Baboo Gelato was set up in 2015 by Annie Hanbury, a trained gelatiere, who wanted to combine her passion for making seriously good ice cream with the glut of fabulous ripe fruit on her doorstep. After years of living abroad, Annie and her family moved to the beautiful rolling hills behind the Dorset seaside town of Bridport and became the proud owners of a smallholding with an overflowing and abandoned market garden.
Annie decided she wanted to put the heart and soul back into ice cream making. She missed her children’s excitement and wonder as they chose from a gorgeous array of colourful and scrumptious flavours. Baboo Gelato wants to recapture this magic.
Annie was born in Vienna to a Russian father and Irish mother, and has lived abroad for most of her life. Her earliest memories are of great family gatherings, always around a groaning dining table, discussing and bickering about the smallest detail of every dish. She has loved cooking and understanding flavours ever since.
In 2013 and 2014 she studied gelato making at the Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. Here she learned from the world’s master gelatieres the science of ice cream making. She now combines this very precise skill with her flair for flavour to make what we hope you’ll find to be delicious ice cream.
Annie has four children, a raspberry-growing husband, and an abiding passion for food.
We have been honoured to win awards every year since we started, most recently Champion Ice Cream 2020 from Taste of the West for our Salted Caramel; and Best British Specialty from the Great British Food Awards 2020. We are a Great Taste Producer.
In our first year we won Champion Ice Cream & Sorbet 2016 by Taste of the West for our lemon sorbet; and Best Dairy Producer by Taste of Dorset.
In 2017 our Maple & Walnut gelato was one of three finalists in the Taste of the West Awards.
In 2018 our Plum Sorbet was one of three finalists in the 2018 Taste of the West Awards, and we won an amazing eight awards including four golds. We also won 8 stars from Great Taste including three 2 star awards for our Pear Sorbet, Plum Sorbet and Peanut Choc Gelato. Annie was shortlisted for the 2018 Great British Entrepreneur of the Year.
In 2019 we received an awesome 6 Gold Awards and 1 Silver from Taste of the West. We were finalist in the Taste of the West awards again.
In 2020 we won another raft of gold awards from Taste of the West, 2 x 2 stars from Great Taste, and Champion Ice Cream from Taste of the West.
Gelato is not simply the Italian name for ice cream.
Although it feels very smooth, gelato is made using more milk than cream, and so is much lower in fat than traditional ice cream. There is also less air in gelato, which means it packs more flavour.
How to enjoy gelato at home
Gelato tastes best at -12ºC. This allows the taste buds to be more receptive, which, together with the lower air and cream content, makes the flavour of gelato much more intense. You can achieve this at home by taking the tub out of your freezer (usually at -18ºC) and putting it into your fridge for about 15 minutes before you want to eat it.
We use a lot of fruit at Baboo Gelato, and we have the pick of the crop from our own abundant and out-of-control garden. We grow many varieties of fruit bushes and trees: raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, apples, pears, plums, redcurrants, blackcurrants, and gooseberries. With such a fabulous choice at our fingertips, we love to experiment with flavours. The end result speaks for itself.
When we can’t supply from our own crop we source our ingredients locally. When this isn’t possible (for instance with vanilla or chocolate) we use suppliers whom we know and trust and who make the tastiest ingredients.
Of course, the other important ingredient is milk. Based in the heart of the West Country’s dairy farms, we buy our milk from a local organic milk supplier.
Does this matter? We think it does. The fields that the cows graze on are filled with a variety of grasses, herbs and flowers, which give a much richer flavour to the milk. And we want the cows to be happy.
It is a scandal that half of the UK’s dairy farms have closed in the last ten years due to the low price the supermarkets pay for their milk.
How we do it
There are no short cuts to making fabulous artisanal ice cream. We make everything from scratch in small batches, from pasteurising the raw milk in order not to cook it twice (which would destroy its fresh flavour), to pureeing our fruit to get the freshest flavours, and to making our own ripples and toppings.
We use state-of-the-art artisanal machinery imported from Italy. Our trusted Carpigiani Labotronic helps us get the smoothest, creamiest gelato possible. All in all, it’s hard work, but we think it tastes better for it.