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José Manuel Martínez Salas: “The rural environment allows an ice cream maker to be creative, especially if you offer local products”

To attract people from nearby towns, the owner of the Cremela ice cream parlour (Cangas de Onís, Asturias) believes that it is vital to offer new flavours and be on board with the latest trends.

01 Feb 2021

Cremela is a modern, unique and gastronomical ice cream parlour, located in Cangas de Onís, a historic Asturian town with just over 4,000 inhabitants. Its owner, José Manuel Martínez Salas, has set himself the goal of offering the highest quality ice cream, which has led him to investigate new ingredients with less sweetness in order to achieve clearer flavours.

His advice to other ice cream makers before settling in a rural environment is to get some training, analyse the market and choose the location of the premises very carefully. 

1.- What are the advantages and disadvantages for an ice cream maker of working in a rural environment?

The advantage is that people can get to know you faster, and the disadvantages are that if the city or town is very small, you will depend on the influx of tourists to make your ice cream shop profitable, plus it will take longer for them to get to know you.

 2.- What are the keys to being popular and attracting people from other nearby towns?

Always make new flavours and be up-to-date on new consumer trends, such as veganism. 

3.-Does having an ice cream parlour in a less populated area mean you need to adjust costs and adapt to the tastes of a very specific clientèle? Or does it give you the freedom to be creative and experiment?

It allows you to be creative, especially if you choose to offer local produce and give it your own personality.

4.- Does being outside a city cause any problems when it comes to receiving the supplies you need? Do you have to place larger orders or order in advance?

That is not necessary. These days any product is easily available.

5.- Do factors such as the weather influence the normal operation of the ice cream parlour?

They influence it a lot. Weather has to be taken into account from the type of flavours to the amount of sugar in the recipes.

6.- What tips do you have for any colleagues who would like to set up shop in a town but haven’t done so yet?

First of all, they should receive as much training as possible. After that, they need to analyse the market and, if they decide to do it, not skimp on the location of the premises, since this is essential.