A Darlington dad of two has launched a fundraising campaign to raise £5,000 in an effort to save his much-loved family-run ice cream business.

Rainbow Scoops on Tubwell Row in the centre of Darlington first opened its doors in June 2022 as the UK experienced its hottest summer ever – meaning business took off as customers went wild for the nearly 100 flavours on offer.

From mint and cherry to creme egg as well as a rather unique champagne flavour ice cream, the store offers sit-in and takeaway options with the options of sundaes, waffles and milkshakes also available.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Rainbow Scoops, Darlington.Rainbow Scoops, Darlington. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

However, a year-and-a-half later as temperatures drop and Christmas looms, business has been “struggling” for owner Arran Last which has now led him to appeal to the public through a GoFundMe page to keep the business afloat.

The fundraiser reads: “I am embarrassed to ask this. I am so grateful to the people of Darlington for the support they have given Rainbow Scoops over the last couple of years.

“Over the summer for a few reasons we have really struggled, partly because of the not-so-good weather but also because of my change of personal circumstance I really found it difficult to balance the needs of my two little girls with the needs of the business - in effect I had to choose to either spend the summer profits on child care so I could work or on staff so I could look after my daughters.

“The end result is that we simply didn't save enough profit through the winter to get us through this winter.

“We are now in a situation that if I can't raise around £5,000 very quickly I will be forced to close permanently, and this is my only source of income.

“Please help me to raise this money, so I can keep the doors open and lights on long enough to get through to the warmer months. Your support is very much appreciated.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Rainbow Scoops owner Arran Last.Rainbow Scoops owner Arran Last. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

As of November 22, the campaign has raised nearly £125 as Arran continues to spread the word on social media after the people of Darlington graciously embraced his business last year.

Arran: “We set the business up originally because of lockdown. Before this, I worked as a liquidator but because they shut down the airports my income went to £0.

“This was our savings venture and we chose ice cream because it’s fun – nobody buys ice cream in a bad mood. It’s generally a happy thing.”

“We were massively busy last year because we timed it well as we were going into that hot summer, and we still have lots of regulars which is really positive.

“The town has also accepted us quite well, there are people who come in for chats and just to see us.”



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Arran added: “Independent businesses provide variety in Darlington, and we are reasonably cheap compared to some other dessert places and we keep everything quite low price.

“We have previously run free parties on the last Saturday of every month for children who are struggling. We hosted one for a boy with a brain tumour and the month before that was a girl with a spinal injury who had been in and out of hospital.

“We have tried to do our bit.”

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.