The Waffle Bowl to open in The Maltings off Mill Street in Oakham
A couple have turned their lockdown hobby into a successful ice cream business.
The Waffle Bowl was set up by Oakham couple Tasja and Louis Deacon after they felt the area was a ‘desert’ when it came to finding good desserts.
Last summer the pair - with help from their children - began experimenting with flavours and recipes which they then delivered to friends and family.
It soon became clear their ice cream was a hit, and The Waffle Bowl was born, with Tasja and Louis delivering the treats to people living in the Stamford, Rutland and Melton area.
Tasja, 44, said: “We just wanted something to provide a little bit of extra income; we didn’t really know where it was going to go.
“We have grown quite naturally and organically.”
As the business continued to attract new customers, Tasja and Louis added more flavours and dishes.
Tasja said: “Just before Christmas we decided we had outgrown home. People were asking for more than what we could make and we needed bigger machinery.
“We were toing and froing between getting a unit and making it from there but we walked around town and there wasn’t anywhere like this.”
Tasja is continuing her job as a computer science teacher at Catmose College for the rest of the school year before leaving to run the Waffle Bowl full time.
Her teenage children will also help out during the summer holidays before she looks into whether it is viable to hire staff.
The new shop, in The Maltings off Mill Street, is hard to miss for people walking around Oakham - it is painted pink and decorated in vibrant colours.
As well as ice cream and waffle bowls, it will offer milkshakes, speciality coffees and sundaes.
The family is looking to open on May 28 if the building work is complete.
Tasja said: “A lot of people say they are really excited. It’s something new and different in Oakham, not just another coffee shop.There has been a lot of positive reaction.”
She added that they are trying to keep their ethos.
“Our biggest aim is that this is as eco-friendly and as environmentally friendly as we can be, which means we have tried to source all of our equipment secondhand.
“We have also tried to make sure everything is natural, and that anything disposable is eco-friendly.”
The couple also pride themselves on having seasonal flavours, such as blackberries in autumn.