It promises to be an exciting year for Steven Darvill.

After starting The Handmade Ice Cream company nearly eight years ago, Steven recently moved into a new manufacturing unit at Greenodd’s Crakeside Business Park.

In April he hopes to open a parlour selling ice cream and other sweet treats directly to the public.

Steven, who originally comes from the South West, near Bath, worked as a pastry chef before starting the business, including a stint at The Swan at Newby Bridge.

“I really, really wanted to work for myself, but coming from a chef background you are very immersed in the business so it is hard to retrain,” he said.

However, when his first son Freddie was born it gave him the chance to work at home as a “stay at home dad”.

“It started on the kitchen table when my son was tiny and it’s grown from there,” said Steven.

“I really had a passion for ice cream and everyone loves ice cream.”

The company, which employs 15 people during the peak summer season, now supplies its products to outlets across Cumbria and beyond.

“Greenodd has got really good links to Ulverston, Barrow and Coniston,” said Steven.

“It gave us scale to expand our production and have our little parlour as well. There will be an outside space and an inside space and do everything from ice cream waffles, milkshakes and coffees to ice cream cookies. We want to try new stuff and keep it fresh and new. I am really excited about getting the new parlour because it’s our first move into direct to retail.”

Steven said he had identified a desire among people to consume ice cream that only contained natural ingredients.

“There was a gap in the market for a commercial ice cream that wasn’t full of the nasties that you get in some commercial ice creams,” he said.

“I designed a product that was all natural.

“I don’t put all the palm oils and artificial colours and flavours in it, it’s just a natural product.

“We make a lot of vegan ice cream as well, made with coconut fat.

“It’s a very good market and the products that are coming through are fantastic.

“We are quite innovative in what we do so we can change things quickly if we think there is a better way to do something.

“Last year we launched a 100 per cent natural ice lolly made with fruit juice with a completely biodegradable wood pulp package.”

Despite the hard work, Steven said he could not be happier than when running his own business and working in Cumbria.

“As a place to live I don’t think there can be many places that are better,” he said.