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Innovative Retailers Part 3 – Where ice cream is much more than just ice and cream

The Name: The Icecreamists

The Place: Covent Garden market and Maiden Lane

The Story: Matt O’Connor is the founder and he is very, very serious about ice cream and the business of sin. Starting out with just a pop-up store in Selfridges in 2009 he has already entered the PR hall of fame with the whole breastmilk icecream (Baby Gaga) shenanigans and subsequent legal battle with Lady Gaga over the name. Oh, and that was after Westminster Council tried to ban it from being sold.

Regrets? You are joking. Mr O’Connor is a one-man publicity machine and he got huge sales out of Baby Googoo (yes, they had to change the name eventually) whilst it was on sale. It sold out on day one. And even now 15-20 people a week come in and ask for it.

Dare I ask who was buying it? Women, women and more women. O’Connor never saw a man ask for it during the whole period. One donor was supplying all the milk for it and for a while ‘it looked more like a milking parlour than an icecream parlour’ back of house. It was all very wholesome however until a certain pop star objected.

What happened? Big lawyers, big threats. O’Connor offered name changes but unaccountably she wasn’t keen. Not even on LadyBoy Gaga.

What’s a cross-dressing LadyBoy Gaga  ice cream made of? Don’t even go there.

Moving on, where does the interest in ice-cream come from? He has worked in ice cream for 25 years but is still fascinated by its mix of childhood fantasy and adult indulgence. He describes his ice cream fantasies as “bitter and twisted like a Roald Dahl story”. And he rails against the paradox of low fat health-trend ice cream.’ In these god-forsaken times people are looking for indulgence.’

So, are toddlers queuing at the door too? Well, not if they have seen the website. It’s all gothic skulls and sharpening knives sound effects. Adult only then. With names like Molotoffee Cocktail, which comes flambéed to your table, it’s definitely aimed at adults. However, his children like it – they say it’s like being in his head. It’s a heady mix of music, fashion inspired by the punk ethic. But he would have made it more x-rated if he could. Having said that, the Maiden Lane outlet is billed as a gay pop-up for over 18’s only.

Do they serve vanilla? Behave. They make all their ice cream fresh every day. They develop a winter collection and a spring/summer collection every year so they have a back catalogue of hundreds of varieties. O’Connor titles himself the ‘Quality Fat Controller’ and does frequent tastings. There will also be a 40-strong blindfold consumer tasting to launch the winter collection. According to O’Connor their popcorn ice cream made Heston Blumenthal (who also has a version) look like Ronald McDonald. He raves about the mulled wine and port sorbetto and don’t even get him on the subject of the popping candy ice cream.

Why? Because apparently it will blow your fillings out.

Crikey, how much does all this excitement cost? £4.50 for two scoops and up to £20 for the ice cream cocktails. The average punter parts with around £10.

Any news on expansion? There’s been lots of interest, from New York, Las Vegas, and Shanghai. But he does not know how it would or could be run overseas. Certainly they would only open one outlet in each country. He does not want to be Starbucks.

Supermarkets must be queuing up? But he’s not keen. In the shop he constructs his own theatre around the customer, with retailers he is stuck with half price deals and BOGOFs. O’Connor thinks allthe value has been stripped out of the premium ice cream sector by the likes of Ben and Jerry’s. He’sgot more important things to think about anyway, there is a TV series filming in October and a bookcoming out next year. And of course his winter collection.

Anything scandalous in it? He’s concentrating on hot desserts, fondues and the like. And his staff will be wearing pink/green tartan kilts – a homage to Dame Vivienne Westwood. But if its scandal you want keep an ear out for his lollies?

Pardon? He’s got a controversial ice lolly coming out. It’s rude apparently. And illegal.

Where can I find out more? Probably on Twitter. O’Connor says social media has been “absolutely critical” to his success. Any slight dip in quality for example and someone will Tweet. Then it is dealt with immediately.

Can he do the same for yogurt? Hell no. Yogurt is for choirboys. But doughnuts are a different matter.  O’Connor is poised to give the British seaside doughnut a punk makeover.

I think we’d better end there.

http://www.retailinsider.com/

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GOD SAVE THE CREAMJean Paul Aubin-Parvu meets founder of The Icecreamists Matt O’Connor – ice cream evangelist, peerless publicity maker and the man who wants to do for frozen desserts “what the Sex Pistols did for music”

Do you really eat, sleep and breathe ice cream?

I’ve never slept with an ice cream in my life – I’m a married man. I’m an entrepreneur by day, provocateur by night, and a huge ice cream aficionado. The Icecreamists are here to liberate the world one lick at a time, baby.

How long have you worked in ice cream?

Nearly 25 years. I’ve worked for all the big brands and still work as a consultant. Ice cream is a passion of mine. I think it’s a really interesting food because of its fleeting, fickle nature. Life is always in flux, as is ice cream. I was a seaside boy, brought up on Planet Thanet and Morelli’s ice cream parlour on top of the cliff at Broadstairs – I had my first knickerbocker glory there.

Tell me about The Icrecreamists.

The name came about through my political experiences. The police came to see me in Hampshire a couple of years ago even though I’d retired from political campaigning. I told them I was in ice cream but they didn’t seem to believe me. They must have thought it was some kind of front for overthrowing the government and were worried about domestic extremists. But I said: “I’m not an extremist, I’m an icecreamist.” And the name was born. There was a young people in Belarus who defied a ban on political demonstrations by gathering in the main square to eat ice creams. I thought that ice cream could be satirical, provocative and also a unifying force for change. And then the Israelis bombed the only ice cream factory in Gaza. But the fact is that both the Palestinians and the Israelis love ice cream. There is a higher consumption of ice cream per capita in Baghdad than in most American cities. You go to Afghanistan, you go to Pakistan – everybody loves ice cream.

When did you launch The Icecreamists?

We launched with a pop up store at Selfridges in September 2009. We wanted it to be funky, different and revolutionary. We went to Italy to work with gelato masters, who are like Jedi masters only taller, and then brought the ideas back. Our chef Mark Broadbent worked on them and I also brought in a cocktail guy called Alex Kammerling. We did ice cream on toast and we came up with the Molotoffee Cocktail, which is the one we blow torch at the table – I’ve got pyromaniac tendencies, so I like to see ice cream that’s on fire. We managed to do stuff that was new and different, and at the centre of this complete swirl of ideas was me orchestrating it. So gelato master, chef, mixologist, pull a team together, give it a funky, daft, political name – and that’s it.

What makes your ice cream so good?

A lot of ice cream hasn’t seen a cow in its life. Some of the ice cream you buy in America is crap – it’s vegetable fat. Then you get the Ben & Jerry’s and the Häagen-Dazs, which are higher in fat, higher in sugar, full of just really bad, unpleasant stuff. It tastes fine but a lot of it is just sugar and sugar and sugar. We’re trying to create more balanced, more adult ice cream, so we use things like Angostura Bitters and balsamic vinegar, all sorts of weird stuff just to balance out the flavours. So there’s a real subtlety to it. A lot of love and thought go into the recipes. We’re about the smoothness, the purity and the richness of the ice cream. It’s freshly made every day at our shop on Maiden Lane.

What are a few of the highlights?

The Choc & Awe is a 70 per cent Ecuadorian dark chocolate – literally chocolate and water mixed in a way that gives you the texture. Technically it should be a sorbetto, but but in reality it’s a very smooth, beautiful yet powerful ice cream. Our Sex Bomb has been known to raise people from the dead. It’s got a whole range of natural Brazilian stimulants in it. The Miss Whiplash is a seasonal berry sorbetto with a little cheeky splash of raspberry vodka, so it will throw you forward as you throw it back, neck brace not included. We also do one called the Apocalypse Chow. I love the smell of ginger in the morning, and that one’s got ginger, chilli and lemon grass. So we’ve got fire, we’ve got ice, we’ve got stimulants – you name it, we’re doing it. We’ve got a back catalogue of 250 different ice cream ideas. Honestly we have so many ideas – we just don’t have enough time.

Wasn’t one of those ideas to make ice cream using breast milk?

Yes, the Baby Gaga – it’s now called Baby Googoo. People said: “You can’t do breast milk ice cream, breast milk is designed for babies.” But guess what, cow’s milk is designed for calves. Would you rather have a cheeky suckle of an attractive woman or a cheeky suckle of a cloven hoofed beast covered in dung? Obviously Westminster Council waded in like the Gestapo. They seized the last two scoops and marched out like they’d discovered some biochemical hazard. It’s breast milk – relax. There’s not a single recorded death from anybody consuming breast milk in the history of the world. They banned it for a couple of weeks and then capitulated, saying that it was safe for human consumption.

I gather Lady Gaga wasn’t a huge fan.

After we had all this publicity Lady Gaga jumped on the bandwagon and threatened to get an injunction against us using the name Baby Gaga. We got this letter from her solicitors threatening to sue us. It was a ridiculous and stupid overreaction on her part. She called the ice cream “nausea inducing” – this from a woman who wears dresses fabricated from the flesh of dead animals. So, yeah, it did cause a bit of a shit storm. We thought it would cause a ripple, but it was a storm in a D cup.

You don’t seem to be the sort of bloke who takes things lying down.

It’s my Irish heritage. My family come from Kerry, where they pick fights with just about anybody. But it’s not so much that, it’s the fact that they threatened me as an individual in the first letter – my personal assets, my house, bank accounts. But I’m not worried, because a couple of people have threatened to shoot me before – that’s when I was worried. I’ve dealt with some very serious stuff in my time – this is frothy and fun. We deal with more serious stuff than a pop superstar with no sense of humour.

Weren’t you the founder of Fathers4Justice?

Yes, guilty as charged. I started that in 2002. Four members of Counter Terrorism Command used to greet me off the train at Waterloo Station and then follow me around all day, wherever I went. I’m not joking. I once hailed a taxi, but the police car stopped it from pulling out. So I jumped out and ran through Soho to a sex shop which a friend had told me about – obviously I’d never frequent such places. I knew it had two separate entrances and exits, so I ran inside, followed by these cops, and accidentally fell into the big stand of vibrators. All hell broke loose. I ran out the other exit, down towards Regent Street and jumped onto a routemaster bus. The cops were running down the road and I was just waving away: “Love you! Thank you for looking after me today.” I felt like Bill Clinton, going around London with four cops round me. I was the most protected man in London.

Do you have a favourite Fathers4Justice stunt?

I guess it was Batman at Buckingham Palace. Big Ron Davis was on trial that day for his part in flour bombing Tony Blair, so we were in court at Bow Street. I had a woman from Time magazine with me, and all the police, and it gave the others a clear run at Buckingham Palace. They dropped into a fancy dress shop, picked up a Batman outfit and then picked up the ladder, which they didn’t even tie properly to the roof of the van. And off they rolled. I got a call saying: “I’m up. We’ve taken Buckingham Palace.” That’s probably the one, because you are trying to create awareness about a problem. In each one of those protests or stunts we were just pressing the alarm button. But Fathers4Justice is unfinished business.

And are you on a similar mission with The Icecreamists?

Yeah, this is a kind of pop culture juggernaut really. It’s the intersection between life, death, sex and ice cream. We’re just trying to do something with attitude – to do for ice cream what the Sex Pistols did for music in the 70s. We are more Sid and Nancy than Ben & Jerry. And it isn’t a bullshit manufactured brand. This is a name and ideology that has soul at its very heart. I’m just hoping people buy into it. Nobody’s done what we’re doing and I’m just flying by the seat of my pants. I genuinely don’t know if it’s going to work. If it doesn’t, you’ll find me selling The Big Issue underneath Waterloo Bridge. Then you’ll know that it’s all gone horribly wrong.

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Like freshly baked bread, freshly made boutique ice cream runs out and at our boutique last week we went into a Fukushima style meltdown.

Our kitchen staff were working harder than Ryan Gigg’s lawyers but we still couldn’t keep up. We were well and truly licked. Even yesterday when we had some guests over to discuss a forthcoming event at The Icecreamists, we couldn’t make a Molotoffee Cocktail because we were still waiting a vital ingredient from Argentina.

Of course its understandable why some guests have grumbled on Facebook about this. The alternative is to visit well-known American branded parlours where the ice cream is made in vats, pumped full of E numbers, fat, sugar and preservatives to give it a shelf life of a thousand years before it is shipped half way around the world before it reaches Londinium.

Or you could choose a parlour where the ice cream is freshly made in Covent Garden every day and where, from time to time, they might run out of your flavourite. It’s the price you pay for top notch vice cream. (Pic by Jim Marks, Entrance to Covent Garden ‘Scream’ Boutique with ‘Cones Hotline’ on table.)

SCREAM ENTRANCE

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MATT 'ICECREAMIST' PORTRAIT LOBullying is said to be a sign of insecurity, perhaps paranoia.

Either way I can’t help thinking that if I was the world’s most famous pop megastar I would have other things to worry about in life like my face horns, nipple tape, chopping up dead bovines for my latest dress.

That sort of thing.

As a humble ice cream man, I can’t compete, except with a couple of cones placed in a defensive position.

As ‘Gagagate’ tediously lactates its way towards the courts, this Lady has changed position more times than she has recycled Madonna’s image.

First it was an injunction (offered her a choice of alternative names and then called it Goo Goo instead of Gaga), then it was damages (said we’d see her in court), then it was costs (an unlawful claim as litigation hadn’t begun), then she was bizarrely demanding to make a joint statement with me.

Now she is demanding censorship.

Yes, this self-styled champion of internet freedom is throwing her toys out of the pram, screaming (yawn into cornflakes) we remove any reference, anywhere in the universe, to this story and her threats (made public by me) that she threatened to seize my assets and those of my business.

Now, lets get a few things straight here.

I personally don’t have any assets apart from whats sitting on my shoulders and even my wife says thats debatable. If you want to discuss assets, then speak to my ex-wife who has them all and best of luck to you if you did better than I did, which was zlicho.

Or in plain English, fuck all.

However, I don’t take kindly to being threatened, or having my family singled out, or having her legal gestapo at Mishcon de Reya running around bullying, threatening and demanding money with menaces. That’s called extortion.

Further, telling me to shut up and not talk about it – or else – is called blackmail.

And lets be in no doubt here. Ate My Heart Inc is 100% owned and controlled by Lady Gaga.

Sure, she might have advisors, but she has a brain right? She was advocating artistic freedom and freedom of the internet in Malaysia but a few weeks ago? Or was that the amazing impersonator Lady Boy Gaga who will love you long time with thawplay lines like ‘love you long time’ and ‘chicks with licks’.

Her actions are a legitimate matter of public interest as are those of Mishcon de Reya. The fact they are now demanding we remove any reference – including those to third party sites – is as stupid as it is offensive.

Last time I checked, I didn’t live in North Korea, China or Iran.

The story is a matter of public record and in the public domain. Get over it, move along for fucks sake. Don’t be so arrogant as to think you can rewrite history – its called censorship. Its called fascism.

It’s also a super-sized slice of hypocrisy given just a few weeks ago she was talking about freeing Malaysia from censorship because “honesty and truth are always going to liberate us.”

Is that the same sort of liberation that involves running around the planet threatening people’s families, threatening to bankrupt a start up business despite them agreeing to her demands because the alternative was bankruptcy?

If Lady Gaga were a regime, she’d be following the Colonel Gaddafi/Robert Mugabe model, running her empire from a secret compound working on her performance as ‘The Great Licktator”

So what is this about?

Is it one lonely individuals deluded, paranoid obsession that the world is out to get her, when in fact it is she who is out to get the little guy? It is now a David and Goliath confrontation – standing up to a female dictator who wants to own the first utterances of our children, trademark a name first used in pop-culture by the rock band Queen and claim it as her own, original idea.

What has upset her most is that somebody has had the temerity to stand up against her, and fight her publicly over her actions. At best her attitude is like our ice cream, a bit rich. At worst, it’s called fascism and you know what?

Fascism sucks.

Or maybe, just maybe, her lawyers are driving this in a get rich quick scheme to extort as much money out of her as they can? Parliament is a sardine can full of them. They run the country and they run it into the ground. You wouldn’t trust the fuckers to run a bath let alone UK PLC. Using a lawyer is an unpleasant necessity, like a trip to the toilet after a chicken vindaloo.

You know you gotta go. You know its going to be painful. And you know the smell will outlast religion.

Whatever the truth, I’ll offer Lady Gaga this once in a lifetime invitation: Loosen up a bit. Chill out with The Icecreamists, not your lawyers.

We love you, but we don’t love your threats or them.

I’m sure we can sort this out and move on with our lives over a couple of scoops, just you and me, and some dirty ice cream.

Unless of course, you are just stalking me.

Matt O’Connor


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BOUTIQUE ICE CREAM TUBPic: Even our boutique ice cream is armed with sugar glass for protection as we prepare for court with Lady Gaga.


You would honestly think Lady Gaga has better things to be doing eh? But no, she is still rattling on about ‘Baby Gaga’.

I don’t know about you, but for a little baby, it made one hell of a lot of noise. Isn’t it time for an industrial dose of Calpol for the storm in a D-cup that simple won’t melt away?

Apparently no.

Lady Gaga doesn’t want to quit gurgling, or throwing her toys out the pram.

She is the dominatrix of pop, determined to drop a flask of freezing liquid nitrogen onto my genitalia, cook them to –196 degrees and then smash them with her poker face. (Fortunately for me after being warned in the confessional box about women like her by Father Patrick, I wear my Catholic guilt standard issue barbed wire underpants as ecumenical protection.)

So where are we today?

Well, firstly we have been extraordinarily charitable. We agreed to change the name, not because we wanted to, but because if she had obtained an injunction she would have bankrupted us within two weeks of opening. We did this early on and thought, not unreasonably, that this would be the end of the matter.

When we didn’t hear back, we offered to withdraw our trademark application (going over and above what was asked) and suggested a couple of alternative names so we wouldn’t fall foul of her sensibilities in future. You know, Baby O’Gaga (St Patricks Day version – rhymes with Radio Gaga?), Gelato Germanotta (The authentic version) etc.

Instead of Radio Gaga however, there was Radio Silence from her lovely lawyers, Simon Tracey et al at Mishcon de Reya.

Now, in a frankly bizarre letter, they are demanding the following:

  • The Icecreamists issue a JOINT press release WITH Lady Gaga citing agreement.
  • We pay Lady Gaga £4,000 towards her costs despite AGREEING to her demands. (Lady Gaga earned over $62 million last year).
  • Threaten to sue us for ‘damaging her reputation’.
  • Claim rights on a dress that was influenced by the Jean Paul Gaultier designed conical brassiere for Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour.
  • Demanding a share of the ‘profits’ from an ice cream that was on sale for just 3 hours.
  • And, for those that might have doubted Lady Gaga’s involvement, it is stated that Ate My Heart Inc (the company bringing the action) is 100% owned and controlled by Lady Gaga.
  • Remove all third party media references from our web sites, Facebook pages and this blog.
  • Demand I sign undertakings as a private individual.

We have responded:

  • We will see you in court and the first defence witness we will be calling is Lady Gaga.
  • Lady Gaga is implacably hostile and clearly intent on strangling at birth a business start up and demanding money with menaces. We will not be bullied or intimidated by a global superstar who uses her massive legal and financial firepower to threaten individuals or a fledgling business with bankruptcy and censorship.
  • A struggling ice cream parlour cannot afford to feed the ego of this pop megalomaniac to the tune of this sum of money in either hard cash or soft scoops.
  • With regards to the joint statement Lady Gaga can make any statement she wants. We won’t be dancing to her tune (it’s probably someone else’s anyway). The reason why Lady Gaga wants this statement is so she can establish case law in a legal land-grab over the word ‘Gaga’ and ownership over the first utterances of our children. This theft of common words that belong to us and our children is unacceptable.
  • I will NOT agree to any undertakings as a private individual nor will I be bullied into making a ‘joint statement’ with Lady Gaga. Satire has a long and honourable tradition in the UK from Spike Millligan to Monty Python and if I want to change my name by deed poll to ‘Lady Boy Gaga’ (think chicks with licks) then that’s my fucking perogative Gaga.

So there it is in all its tiresome, tedious legalese. By the time we settle this, Baby Gaga will have grown up, married, divorced, had kids and Lady Gaga will have melted back into the pop-culture mixing bowl where she came from.

Equally you can’t have someone so deluded and warped by her own fame that in her first act as the ‘Great Dictator of Intellectual Property Law’, she will own the first utterances of our first born and claim them as her own let alone have a bus load of legal gestapo running around the planet waging war on companies and individuals threatening to seize their ‘bank accounts and personal assets’ if they don’t agree.

It’s pathetic to pick on a tiny ice cream parlour who agreed to what you wanted on the first place. I can only guess these new actions demonstrate the hypocrisy of a woman who claims to celebrate artistic freedom and liberty on the internet whilst privately crushing these principles under her jackboot.

Call it what you will, (I know what I call it), there’s going to be a Cold War and we are going to fight it armed only with our trusty spoons and scoopfuls of ridicule, satire and subversion.

Oh, and some sprinkles too.

God Save The Cream!

Matt O’Connor

N.B. Oxford English dictionary definition of GAGA: Pronunciation: adjective informal; slightly mad, typically as a result of old age, infatuation, or excessive enthusiasm. Origin: early 20th century: from French, ’senile, a senile person’, reduplication based on gâteux, variant of gâteur, hospital slang in the sense ‘bed-wetter’.

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LADY GAGA RESPONSE FINAL 2a

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JKL02395On 25th February The Icecreamists were busted on their opening day of business by the establishment.

Westminster Council declared breast milk ice cream as ‘possibly unfit for human consumption.’

13 days later we discovered…

Can breast milk kill you? No.

Can you catch aids from Mr Nippy? No.

Can ice cream really be THIS controversial? You bet.

Can humanity and the children of the world breath a sigh of relief? Yes.

Welcome to what our customers are dubbing ‘Gaga Gate’ and what we are calling Apocalypse Now with ice cream.

Kids, put down that Jack Daniels bottle you were suckling on after being told breast milk was a hazardous material and go back to mummy, because breast is best and it’s back on the menu. We are free to reproduce.

Citizens of Great Britain, pick up your spoons and go back to your dessert bowls because the men in white coats at Westminster have boobed and declared breast milk ice cream SAFE after a week long cold war that saw The Icecreamists do spoon-to-spoon combat with hysterical over-reacting sour-faced bureaucrats and the ‘enemies of enterprise.’

Given that mothers milk has weaned the human race for thousands of years and there is not a recorded incident of anyone dying after suckling on their mothers breast, it’s odd that Westminster Council chose to wade in like Hans Blix UN weapons inspectors looking for weapons of mass destruction.

Having seized two scoops of bio-hazardous breast milk ice cream deemed to be a possible threat to public health, these were then sent off for biological testing in a secret laboratory deep in the English countryside where highly trained scientists poured over every molecule as if they were looking to contain an outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Then the politically and PR motivated folk at Westminster went to the press before they had even written to us notifying us of the situation, thus fuelling the media story and the damaging assertion that our ice cream was a risk to public health. They did this in the full knowledge that our donor had been screened to hospital standards and that our ice cream was probably the safest food in London.

Of course all this comes from a council which less than 10 feet from our front door promotes death by alcoholism, tobacco addiction and any one of a number of other dubious legal substances.

It also brought into question the reputation of our donor; the eloquent and articulate exponent for breast-feeding, Victoria Hiley, whose breasts, appearance and HIV status have been discussed online worldwide for the last two weeks. Victoria’s article for the Guardian here explains her feelings about the situation. It’s been one small lick for man, one giant scoop for motherkind.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2011/mar/07/my-breast-milk-ilady-gaga?INTCMP=SRCH

They thought breast milk ice cream should be busted, but as it turns out in this the mother of all meltdowns, its the authorities that boobed.

As a new business we have been up close and personal with both the authorities and a global superstar, sandwiched in an indecent squeeze that threatened to suffocate The Icecreamists at birth.

Whilst we still have to deal with Miss Germanotta, its probably time for us to say thanks for the mammaries and get back to our mission; liberating the world one lick at a time with lashings of great boutique ice cream, crazy cocktails and some very bad puns.

God Save The Cream!

Matt O’Connor
Founder, The Icecreamists

BRITAIN-LIFETYLE-FOOD-WOMEN-OFFBEATWe thought it would cause a ripple, but none of us expected a storm in a D-cup. That’s our reaction SEVEN whole days later (and still pumping) to the global phenomenon that is the Baby Gaga. It started with a simple question: is it better we use bovine milk designed for calves or mothers milk which has raised thousands of years of humanity and why is it that mothers milk produces such a ‘yuk’ response from many people? After all, cows are pumped full of antibiotics, hormones (in some cases), they are impregnated every 9 months, have their calves removed from them after 3 weeks all for our benefit. Is that REALLY better for us than the milk that weened the world, that fed my 3 boys, that is the most natural, beautiful thing on earth?

Some people said STOP! Don’t go there! It’s disgusting! But women embraced the ‘miracle of motherhood.’ We ran out after one day, our Covent Garden Boutique was flooded with a tsunami of women wanting to taste the ice cream and donate to the project. One journalist suggested we were aiming for a ‘fetish’ market. As a recovering Catholic I’m not familiar with said demographic (I’m more M&S than S&M) but the proof was in the pudding, er, breast milk in that it was exclusively popular with women.

However, this didn’t stop two irate men (ironically) complaining to Westminster council saying that our ice cream contained ‘bodily fluids’. I’ve got news for these guys, cows milk is a bodily fluid. They also complained that breast milk is designed for babies not adults. More news for my Neanderthal cousins, cows milk is designed for calves, dummies.

Now Westminster Council have ’seized’ the remaining two scoops of ‘bio-hazardous’ breast milk ice cream on the basis that it might be a threat to public health in the full knowledge the milk was screened in a private clinic to the same exacting standards as blood and milk bank donors. Of course, this from a council which less than 10 feet from our front door promotes death by alcoholism, tobacco addiction and other dubious legal substances. But hey, that’s ok, because they are perfectly safe. Safe? SAFE? Are you fucking nuts?

This exposes the root of hypocrisy at play in society. Mothers milk is the safest food in the world. It’s raised thousands of generations of human beings. Our breast milk ice cream was probably the safest food on sale in Westminster but its been banned. If we’re going to live in a society that’s absurd and insane enough to think it’s perfectly acceptable to drink alcohol that can kill you, or smoke yourself to death, or take other drugs which are perfectly legal to buy in Westminster and then ban breast milk, I say to mums, empty your babies bottles, fill them with Jack Daniels and give them to your kids.

Lets raise a glass to the food fascists at the goosestepping Nanny State who think breast milk deserves to be busted.

Matt O’Connor, Founder, The Icecreamists