Case Study: The Plaza Ices
Business: The Plaza Ices
Location: Isle of Wight
Customer since: 2013
Verdict: “Once you’ve got your first Whitby Morrison van you’re away. We’d be extremely reluctant to go anywhere else now.”
Gary Hall says buying his first Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Van was a ‘game changer’ for his business.
Owner of The Plaza Ices, based near the picturesque Isle of Wight destination of Gurnard, he credits the purchase of a Mondial Lusso after some years of serving only scoop ice cream as the turning point for his operation.
Now he and wife Debbie have closed the parlour they started out with in 2004 to focus on running a pair of Whitby Morrison vans, and they have never looked back.
“It was a game changer for us,” said Gary.
“We travelled to a Whitby Morrison show in South Cheshire and we met the Whitby family who are very decent. We have a positive relationship and their vans have the reputation, high standards and quality we look for. Our business is all about quality, that’s why people come back time and again.
“Our first Whitby van was a conversion and our introduction to Mr Whippy vans which made a huge difference. Our first new van was a Lusso in 2013.
“Now we try to improve on our vans every year. One of the best things about Whitby Morrison vans is they hold their value so it allows you the scope to keep things fresh all the time. Having Mercedes Sprinters has also been a game changer because of its low emissions which is also important to us.
“We’ve always had a short wheelbase to help us easily get round narrow streets and into tight spots like at Carisbrooke Castle. On our latest vans we had a power pack installed to enable us to serve tea and coffee and an electric motor drive to allow us to run off an external electric supply.”
Parents of two grown-up children, Debbie and Gary have served members of the royal family and various celebrities from their Whitby Morrison vans and love the lifestyle that comes with being mobilers.
Together they have helped to make Gunard Bay a genuine tourist destination and their newest Ice Cream Van is attractively liveried with graphics depicting the pretty village just west of Cowes.
Gary added: “We’ve a real passion for it, there’s nothing better. In this job you only meet people who are feeling good and in a good mood. It’s a privilege really.”