A FAMILY ice cream business has scooped a national award.

Daresbury Dairy was voted best newcomer at the national ice cream competition organised by the Ice Cream Alliance.

Husband and wife team 32-year-old Matt Whitlow and Claire, aged 34, launched the business at Penkridge Lake Farm in 2011, using milk from the family's 170 strong herd of Friesian cows.

Claire, aged 34, said: “We’re really pleased as this was a blind tasting by the industry’s trade association.

“We’re passionate about good quality food and drink and only use the finest ingredients.

“We put a lot of tender loving care into our ice cream.”

Matt runs the farm with his parents, Peter and Elaine.

Claire manages the ice cream business with Matt’s sister, 34-year-old Emma.

With three children, James, aged five, Jessica, aged three, George, one, and a fourth expected in July, Claire said she relishes being busy.

Claire added: “It’s a constant juggling act. I'm very passionate about the business and I love spending as much time as I can with the children.

"I’ll probably be making ice cream until the day before I have the baby. I did that last time.

“We are constantly coming up with new flavours.

“We take inspiration from events and the seasons. We do 12 constant flavours but in practice make 35.

“We puree all our fresh fruit. We make raspberry pavlova and have just created rhubarb crumble because it is in season.

“A Chinese couple asked me if I could make lychee ice cream for their wedding. I said I'd have a go and they loved it.

“Our latest is hot cross bun flavour for Easter. We use spices, dried mixed fruit and peel. Ice cream has always been a love of mine."

Zelica Carr, chief executive of The Ice Cream Alliance, said: "This is well deserved recognition for a business that strives for excellence in everything it does.

“It is a credit to the ice cream industry and it is easy to see why it is so popular in its community."