A RUTHIN ice cream business is ramping up production to meet demand from theatres across North Wales over the pantomime season.

Anna Taylor, founder and director of Chilly Cow Ice Cream, has shared her experiences of being a business owner during the busy festive period.

Founded in 2014, after a conversation between Anna and her dairy farmer husband, David, Anna saw a gap in the market for the venture. The business allowed Anna to be at home for her children and be flexible with the hours that she needed to put into the business.

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The Ruthin-based ice cream company has since seen massive growth and can now be found stocked in more than 100 hospitality and retail outlets across North Wales.

Back in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the UK, Anna saw demand for her products plummet by over 80% due to the hospitality sector being shut down.

This is where Anna's journey with Wrexham University began.

Anna had already intuitively picked up the skillset necessary for running a business through her time as director of Chilly Cow, however she felt that she wanted to underpin what she had learnt and enhance her skills further.

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As a result, in 2020 Anna enrolled on the four-year part-time Applied Business Management degree at Wrexham University.

When discussing her options with lecturers, it was highlighted that Chilly Cow would be an excellent case study for Anna to be able to use as part of her studies at Wrexham.

Her decision to return to studying was not only to ensure longevity throughout the pandemic, but also to solidify and evidence her skills, should she wish to move into different ventures in the future.

Anna said: "I think it is important for students to see tangible outcomes from what they are studying. The course has massively helped me refine by entrepreneurial skills such as writing business plans and delivering presentations.

"The support I have had from the university, running a business whilst studying the degree part time has been amazing."

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Since being established in 2014, many more ice cream companies have surfaced in the region and Anna explained what makes Chilly Cow stand out, she said: "Our unique selling point is that we are dairy farm based, so we use fresh milk from the farm every day.

"We carry the buckets of milk across from the dairy farm to where we create the ice cream."

When asked what the next year has in store for Chilly Cow, she said: "Looking forward, we would like to explore expanding into more tourist areas as we now have the capacity to do this.

"I am also looking forward to being present at the university's open days in the coming year to help prospective students see if a business degree could be the perfect fit for them"

Anna is completing the final year of her degree and looks forward to graduating with the rest of her cohort in spring 2024.