Creams Cafe opens new ice cream parlour in Stevenage while Old Town franchise hit by poor hygiene claims is reviewed

Creams in Stevenage Old Town. Picture: Louise McEvoy.

Creams in Stevenage Old Town. Picture: Louise McEvoy. - Credit: Archant

The UK’s largest dessert-only restaurant has opened a new outlet in Debenhams Stevenage after a franchise in the Old Town hit the headlines for poor hygiene.

Creams Café’s head office said the decision to open the outlet in the department store on the Roaring Meg Retail and Leisure Park was made to allow people from Stevenage to “experience the very best of Creams first-hand”, while it reviewed its parlour in the Old Town’s High Street.

Images of piles of rubbish and dirty containers at the Old Town franchise went viral on social media back in October.

The behind-the-scenes pictures, posted by a former employee, depicted coffee granules mixed with ice cream, filthy units, piles of rubbish and vats containing rancid contents.

Tahir Amin, operations manager of the café, told the Comet at the time that many of the images were “simply incidents of spillage”, but accepted there were “more serious concerns” which were being addressed.

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The franchise opened in September 2016 and received a five-star hygiene rating from Stevenage Borough Council two months later.

A spokesman for Creams said the pictures had been taken over a period of months, as a routine way of pointing out jobs that had not been completed by staff by the end of their shifts.

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Handley Amos, CEO of Creams, said: “Head office has decided to open a Creams outlet in Debenhams to allow the loyal Creams fans from Stevenage to experience the very best of Creams first-hand.

“Creams in Debenhams is operated by Creams head office and reflects the new look and direction, with dynamic new decoration, new menu and a focus on welcoming shoppers and families of all ages for a sweet treat.

“The head office is currently reviewing its franchise-operated outlet in the Old Town and striving to ensure the same great experience is delivered there.”

Creams has recruited 30 people locally to fill front of house jobs and kitchen roles at the new outlet.

Creams Café is on the ground floor of Debenhams Stevenage and is open from 9am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.

The Italian gelato and dessert café offers more than 100 choices of homemade ice cream, gelato, crepes and waffles.

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