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17 May 2017

One hundred years of Britain’s best-loved desserts

​One of the south west’s biggest food producers, Ambrosia, owned by Premier Foods, is celebrating one hundred years of making Britain’s best-loved desserts.

The occasion was marked with a celebratory thanksgiving service held on Sunday 14 May in Lifton, the Devonshire village that is home to the Ambrosia Creamery. 

More than one hundred people, including Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, the Mayor of West Devon and current and past workers at the Ambrosia Creamery, joined descendants of the factory’s founder in the celebrations. 

During the service, the congregation sang a verse about Ambrosia specially written by the church’s Reverend Prebendary, Tim Deacon. 

The Ambrosia story began when Alfred Morris visited his son, Oscar, who was injured in France in the First World War. On his boat journey back from France, Alfred met an American man who told him about a milk drying process. Alfred decided to establish a business making dried milk in England. As a frequent visitor to Lifton, he chose the village as a base for the factory due to the nearby railway line, river and the rich meadows that yielded creamy Devonshire milk. The products evolved and Ambrosia supplied dried milk to feed children during the First World War. In the Second World War, rice pudding was included in food parcels for prisoners of war. 

Today, a team of 300 people produce more than 80,000 tonnes of rice pudding and custard desserts each year. The desserts are made with regionally sourced milk.                                                                                    

At the end of the celebratory church service, Robin Morris, Grandson of founder Alfred, unveiled a plaque commemorating the centenary, which will be placed in the church beneath a memorial plaque for Alfred.

Steve Pretty, Factory General Manager of the Ambrosia Creamery, said: “In the year of the centenary of Ambrosia, it is all the more significant to reflect on the roots of the company. The service was a joyous occasion and an opportunity to give thanks to the family who founded and ran Ambrosia for many decades. It was great to see so many people sharing their memories of Ambrosia and the important role it has in the local community and beyond.”

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