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A farmer has been handed a £40,000 Government grant to set up the first company in Europe making "gourmet" ice cubes from spring water.

Phil Mann already sells bottled Spring H20 water extracted from a well on the family farm near Hopton Heath, Shropshire, to businesses across the West Midlands.


He now plans to sell the same water in ice cube form to top restaurants in nearby Ludlow, which is often viewed as Britain's cookery capital, as well as other wine bars and gastro pubs across the country.

Mr Mann, who secured the grant from Defra's Rural Enterprise Scheme (RES), has already begun negotiations with supermarket chains to sell the product, which he has called Shropshire Rocks.

Independent retailers are currently conducting trial sales of the ice cubes.

He said: "My godfather came over from Texas during last summer's heat wave. We had no ice in the freezer so he went out for some and arrived back nine shops and two hours later.

"I realised that there was a niche in the market for ice cubes and that it would not be a big jump from selling water in bottles to selling ice."

Mr Mann, his wife, Caroline, and parents used the RES grant to buy specialist machinery from the US and installed it in a converted cattle shed.

The equipment can make and pack up to four tonnes of "gourmet" cubes daily.

"We've put a lot of effort into quality. We've sunk the well right down to the aquifer, 200 feet underground, to ensure the purity of our water and bought machines that make 'gourmet' cubes," Mr Mann said.
 

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Holy mackeral! People really will buy anything.

To heck with working! I'm gonna sell folks extra pure Maple Creek ice.
 

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I know that any Adam Sandler fans have already said it to themselves.... :haha:


"Now that's some high quality H2O".....
 
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