A NEW Forest-based gelato business is preparing to open a new space in Fordingbridge. 

The Moody Cow has moved into the former premises of the Fordingbridge Farm Shop in Whitsbury Road and will open in the coming weeks. 

Running out of space in its old store based in Round Hill, owner Russ Kitching hopes the former farm shop can help the business continue to grow.  

Russ said: "I was in the Fordingbridge farm shop around July last year and having a meeting. It was a lovely place but it wasn't a hospitality venue, it was more retail. 

"We've now relocated and we're producing gelato in a really nice laboratory which is part of the farm shop. It's a second home and a pillar of the community."

Russ invited members of the community to the new store on March 18 along with Fordingbridge mayor, Peter White. 

Russ hopes to make the gelato shop a hot spot for the community in a similar way to what he has done at the Lapstone pub in Horton Heath.

Russ said: "We saved the Lapstone from being knocked down or turned into another Tesco. It was a 300-year-old pub and we converted it into a community hub, more than a pub. 

"I've applied what we've done here at Lapstone and the demographic is similar where people need somewhere to go. It's fun and family friendly, dog friendly but also a drive to venue for a quality gelato to put Fordingbridge on the map."

With a wide range of flavours, Russ has said what is on offer will always be changing.

The business has also begun to sell products at wholesale which has proven hugely popular and have had to be careful not to oversubscribe. 

Russ said: "We have a very open mind to creativeness which is obviously seasonal.

"Pistachio is the top flavour but we do anything that's creative, we've even done a chili chocolate before.

"People at pubs and restaurants are all asking to stock it and we have to be careful not to over trade."