ALDEN WILLIAMS / stuff
Ice Cream Charlie’s manager Chrissy West puts the finishing touches on a Vanilla Ice.
It’s an institution in Christchurch that is older than the cathedral and the electric tram, and now Ice Cream Charlie plans to go nationwide.
Founded in 1903 – a year before Christ Church Cathedral was completed – the company has been serving its famous vanilla ice cream from its wagon on Armagh St in Victoria Square for generations.
In 2021, they will also open in Akaroa before expanding to other cities in the coming years.
On Sunday, Mayor Lianne Dalziel unveiled the family business’ new car, the Peggy, which replaces the old one built in the 1950s.
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And to mark the occasion, they released 1,000 free vanilla ice creams, which are still made with the same 117-year-old recipe and sold from both the cart and from portable bike carts.
Although Ice Cream Charlie has long been based in Victoria Sq, founder Sali Mahomet first drove his cart in nearby Cathedral Sq.
Lovingly known as Charlie, he was the first of only seven owners of Vanilla Ice (Ice Cream Charlie) for more than a century.
CEO Tim McIsaac said that the old van will now be renovated before it is used again.
“It will not be retired, it will be raised to 2020 standards,” he said.
“The previous van was ordered around 1954, all freezers came from the 50s. It was not environmentally friendly or energy efficient, it was obsolete. ”
The new van has been designed to be “old school” but new, he said.
“It is specially built from the ground up to provide ice cream. We expect it to be there for the next 50 years.
“The business has been going on for almost 120 years, it is the oldest ice cream shop in New Zealand.”