Like every good story, the tale of Pinks Vintage Ice Cream features triumph over adversity, a cast of vibrant characters and a happily ever after with plenty of scope for a sequel or two.
Before we share our story, let us introduce you to the Pinks team…
Katy – Founder
AKA ‘Mrs Whippy’
Katy runs a tight ship here at Pink’s but always has time for a chat and a ‘Mrs Whippy Selfie’.
Naturally, she loves a simple old fashioned ’99 on a crisp cone. Oh and it HAS to have a Cadbury’s flake… fake flakes are a mortal sin in our ice cream vans!
Georgia – Business Development Manager
AKA ‘Little Miss Whippy’
Georgia joined the family business in 2013 to help expand the fleet and quickly became known across the South Coast as Little Miss Whippy. You’ll spot her enjoying an Oyster Shell filled with whippy ice cream and a flake (and toffee sauce if she’s feeling really naughty!) after a long day on the scoop.
Reg – Pink’s Vintage Canine Mascot
AKA Little Mr Whippy
When our English bulldog Reg joined the family, we knew we had to start serving doggy ice cream to keep his really sweet tooth (and his canine friends) satisfied! Reg loves nothing more than a tickle under the chin and a pot of banana and honey flavour dog ice cream.
Terry – Grandad
Terence the van’s namesake
Terry is a bit of a celeb in the soft scoop ice cream world and helped bring it over to the UK. We’ve also named our latest ice cream van Terence after him! Grandad loves nothing more than a scoop of the classic rum and raisin – a popular choice with Grandad’s of the land in our experience!
Patsy – Nan
Patsy the van’s namesake
Our original vintage ice cream van was named after our Nan Patsy who wasn’t around to see the empire grow, but is with us in spirit – cheering us on from above. Nan loved the finer things in life and has a soft spot for the champagne sorbet.
Kevin – Dad
Builder and No 1 fan
Dad started the Pink’s Vintage Ice Cream story and deserves a mention in our line up for helping Mrs Whippy get her ice cream empire off the ground. He will tell you he likes vanilla ice cream but it’s not quite that simple. You see, Dad’s a retro kid at heart and can think of nothing better than a banana long boat!
Meet the fleet
What started with one retro ice cream van, is growing to be a vintage ice cream fleet! We even have our very own ice cream tricycle! Click each image to find out the story behind how each member of our ice cream fleet were named…
Pink’s Vintage Ice Cream is a family business and family is at the heart of the story of our company.
Grab your favourite iced treat and let us take you back to the very start…
It all began on a cold Christmas morning in 2001, when Mrs Whippy’s husband Kevin surprised her with a present like no other – a clapped out ice cream van that was more scrap-heap challenge than vintage darling.
At first we all thought he’d gone a bit mad… and Mrs Whippy was furious! What was she going to do with it? It was a real heap….
But when Dad explained that he thought it’d be the perfect project and business for Mum, and that it meant she didn’t have to go back to her nursing job (which she loved and had enjoyed however she was ready for a new challenge), Mrs Whippy’s frosty demeanour melted and it was the start of something amazing.
The renovation project began! We named the retro ice cream van Patsy (in honour of our Nan) and got to work translating the old Italian manuals and teaching ourselves how to fix her up. After months of hard graft, she was ready for her first outing, vintage chimes and all.
Mum started her local round in West Sussex and quickly became known as Mrs Whippy amongst the children and parents. If you hear the traditional chimes ringing through the streets, shouts of “Mrs Whippy! Mrs Whippy!” are never far behind.
But it wasn’t all easy those first few months out on the streets.
Mrs Whippy wanted to shake the stigma of the stereotypical ice cream van and server. As a nurse, she likes everything to be clinically clean and she prides herself on keeping the vans absolutely spotless.
And, as a parent herself she knew she had a real responsibility to the children she served – who often opened up and told her things about their day that they wouldn’t tell their parents. She wasn’t just serving them ice cream, she was a friendly face when they were being bullied or struggling at school.
It was the rivalry from other local ice cream vans that really began to take its toll, and almost saw Mrs Whippy throw in the towel.
Two other vans in particular made life hard on the streets of Chichester and Bognor Regis. One day, they even tried to barricade Patsy into a road so Mrs Whippy couldn’t serve her ice cream.
Fortunately, Mrs Whippy had won the hearts of the local people and they rallied round to protect her and the van. But it was hard on her spirit and she nearly gave up the retro van and ice cream for good…
2003 – 2007
Fortunately, Mrs Whippy was made of stronger stuff and she continued serving screwballs and 99 flakes to the ice cream fans of the south coast.
You’d find her and Patsy at school fairs, fetes, local events and touring the streets… life was good.
And it was about to get even better when one of her regulars asked if she’d serve ice cream at her upcoming wedding. Mrs Whippy said yes, of course! And we started one of our most sought after services – wedding ice cream van hire!
2008 – 2012
With weddings coming in thick and fast, Mrs Whippy wanted to give her brides and grooms something extra special. Seeing the boom in all things vintage we decided to rebrand as Pinks Vintage Ice Cream…
Pinks – because it’s Mrs Whippy’s favourite colour!
Vintage – because we’ll take any excuse to wear floral frocks and victory rolls in our hair!
This was a new era for Mrs Whippy, and an exciting adventure into fashion, traditional ice creams and being a part of some of the best weddings and events across West Sussex.
We also began offering corporate events, family days and staff rewards for local businesses as well – and were meeting so many amazing people – including a few celebs (Kate Winslet and Keith Richards are huge Pinks Vintage Ice Cream fans!)
With almost 10 years under her belt, Mrs Whippy knew it was time to expand the team and the fleet. Fortunately, I was ready and waiting in the wings. I had been studying radio production at university for two years but that summer, when I came home, I realised I missed my Mum, my family and was completely homesick.
I decided to leave uni to become an ice cream lady and join the family business.
Nicknamed Little Miss Whippy, I helped mum out at events, weddings and learning the ropes on the local rounds.
It was around this time that we started getting asked if we had an ice cream bike for smaller events. We were asked such a lot, that we decided to bite the bullet and buy our traditional British ‘Pashley’ tricycle, fitted with its very own cool box for even more portable scooping!
But, our ice cream bicycle needed a name. So we took to our loyal Facebook fans and ran a competition asking them to share their name ideas. The winner was a little girl who chose the name ‘Rosey’.(We kept the spelling because even though it’s spelt wrong, we love it!)
2015 and 2016 have been our busiest years yet, with so many highlights!
Most notably, Mrs Whippy took home ‘Mobiler of The Year’ at the Ice Cream Alliance awards in April 2015 – something we’re all really proud of. The awards are tough and prestigious and it was such an honour being chosen as the winners!
We also introduced a new retro ice cream van to the fleet – Terence– named after our Grandad, Terry, who worked with the Italian chefs to bring the soft scoop and whippy soft serve to the UK and is one of our biggest cheerleaders!
We’re now able to join you at even more great weddings and events across the South East, and our team is ever expanding!
So what’s in store for the future of Pinks Vintage? Well, your guess is as good as ours, but we know it’ll be just as exciting, with a sprinkles on top! Join us over on our Facebook page to see how our story continues to unfold…
Little Miss Whippy xx