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Hocking's Ice Cream: The Taste of North Devon

There are many wonderful and unique memories to be had from going on holiday in North Devon, from its friendly people to its beautiful countryside which can at times be rolling rural farmland, and at others sparse, rugged wilderness. The most enduring memory for many, though, will be the Hocking’s Ice Cream Van!

This local Appledore business, started in 1936 out of a living room and one ice cream van (which was a 1928 converted Morris), has expanded to a factory and twelve vans over the years, and is still family owned. The original 1928 converted Morris ice cream van is still around, but nowadays, it is more likely to be found at the factory!

Today, the business is run by Geoff and Neil Hocking who are grandsons, and Andrew Upton who is a great grandson of the original founder Dave Hocking. Making and selling their own vanilla ice cream, the vans are a common feature in North Devon during the holiday season which runs from March through to October. During the winter, those people wishing to buy freezer packs of the ice cream can do so directly from the factory, as the vans are off the road for four months of the year.

So, what is the secret of their success? Apparently, it is due to a secret recipe that has remained unchanged for all these years. All that is known to us outsiders is that it contains lots of butter and clotted cream; and that it tastes great!

On a warm summer’s day, the sight of a Hocking’s ice cream van can be a most welcome one indeed! They are normally positioned in the main areas frequented by tourists, and these include Appledore Quay, Torrington Common and Westward Ho! Seafront. In Westward Ho!, the van is a converted four wheel drive vehicle that goes up and down the beach at intervals, ensuring that sunbathers and beach lovers always have ready access to the best ice cream in the world!

Whilst Hocking’s ice cream is famous in the North Devon area, outside, it is not as well known. However, things may be changing on that front. Through various food festivals and exhibitions, the unique taste of Hocking’s is being brought to a wider audience, and they have won many awards, the most recent being a bronze medal at the national ice cream competition held in Harrogate 2011.

Put Hocking’s ice cream high on your holiday list

Anyone planning a trip to the North Devon area and who has never tasted Hocking’s ice cream before, should really put trying it high on the to-do list! Once you have had one, it will become a regular part of the day when it comes to treating yourself. In addition, your photograph collection of time spent in North Devon would not be complete without at least one snapshot of a Hockings Ice Cream Van!

For anyone wishing to get in contact with Hocking’s, the following details will be useful:

Hockings Dairy Cream ices
The Icecream factory
Kingsley Avenue
Tel: (01237) 474575
And if you REALLY liked Hocking’s ice cream, there is even a Facebook fan page set up for them!

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