Scottish ice cream brand Equi’s has marked its centenary with the official opening of its new £1.7 million factory and headquarters in Rutherglen.
The fourth-generation family firm has been making ice cream in Hamilton since 1922 when the business was set up by Pietro Equi, who came to the country at the age of 15. Now run by his great-grandson David, Equi’s new factory is 45 times bigger than the original Hamilton facility.
Equi’s produces about a million litres of ice cream annually, with flavours such as Scottish Tablet, Isle of Skye Sea Salt and Caramel and Alphonso Mango Sorbet. This is sold via more than 300 independent customers across Scotland, major multiples including Asda, the Co-Op and Morrisons, and through wholesale.
Turnover during the past year has increased by a third to £3.5m. David Equi said the new facility will allow the business to take its growth plans to the next level.
“When my grandfather Pietro immigrated to Scotland from Tuscany in Italy he started the small independent café that we know today as Equi’s Hamilton,” he said.
“Now into its fourth generation in the ice cream business, my family has continued this principle of using the best quality, locally sourced ingredients and to this day we only use fresh local Scottish milk and double cream for all our ice cream, which we get from a farm just along the road.”
The 10,000sq ft factory has been designed to maximise sustainable efforts with a bespoke water recycling system that will save more than 16 million litres of water per year. Production manager Gary Munro said this will be “a real game-changer” for the ice cream industry in Scotland.
“Our purpose-built unit has been designed to be as efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible with major upgrades in machinery.” he said. “It’s unlike anything else in Scotland today.
“In addition to a 90 per cent drop in water usage, our steam boiler uses 66% less gas and we continue to work with suppliers who allow us to support local businesses and further reduce our food miles, including Park Farm who supply our milk from ten miles away.”