Soft launch of new ice cream shop in Swanage

A new luxury ice cream shop, with a distinctively Dorset flavour, has opened its doors in Swanage town centre.

The firm Baboo Gelato, set up by Sam Hanbury and his wife Annie seven years ago, already has a number of seaside kiosks in Dorset but this is their first proper ‘sit down’ venue.

Baboo Gelato

The new ice cream shop is where Peppina restaurant used to be

“Make it from scratch”

The café, in the old Peppina restaurant on Institute Road, will sell ice creams, milkshakes, smoothies and coffees. There is seating for up to 20 customers, but it’s expected most of the trade will be takeaway.

In summer, it’s hoped the shop will stay open until 9 pm, as well as having a breakfast menu for early risers.

Sam Hanbury said:

“We think that ice cream tastes a lot better if you make it from scratch and make it with local produce.”

Baboo Gelato
Matt Austin

Baboo Gelato uses Dorset produce – only the organic milk is from Somerset!

“Use what’s growing around us”

The ice cream is made in Bridport using locally sourced Dorset fruit and other ingredients. The milk is organic and comes from just over the border in Somerset.

Sam explained:

“We like to use what’s growing around us. I even go out and pick the elderflowers myself.

“When, for instance, we heard there were damson trees at the Walled Garden at Littlebredy, near Dorchester, we just had to get some!”

Baboo Gelato

Signwriter Jay Stevenson adds the finishing touches

“Everything we do is real”

The ice cream is made in small batches, which allows them to sell a wide variety.

Sam said:

“We will be playing with flavours all year round. For instance, at Easter we even have hot cross bun flavoured ice cream – we make hot cross buns and then puree them to add flavour to the gelato mix.

“Everything we do is real. So, you get the strange situation where you have our rum and raisin flavour ice cream and people say they don’t recognise the taste because they are so used to the fake version.”

Jay Stevenson, signwriter at Baboo Gelato

Giant map of Dorset showing other Baboo Gelato outlets


Sam grew up on a dairy farm in Sussex and made a living for several years in the Far East selling ice for the fishing industry. His wife had a successful business designing baby clothes. All that experience seems to have melded to make Baboo a success.

Sales of their ice cream have doubled in the last year.

Baboo Gelato

A team effort made sure the shop was ready for opening

“I have a sense it’s on the up”

Sam said:

“We really fell in love with Swanage because it’s such a very charming town with the most beautiful beach. And I have a sense that it’s on the up at the moment. There’s lots of energy coming through.”

The couple have already established links with local suppliers in the area. The new shop will employ a core team of three with extra seasonal staff in summer. There is also an alcohol licence and some ice creams will have an alcoholic content.

Baboo Gelato
Matt Austin

Natural flavours and biodegradeable packaging

“Affordable luxury”

Jay Stevenson, a signwriter from Bridport, did the shop signage and painted a big map of Dorset on the wall showing the other outlets.

Sam said:

“I think people are wanting to support local ever more and they want an affordable luxury that genuinely is a great product.

“It’s easy to spend a lot of money and get something very average but for a little more you can have something that is genuinely special.”

Baboo Gelato
Matt Austin

Ice cream made in Dorset

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