“J.R.Ashmore & Son” was originally started on cup final day in 1932 (April 23rd Newcastle Utd2 Arsenal1)
by Len & Phyllis Ashmore. They traded as ”L. & P. Ashmore” at 32 Park Avenue, Uttoxeter. Len was a compositor with a local printer,
“F. A. Harper Newsagents and Printers”, 8 High Street, Uttoxeter, and made ice-cream as a side-line at week ends. Their son John R Ashmore
helped in the business from the age of 12, riding around the local area on a pushbike with a refrigerated box on the side.
In 1935 they moved to “Cremona” Park Street, Uttoxeter, where the business is still based today. Here they continued to manufacture ice-cream and run a shop until the Second World War, during which they manufactured ice cream for the American forces only. They used their ingredients as none were available to civilians because ice cream was banned in Great Britain. The American Troops were stationed at Sudbury, which is now Sudbury Prison. John was a cinema projectionist during the war for Associated British Cinemas (ABC) at the Empire Theatre, Longton.
After the war they started to expand, and in 1946 joined the Ice Cream Alliance (I.C.A.). In 1951 they entered the first National Ice Cream Competitions in Manchester, and have awards in many competitions since then, including a Silver Medal from the Royal Dairy Show in 1964 and a Silver Medal from the ICA Show at Wembley 2003, culminating in 3 Gold Medals in 3 years, 2014, 2015 & 2016. They now have more long standing awards for quality than most other manufacturers. In 1954 John married Barbara and she joined them in the business. They worked together as a family based at Cremona, trading as “L. Ashmore & Son”. Len and Phyl then moved to a shop in Doveridge, but at busy times came to help John making ice cream. When Len & Phyl finally sold the shop and retired they moved back to New Road, Uttoxeter, still helping in the business which now became “J. R. Ashmore”. In 2017 Ashmore's celebrated their 85th year manufacturing ice cream in Uttoxeter by giving away ice cream free at the local park on the anniversary of their start date.
The business is now being run by the third generation of Ashmores, John joining his father and mother in the business in 1982, which was renamed “J. R. Ashmore & Son”. The 4th generation is now starting to learn the art of ice cream making to take Ashmore's towards its centenary. It had always been a tradition with Len to taste every batch of ice cream, his theory being that if it wasn’t good enough for him to eat, it wasn’t good enough for the customers. In those days a batch of ice cream was only 2 gallons. The price of an ice cream was an old half penny. Today the batches are 55 gallons (250 litres) and the tradition still goes on to taste every batch.