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18 November, 2021

Big plans for ice cream fans

NEW flavours and introducing fun activities for children are some of the future plans of the new owners of the Emerald Creek Ice Creamery, Clare and Mike Bees.

By Robyn Holmes

Mike and Clare Bees enjoy the fruits of their labour, eating some of the home-made ice cream they sell at Emerald Creek Ice Creamery.

The young couple purchased the business in June which was a real deviation from their previous jobs, with Clare being in architecture and Mike working for Tablelands Regional Council. 

“We had been looking to buy a business in the tourism/hospitality sector and saw this and thought ‘why not?’” Clare said.

“It’s been a real learning curve and a game changer for sure.”

With a love of cooking right through her family, Clare has readily taken to making all the chutneys, marmalade, jams and treats like rocky road and fudge for the shop, while Mike has become the ice cream guru. 

They have already introduced some changes to the offerings, now providing light lunches, waffles and savoury and sweet scones, but there’s more to come. 

“We have had a lot of requests for licorice ice cream and we’re looking at doing possibly a lychee one, but we’ve already introduced a bubble gum flavour for the kids and perfected the chocolate orange ice cream,” Mike said. 

Some of the more unusual flavours on offer are Red Elderberry, Wattle Seed, Guava Rosa and even one that tastes exactly like apple pie.

The couple are committed to sourcing ingredients for their products locally as much as possible, and want to keep them as natural as possible. 

“For example, when we make the licorice ice cream, it’s not black, it’s brownish but we don’t want to add an unnecessary ingredient just so it’s black in colour,” Mike said. 

In the future, Mike and Clare would like to enhance the experience for customers and establish activities or features that will offer kids some fun things to do.

“We have thought of establishing a play area or maybe something like a fairy garden or sensory garden – it would great to utilise the space we have here and offer a fuller experience,” Clare said. 

A lot of the business’s custom comes from passing traffic, but they also have a lot of regulars who come weekly to pick up their sweet and savoury treats. 

“We have regulars from as far as Yungaburra and Cairns and we have thought that we might like to open up an outlet in Cairns at some stage,” Clare said.

“We also act as an unofficial tourist information centre – we get a lot of people coming in and asking for information so we want to improve what we offer in that space.” 

The Bees say they would like to make the ice creamery a real destination and a must-see stop as part of any trip to the Tablelands. 

“We want to improve our marketing presence, especially on platforms like Facebook, and we’ve done a bit of re-brand in that we have now have a new logo – we didn’t want to change the name as it is well known but give it a more identifiable look,” Clare explained. 

The Emerald Creek Ice Creamery is located on the Kennedy Highway, just past Emerald Creek on the way to Cairns and open every day except Wednesday till 4.30pm.

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