Not one, but TWO gin fests!

Happy World Gin Day gin lovers!!  We are hugely excited to announce that we have not one, but TWO gin fests for you to enjoy this year.  Now that is something to raise a G&T to.  Here are the details…..

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REGATTA GINFEST

Saturday 26th August 2017, 2-6pm

As part of Largs Regatta Week (one of Scotland’s premier sailing events), we are hosting Regatta GinFest in the Regatta Marquee on the grounds of Largs Yacht Haven, which has been awarded the very prestigious UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2017.

Soak up the regatta atmosphere with 10 artisan gin producers, learn all about how their gins are made, where they come from, meet the people behind the distillery and best of all, taste their gin.

The gin producers will be coming from across the country (and beyond) with old favourites and brand new gins on the market.  This is your chance to try them all!

Limited tickets are available, so please get yours soon to avoid disappointment.

Buy your Regatta GinFest ticket HERE!

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GERALDO’S GINFEST

Friday 24th November 2017, 6-10pm

After a huge success last year, Geraldo’s GinFest is back in November!

Spend the evening with us and 16 artisan gin producers in the fabulous Brisbane House Hotel on the seafront of Largs.  Select your tea cup on arrival and enjoy sampling ‘Mother’s Ruin’ at your leisure.

We have a wonderful line-up of gin producers eager to tell you all about how their gins are made, where they come from and the botanicals that make them all unique. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to find out who will be exhibiting this year.

Not only will there be over 40 craft gins to sample, but there will also be luxury handmade chocolates to try too!

Let the party beGIN!

Buy your Geraldo’s GinFest ticket HERE!

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Check out this video of last year’s Geraldo’s GinFest! 

We hope you can join us for #GeraldosGinFest 2017.

Hosting the perfect Burns Supper

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So how do you host the perfect Burns Supper?  Across the globe we celebrate the life and works of our famous Scottish Bard on the 25th January.  Haggis, neaps and tatties followed by clootie dumpling are standard, but it is the additional treats that will make a special night.

In Geraldo’s of Largs we have a wide range of malt whiskies to toast Robert Burns.  We also stock deliciously moist Whisky Cakes and a wide range of Scottish shortbread to nibble on during the Burns recitals.  Here are some recommendations…..

Robert Burns Single Malt

This is the official Isle of Arran Distillery Single Malt endorsed by The Robert Burns World Federation. Made from 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking with your haggis.

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Ashers Whisky Cakes

Choose from 3 single malt Ashers Whisky Cakes. Deliciously moist fruit cakes laced with single malt whisky from the Highlands, Islands & Speyside.

Shortbread House of Edinburgh

The perfect accompaniment to a wee dram has to be shortbread.  Shortbread House of Edinburgh pride themselves on making everything by hand to ensure that the taste, texture and appearance is far superior to mass produced products.

If you need some more suggestions on how to host your own Burns Supper, have a look at Visit Scotland’s guide.  No matter how you celebrate our great Bard, the main thing is to have fun.  We’ll raise a glass to that!

Slainte!

 

Business of the Year 2016!

What a year we’ve had so far.  We are over the moon to announce that we have won the Association of Scottish Businesswomen National Business Award for Business of the Year 2016!

Presenter and judge, Lyndsay Darroch from Blackadders Solicitors

At a glittering Awards Dinner in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel on Friday 2nd September, we were up against some fantastic businesses from across Scotland.  Toni was surprised and delighted when the ASB announced that she had won Business of the Year 2016.  She was joined by colleagues from the AABW (Ayrshire Association of Business Women) to support the finalists across 9 categories, with Ayrshire business women having another incredible year and picking up 3 awards on the night.

The ASB is an umbrella organisation for a number of business and professional women’s clubs throughout Scotland.  They work with government, enterprise organisations and businesses to further the interests of women in business, the professions and the voluntary sector. ASB members come from every sector, age group, and level of experience and responsibility.

These awards acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of successful female entrepreneurs, business and professional women on a national level and we are truly privileged to be recognised by the ASB.

On accepting her award Toni said: “The awards system was a catalyst last year for making changes this year and really helped me focus on a new direction for my business.”

Toni accepting her award

We have so many exciting development plans in the pipeline over the coming months and this is just the start.

Congratulations goes to all of the amazing finalists and award winners and a huge thank you to all the judges and organisers for such a super ceremony.

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

There’s a Bank Holiday Weekend coming up…

Well here’s the 2nd instalment of my Did You Know feature and I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that this weekend is a Bank Holiday weekend.

 

That means only one thing – all systems go for those of us catering for tourists or day trippers in any way. Stock orders in, all hands on deck and fingers crossed for some good weather, and let’s hope it’s several degrees warmer than it has been in the last few days.

Despite the drop in temperature I still have to be prepared for a hot, sunny spell and last week my delivery of ice cream cones came in, all 60+ boxes of them, so you could say I’m ready for some sunshine. We’ve changed our range of waffle cones this year and have a couple of new additions on offer including one rolled in popcorn and another rolled in milk chocolate vermicelli and, of course, our best selling nutty waffle. (My personal favourite!)

Our premium waffle cone selection for 2015

Thankfully I did actually manage that day away last week at the spa with Sweet Caroline. Unfortunately, after a somewhat painful massage to remove the lumps and bumps from my back and neck, I was guided into the relaxation room to recover then promptly fell asleep for the next 2 hours so most of the afternoon was gone!  For those of you not working this weekend take time to relax, enjoy some family time and take advantage of the time off; you deserve it I’m sure.

Did you know this weekend also signals the start of Whisky Month and World Whisky Day is only a few weeks away when we Scots pay homage to our national drink. My display window is being dressed on Thursday and I’ll have more about what we’re doing in the shop in next week’s instalment including a fantastic offer on the newly acclaimed online Whisky School Courses.

Finally, did you know you can vote for us in the Waverley Golden Cone Awards?  It’s the annual search to find Scotland’s favourite place to enjoy ice cream and since this is Geraldo’s 10th anniversary we’d love you to vote for us please.  All you have to do is fill in the form online for your chance to win a fully stocked ice cream cart for a special event of your choosing. Closing date is Tuesday, 5th of May.

 

 Good luck with your entry and have a great weekend everyone!

Toni x

It’s Geraldo’s 10th birthday!

Year of Food and Drink 2015

Celebrating the Year of Scottish Food and Drink 2015

We’re already well into celebrating the Year of Food & Drink in Scotland and at the first sign of sunshine Largs is overflowing with day-trippers, tourists and residents of the surrounding areas making the most of the good weather.  Good weather brings lots of smiles to people’s faces and it also heralds the start of the ice cream season too.

Big smiles all round in Largs.

Big smiles all round in Largs.

With April being the month for award-winning foods we thought it was a perfect month to announce that Geraldo’s Ice Cream is celebrating  its 10th birthday this month.  There’s quite a story attached to how Geraldo’s began and you can read that here. We’ve picked up numerous awards over the years for our Classic Vanilla, Mint Choc Chip, Scottish Tablet, Gerry Berry and Natural Strawberry to name but a few but we have loads more flavours to choose from with 16 on the go at any one time.

10 years old this month!

10 years old this month!

My ice cream is made with Scottish milk and cream supplied to me by Mills Dairies in Largs and I use only the finest fruit purees and ripples.  It’s also Gluten Free and Sugar & Spice is the only ice cream shop in Largs to put fresh ice cream in our Mr Whippy machine too.

Fresh, gluten free ice cream in our Mr Whippy too!

Fresh, gluten free ice cream in our Mr Whippy too!

We’re open late every night until at least 9pm so if you’re in town or driving through, drop by and give us a visit.  If you’re on Facebook, why don’t you LIKE our page, CHECK IN if you’re in the shop and you can pick up TWO FREE TOPPINGS ON YOUR ICE CREAM.

LIKE and CHECK IN for 2 FREE TOPPINGS

LIKE and CHECK IN for 2 FREE TOPPINGS

Choose any 2!

Choose any 2!

Me and Mama Mia (Sweet Caroline) look forward to seeing you!

Toni x

Me and Sweet Caroline

How are you celebrating Robert Burns night on 25th Jan?

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With less than a week to go you don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, on the 25th of January.  Why not invite friends and family over for a Burns Night party? Include a mix of traditional dishes such as cock-a-leekie soup and spiced haggis, neeps and tatties followed by clootie dumpling or crannachan for dessert washed down with a small glass of warming malt whisky. And don’t forget some shortbread or Scottish tablet to nibble on whilst you all recite your favourite Burns poems.

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Here at Sugar & Spice we have a selection of whiskies and Scottish produce to help you add that all-important finishing touch to your supper table.  Our Burns Supper recommendations are as follows:-

Robert Burns Single Malt
This is the official Isle of Arran Distillery Single Malt endorsed by The Robert Burns World Federation. Made from 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking with your haggis.

Robert Burns Malt

Walkers Shortbread 
With a vast range to choose from, our favourite as a ‘gift tae gie’ to your host or to your guests ‘tae go’ is their classic Keepsake Tin of four of their most popular mini shortbread varieties.

Keepsake Tin

Arran Handmade Chocolates
Keeping with an Ayrshire theme doesn’t everyone love some chocolates with their coffee after dinner? The Arran Chocolate Factory produce chocolates for Arran and chocolates for us.  If you haven’t tried them already we have 12 to choose from, all hand picked and boxed while you wait.

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If you’re still stuck for ideas on holding your own Burns Supper then download this handy eBook for all you need to know.  All that’s left to do is have fun and enjoy!

Slainte!