In the spotlight: Zoe from Tyne Valley Ices

Zoe Philipson, 30, of Tyne Valley Ices in Hexham, is an award-winning ice cream manufacturer and mobile seller and she has been supporting GNAAS in a variety of ways since 2014.

Here we shine the spotlight on her incredible achievements and her fantastic support for our charity:

Early years

Zoe is a second-generation ice cream manufacturer and mobile seller, known as ‘mobilers’, after her dad built up his ice cream business from scratch.

During her childhood she spent summers helping her parents out on the van, before making the decision to work in the trade full time, which she has been doing for twelve years.

Both ice cream and sauces are made and sold locally by the family or wholesaled to other retailers.

Building the business

When Zoe took over Tyne Valley Ices she noticed a decline in the mobile trade and strong competition from supermarkets and other sellers of ices and lollies.

This led to her experimenting with different topping sauce, and she began making ice cream toppings to sell to other mobilers. Tyne Valley Ices now offer over one hundred flavours of topping sauce.

She’s also increased her fleet from just one mobile van to five vans, two trikes, and a rare vintage barrow.

These vehicles cover the Hexham area, which is Zoe’s hometown, as well as venturing further afield, attending events such as weddings, school fairs and trade shows locally within Northumberland.



Zoe’s hard work and determination has not gone unnoticed after she won ‘best ice cream van’ in the 2022 National Ice Cream Competition.

She was also awarded the Guido Morelli Rising Star of 2023 from the Ice Cream Alliance, the trade body for the UK’s ice cream industry. This prestigious award recognises young talent, or someone new to the industry, who is going to make their mark.

Zoe said: “Each award means different things to me, I’m not entirely sure each one has sunk in yet. It’s been a whirlwind of nonstop madness since becoming number one in the UK 2022 then to follow it with the rising star award this year was just incredible.”

Charity support

Tyne Valley Ices support our charity in many ways, including carrying our collection tins in their vans, and donating the proceeds from sales of Solero Exotics directly to GNAAS.

Away from her ice cream van, Zoe continues to support GNAAS by attending our annual charity balls, and in 2021 she ticked off a bucket list goal by taking part in the Great North Run for the very first time.

She said: “I still can’t believe I did it, in the moment the atmosphere is almost indescribable. The crowd cheering and the chants while running under the fly overs is something that will stay with me for a very long time. Knowing it helped raise much needed funds for GNAAS made it all worthwhile and seeing the other runners wearing the GNAAS t-shirts along the journey helped me stay focused. I’m so pleased I ticked it off my list and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to do it.”

Supporting the community

Along with supporting GNAAS, Zoe is heavily involved in helping her local community.

She said: “I sponsor the local football team and also donate sugar from our manufacturing side of the businesses to the local food bank. I created a road safety campaign to remind children to look both ways when crossing the roads and gave each local school the chance to be involved which they loved. The children received a colouring in activity sheet along with a leaflet explaining road safety and received a reflector which they could attach to their school bags, coats or scooters to ensure they are visible when out and about.”


As well as making fantastic ice creams, Zoe has made health and safety a priority and is not only first-aid trained but carries defibrillators in her vehicles.

She said: “I decided to invest in defibrillators a few years ago after realising we are quite often the first port of call if somebody needs a something simple like a plaster or an ice pack.

“Since attending the air ambulance ball, you really get a feel that minute’s matter and having defibrillators to hand really could make all the difference. We attend many events such as sport days, summer fetes and local shows along with serving the people of Hexham in the Sele where we would be the closest defibrillator if anything serious was to happen.”

The future of Tyne Valley Ices

Since Zoe started supporting GNAAS we have seen her career and business develop and thrive and she even became a Northern delegate for the Ice Cream Alliance a few years go.

This has given her the opportunity to become more active in the wider industry, and to engage with other members.

She said: “The possibilities are endless, and I think with a little imagination and sharing of ideas we could all survive and thrive.”

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