How it all started: the beginnings of Ruby Violet - Ruby Violet Ice Cream & Sorbet

How it all started: the beginnings of Ruby Violet

Posted by Marston Moretaine Office on

Ruby Violet, my maternal grandmother, was born on the first day of Spring 1906. King Edward VII was on the throne and there was a heatwave that summer. She was a strident opinionated lady with dubious driving skills and a love of Energen rolls, Penguin biscuits, golf, bridge and ice cream. 

Ruby Violet ice cream was born over 100 years later in 2011.

Ruby Violet loved a choc ice and I remember as a child the crisp cracking of the thin chocolate covering, my sister and I eating slices from a block of plain ice cream squashed between a couple of wafers. I remember the way we badgered her for ice cream on our holidays there and how she usually gave in, probably because it was a good excuse for her own indulgence.

For 34 years I worked as a Photographer. Ruby Violet was born out of a desire to create a high quality ice cream, using local produce and a wish to become more involved in our local community. I started making ice cream in a small domestic ice cream maker and I tested the recipes on my enthusiastic neighbours, who were and still are very forthcoming in their views.

I was commissioned to make ice cream cakes and bombes for birthdays and parties. After a few months a new market opened just down the road and I took a small market stall outside the Tufnell Park Tavern for 4 hours every Saturday.
I removed the back seats from my car and every single Saturday my partner, son, friends, neighbours  and I lugged a heavy duty freezer box, 2 small freezers and a display freezer, 3 trestle tables, a gazebo, endless strings of homemade bunting  in 3 separate journeys to the market and there whatever the weather we sold ice cream in cones and tubs.

I invested in some larger machines and freezers, installing them in part of our living room, it put an end to our social life, but I felt lucky to have the space and the time to pursue my passion.

One year later we moved into premises on the borders of Tufnell Park and Kentish Town, a little jewel in the heart of Fortess Road where we made all our ice creams for the following 10 years. In May 2016 we opened our second parlour in King's Cross, just off Granary Square. Sadly we were forced to close the doors of our Tufnell Park parlour for the last time on September 26th 2021, following an unsuccessful negotiation with our landlord. At that point we had already moved our kitchen to new premises in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, where we are still happily based.

All the ice cream is still made there from scratch in small batches, still using organic milk, free range eggs, seasonal fresh fruit locally sourced when possible, and still enjoying the process of creating new fabulous frozen delights. 

Julie Fisher, Ruby Violet's founder

The original Ruby Violet in a picture from the 1920s

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