WITH long service in the military, fire service and local authority, a business specialising in ice cream is a complete career change for a North-East man.

Scott Holmes joined the Army aged 16 before going on to work for the fire service in Germany for 13 years. On returning home to England, he worked at Gateshead City Council for the next 15 years.

But he and his wife Sally Ann were looking to start a new business together, and travelled around the North-East for inspiration.

Once they found the premises on Watling Street, in Corbridge, the idea of a selling a variety of ice cream, desserts and sweets popped into Scott’s mind.

From that, Emporium Ice Cream was born.

Scott said: “I just wanted to make my own destiny after years in the Army, fire service and council.

“To be honest, we saw there was a gap for this in the area and it has gone really well so far.

“I have been in exciting, action roles so this is something very different.”

As well as stocking a total of 22 different flavours of ice cream, a range of desserts and sweets, there is a gift shop included within the premises.

The ice creams are being scooped up by excited customers, and the addition of low calorie flavours and those suitable for diabetic people are proving a hit too.

Emporium even caters for dogs with an ‘Old Sock’ flavour suitable for pets.

Scott said: “We wanted to include animals because everywhere is pet friendly here in Corbridge so we thought ‘why can’t we give the animals an ice cream?’

“Because you can’t give dogs the normal ice cream, we sourced it from down the country. It stinks, but the dogs love it and we have people coming in to tell us it’s their dog’s birthday so they want to give them a treat.”

Scott insisted he wanted the business to be what the community wanted, and he will tailor his stock according to demand. He was also consulting with local people on which shop sign they would prefer for the business.