Graham MacDonald knows there is hot competition in Oxford when it comes to selling artisan ice cream and gelato.

But the Covered Market trader is so confident in his product that he is able to remain very calm.

Mr MacDonald and wife Jen launched iScream geleteria six years ago and have been improving the business ever since.

He said: “I am the original here in Oxford and I’m still here and going strong six years on.

“I am improving standards all the time and work just as hard now as I did do then.

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“We have won a gold award from the Good Food Awards three years on the trot and we won Best ice cream parlour in the South East in 2019 - customers do really appreciate what we do.”

Oxford Mail:

That appreciation is sometimes reflected in the queues of customers at gelateria.

“At times on Saturday it was frenetic,” said Mr MacDonald.

“There were queues right the way around the corner.

“By now our reputation has spread and our customers know that whatever they try it is going to be good.

“Of course we had a better summer this year than we did last year but we also had a better summer than we did two years ago.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr MacDonald acknowledges that there is plenty of competition - even from other traders in the Covered Market who sell ice cream but that won’t stop him from remaining positive.

The former estate agent is prepared to keep trying new innovations to grow his business.

One new direction is adding less sugar to his products and trying to provide a range of gelato that vegans can try.

“You can create vegan gelato using coconut milk,” Mr MacDonald explained.

“Students are very keen on vegan products so we have to be able to provide them.

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“We also have edible spoons made from rice flour and cocoa.

“There are vegan cones and vegan wafers - we are adapting to emerging markets.”

Oxford Mail:

During the pandemic, the gelateria had to find new ways of distributing its ice cream and acquired two electric bikes for deliveries. Now restrictions are lifted lots of restaurants, pubs, delis and coffee houses are placing orders.

These could include the greengage sorbetto Mr MacDonald has been making with fruit provided by one of his customers.

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“We are not too worried about the competition,” he added.