.  It was a small cabinet to begin with, 8 flavours I recall, and situated inside the shop.  Knowing that ice cream is an impulse buy, I knew the cabinet had to be within eyesight of passing customers if it was going to work so after the first season I submitted a planning application to open up one of my front windows so that the ice cream could be served directly onto the street.  What a difference that made!  Three years on and the Orkney Creamery could no longer keep up with demand and they told me at the end of that summer they could no longer supply me.  It was a real blow at the time but sometimes you don’t realise that a seemingly bad situation is really an opportunity in disguise.

Ice Cream queues

Dad was hugely supportive but his health took a turn for the worse.  Mum and I continued to look after him at home with nurses, doctors and round the clock medication all part of the daily routine for several months.  I always remember him saying “Take control and go for it kiddo!”  So I did!

Mum and I enrolled in training courses with Carpigiani’s Gelato University, travelled to Hereford to study courses in recipe formulation and research ice cream making equipment and, within 6 months during the quieter winter season, I remortgaged my home, borrowed every penny I could on credit cards and set up my own production unit at the back of my shop.  It also happens to be the smallest production unit in Scotland but you’d be amazed at what comes out of it.

Dad was terminally ill at that point but was constantly asking how it was all going.  I contacted one of the best graphic designers I know, Derek Goodchild at Ocean Agency, and asked him to create a logo for my new ice cream brand.

My Dad was a very good footballer and won 5 caps for the Scottish Showmen’s International Football League.  He was spotted by a talent scout who wanted to sign him to play professionally for Preston North End.  Faced with choosing between this fantastic  opportunity and his commitment to the family business at that time my Dad decided to give up any notion of a professional career in football.  He continued to play for the SSIFL and everyone who played with him and against him likened him to one of the world’s best Brazilian football players at that time, Geraldo Jose da Silva.  Everyone knew my Dad as Geraldo and so…

Geraldo’s Luxury Ice Cream was born!

My newly branded cabinet was installed in the Spring of 2005 along with branded tubs, napkins and wafers and another ice cream season was upon us.  On Father’s Day 2005, I nipped home to check on Dad and tell him we’d just had a power cut and all my ice cream was melting in the middle of a busy, hot and sunny, Sunday afternoon.  Mum was in the shop giving it away. Why waste good ice cream and what a great marketing opportunity that turned out to be.  He settled back down, smiled and passed away later that night.

There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think of him and the inspiration that he was to me and every day the sun’s shining brightly in Largs there’s nowhere I would rather be than scooping and serving my award-winning ice cream to the visitors and hearing them say Geraldo’s is the best ice cream in Largs.

Incidentally, my Mum affectionately called my Dad Gerry Berry.  That’s now my signature flavour – Classic Vanilla rippled with Amarena Cherries soaked in Kirsch and Balsamic Vinegar.  Dad would’ve loved it!!

Gerald Dawson
1937 – 2005

It’s World Whisky Day Today!

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Today’s the day that invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the water of life.

If you’ve never tasted Whisky before then get yourself along to Sugar & Spice today and allow me to offer you some assistance to help you celebrate World Whisky Day. Here’s a quick rundown on the regions first and, being a purveyor of handmade chocolates, a few suggestions to taste and try with your tipple. (Whisky and chocolate is fab btw):-

Lowlands – roughly between Dundee and Glasgow producing a lighter style of Whisky; fragrant, floral and fruity. Try the Auchentoshan 12 year old with our Creme Brûlée Truffles.

Highlands – encompassing many areas north of the Highlands Boundary Fault Line producing a variety of styles from spicy, aromatic whiskies in the north to fuller, slightly peaty flavours from the south. Try the new style Old Pulteney Stroma Malt Whisky Liqueur with our Besilienne Caramels. Mmm!

Speyside – ooh, now for the Creme de la Creme! Soft Scottish water produces elegant fruity malts with a drying smokiness. Sorry, but I can’t stop going on about Aberlour a’Bunadh Batch 34. Combine with our milk chocolate praline truffles. Mwah!!

Islay – very pungent and not for the faint hearted. Peaty, medicinal, briny and tasting of seaweed but try an Ardbeg 10 year old with our dark chocolate chilli and lime ganache and you’ll be blown away with the taste sensation that hits your tastebuds. Wow!

Campbeltown – a cross between the lowlands and the highlands with a good sprinkling of sea salt to bring out the taste. Love the pale straw colour of the Springbank 10 year old and the aftertaste of a visit to the seaside on a warm summer’s day. You just have to try combining this after a light evening meal with my milk chocolate salted caramels. Oh my goodness, the words: “died and gone to heaven” will spring immediately to mind.

Have a dram good day everyone!

Calling all Land Rover enthusiasts!

WOW!  Stewart’s have surpassed themselves with their new range of luxury shortbread tins this year. These beautifully-embossed tins feature iconic images and are filled with delicious Scottish shortbread. They’re a fantastic gift for Father’s Day or perhaps an uncle, brother or difficult-to-buy-for birthday gift for your Dad. Their nostalgic charm makes them an ideal gift for enthusiasts and collectors too and it’s the best range of gift tins we’ve come across for men – at last!!!

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This is one of their new edition releases this year to complement last year’s smaller tin featuring the Land Rover Defender.

Land Rover Defender

It’s too late now to order from us online for Father’s Day this year but still plenty of time to pop into the shop and browse the selection we have if you’re still looking for ideas before Sunday.

Oh, and before I forget, if you’re a REAL Landy enthusiast and you’re on Facebook why not LIKE The Gas Station Café in Cumnock and/or drop by on Sunday, 22nd of June 2013 and see the real thing for yourself.  All Land Rover owners and enthusiasts are welcome to come along and join in the planned road run around some of the local sites.

See you there!