Happy Birthday Just - Ice!

Ethical Ice Cream shop and café, Just - Ice Poynton recently celebrated two years since their opening in October 2021. The registered charity aims to support survivors of human trafficking by providing them with training and employment in order to restore their hope and dignity. When asked what drove her to set up another Just – Ice café, Jo Rodman, who co – founded the third shop of the franchise explains: 

‘I was at a bit of a crossroads, having retired from my small business career and with a growing interest in social justice, fuelled by my Christian faith. I came across Gavin & Sally Murray and Just-Ice Derby and was very taken with the concept of using ice cream and business skills to support people who have suffered such terrible exploitation. It seemed like a great fit for Poynton with the right demographic for high quality ice cream and good train links to Manchester where many survivors of modern slavery are living. And I am pleased to say it is really working well!’ 

Furthermore, she explains why the work at Just - Ice is so enjoyable, and what new skills she has learnt since the shop opened: ‘It is extremely rewarding! Working in the cafe can be long hours and tiring but it is a joy to see such disadvantaged people grow with the support of the cafe community and I love the 'behind the scenes' side - everything involved with running a small business. I have developed my people skills - learnt to be more patient and persevere with people. And it has been a fantastic opportunity to practise team leading skills.’ 

Recently, the franchise has introduced a new scheme to reduce their food waste, called ‘too good to go bags’, which can be pre ordered and then collected at the shop. They are particularly popular with families as a small tub of ice cream is always included alongside food stuffs nearing their use – by date. ‘At first we thought we didn't have much waste, so it wasn't really for us.,’ Jo commented, ‘But when you stop to look in detail there are pockets of waste which we are now saving. Although it is a bit of a shame that there is less to offer to our volunteers to take home with them!’

As winter draws in, the Christmas festivities begin. Jo remarks: 'We are looking forward to the Poynton Christmas Fest and busy with preparations for that. The Christmas ice cream flavours are now in the freezer which is exciting! And in 2024 there is lots to do to consolidate the training of our beneficiaries and support of our volunteers. Exciting times ahead!’ 

Take a trip to Just - Ice Poynton, Derby or Milford to taste their delicious fairtrade ice cream whilst supporting a charity, crucial in rebuilding innocent lives, and providing hope for the future.