CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Hit ice cream parlour Ruby Violet’s says it will not reopen

Shop to close after a decade in Fortess Road

10 September, 2021 — By Dan Carrier

Julie Fisher at Ruby Violet’s

A GROUNDbreaking independent ice cream parlour that became a must-do after-school treat for schoolchildren has been forced to shut its doors because of rent hikes.

Ruby Violet’s in Fortess Road, Tufnell Park, announced it will no longer be serving up tubs and cones of its award-winning ice creams from its shop.

Established nearly 10 years ago by ice cream fan Julie Fisher, the parlour earned a London­wide reputation for its adventurous flavours, which were often inspired by seasonal produce Ms Fisher could source.

Its popularity had seen Ms Fisher launch a crowdfunding campaign to build an ice cream factory at the back of the premises to keep up with the demand from regulars. But following 18 months of forced closure because of the Covid pandemic, it has now been confirmed that the parlour will not re-open.

Ms Fisher told the New Journal: “It is so sad to be leaving Tufnell Park. We were offered no help during the pandemic – no reduction in rents, no rent holiday to help us get through it.

“Then, we were offered a new lease at an increased cost. I am sorry to say it has made Ruby Violet’s here unaffordable.”

Ms Fisher named the shop after her grand­mother, who would give her home-made ice cream. The parlour soon became a by-word for interesting flavours, and their salted caramel choice helped spark a nationwide craze for the sweet-and-salty treat. Other delights included sorbets that used rhubarb, gooseberries and other soft English fruits.

Ms Fisher said: “We tried to get together with other shops in the parade who have the same landlord and open a dialogue, but it did not work. “We took a massive cut in income because we had to close. Our business was successful, we were busy – but that wasn’t enough.

“It is a worry for the future of high streets if rents are so high, good businesses like ours can’t afford it.”

She has managed to keep the second branch in King’s Cross open – and Ms Fisher said she hoped regulars would be able to buy Ruby Violet’s ware closer to home again soon.

She said: “I hope to install a freezer of our products in a shop in Fortess Road – and I would love to open another parlour round here, if we could find the right place.”

Ms Fisher added: “Above all, I am really going to miss the customers. I live round the corner and so many became friends. “People would come in and I loved the random nature of the conversations we heard.”

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