We take on the Allonby Whopper from ice cream shop that still has queues down the street after 100 years

It’s not often that you find an ice cream shop that has been trading for a staggering 102 years, but in one Cumbria village you’ll find an ice cream parlour that’s become a bit of a tourist hotspot.

Twentymans, is still after a century, a family-run business with brother and sister team David and Vicky leading the way.

The store in Allonby has survived both world wars and also weathered its way through the Covid-19 pandemic. It was founded in 1920 by David and Vicky’s great grandfather Johnathan and before they took it over it was handed down to other members of the family including Geoffrey and Rachael and then to Tony.

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The team has had to change with the times, adapting to the needs of customers every step of the way – even bringing back deliveries to help the community in its time of need. Proud of what they have achieved, David Twentyman, admitted he wouldn’t know what to do without the shop as it has played such an important role in his life.

He said: “My Grandad taught me what to do when I was 11, it wasn’t hard and once you know what you’re doing it’s like driving a car or riding a bike. I haven’t been as involved much this last year it has all been down to my sister because I have been ill. The recipe hasn’t changed in all these years we have just updated the machinery.”

He added: “We can make between 300 and 400 gallons a day and we make it every day we have to judge it by the weather and after all these years we normally get it right.”

During the summer months, the shop has been known to have queues all the way down the street with people waiting to get a sweet treat. David admitted they can go through about one tonne of sweets every week and they still sell the ever-popular Allonby Whopper.

Line of people waiting for ice cream at Twentymans
Line of people waiting for ice cream at Twentymans
(Image: Twentymans)

The Whopper is a huge sundae style ice cream with an entire bar of chocolate in and cream on the top with sprinkles and a flake.

David said: “We’ve not increased our prices for three years, we’re taking the losses on our chin but I don’t know how long we can do that, but we want people to still come and be able to afford what we have. We’re still here and I don’t want to retire I don’t know what I would do. We have been very lucky over the years but in the summer we work hard.

“In the past we have been up at 2am to get the ice cream on, for the best ice cream it can take up to five days for it to be ready. It was different years ago there wasn’t as many flavours but now we have so many we couldn’t have them all out at the same time.”

Twentymans back in the day
Twentymans back in the day

While learning about the ins and outs of ice cream making I was offered the Allonby Whopper and its truly is whopper by name and whopper by nature. I’m a lover of ice cream, it is one of my many downfalls, but this one was the size of my head.

When I looked at it my eyes decided right there and then this would be a challenge they wanted to take on. It used to be in a special ‘cone’ but they’re unable to get them anymore and it is now served in a cup which holds about two pints.

Sam Smedley with the Allonby Whopper
Sam Smedley with the Allonby Whopper

The cup is filled to the brim with their own made ice cream then topped off with whipped cream, a flake and a bar of chocolate. For just £8.50 it’s an absolute bargain.

I will hold my hands up. I sat in the car and started to shovel this beautiful creamy delight down my neck and I started tio think about how far I will have to walk in order to burn all the calories off. I have committed myself to walk about a thousand miles just to pay for this treat, was it worth it? Well, I would walk to the moon and back for another one.

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