Founded in the 1930’s by the Hartley family, the traditional Cumbrian ice cream parlour was a second home to Les Richardson who, as a schoolboy, would give Mr Hartley a hand odd-jobbing, before taking a full-time position in the iron ore mine. In the 1980’s, he returned to his early years’ passion, buying first a half share and then the whole Hartley’s Ice Cream business.
Son Mark followed in his father’s footsteps, helping out in his youth before pursuing a career at the local nuclear plant. He returned to the business in 1990 and, in 1995, he met and traded with Paul Crowter, to buy his first ever homogeniser – and Paul’s first ever sale.
Paul had followed a similar career pattern to me, having returned to work with his dad in the ice cream business after many years in the fire service, Mark remembers, and we hit it off straight away. He had such a passion for the ice cream industry and convinced me that the APV Gaulin K3 homogeniser would change my life – and he was right! It was a complete eye-opener from our point of view – it did its job so well and, thanks to the excellent servicing, it never went wrong.
Mark and Paul have continued to meet and talk machines over the past 25 years at trade exhibitions, so when the time came for Mark to upgrade, he went straight to Paul and the ROKK range.
I had absolutely no hesitation in going to Paul and the Machinery World team,” continues Mark. “I can’t think of anyone who knows more about the ice cream business. They understand their customers’ equipment needs so well – possibly better than we do – and will recommend the perfect machine for each operator. Combine this with the fantastic workmanship of the ROKK machinery and the brilliant aftercare service from the backroom staff: I just wouldn’t contemplate going elsewhere.
The ROKK is really quick to learn once you’ve had the initial training from the MW engineers – and so much more efficient,” says Mark. “We have reduced production time by a third and significantly increased the smoothness and texture of our ice cream. I couldn’t be more delighted with my new addition, and hope to add a ROKK pasteuriser and ROKK RFE continuous freezer to the stable in due course.
And what of the old K3? It’s still in perfect working order and carefully stored at MW HQ in Wolvey, after Paul bought it back from Mark as a nostalgic reminder that you should always fully understand your customers’ business so that you can recommend the perfect machine for their needs every time!