Situated in the heart of Poynton, a leafy suburb in Cheshire, Just-Ice is helping to raise awareness of modern slavery amongst Poynton’s school children, church, and wider community as well as employing several survivors of modern slavery. It is a brilliant example of a group of Christians taking action and could be mirrored in other communities across the country.
Jo Rodman, the founder of Just-Ice Poynton, was considering a vocation in ordained ministry when she heard about a Christian couple in Derby who had turned their passion for ice cream into a thriving social enterprise. She was excited about starting a similar café in Poynton and was encouraged by the Director of Vocations at Chester Diocese to pursue the idea as part of a Distinctive Deacon role. Distinctive Deacons have a strong call to an outward-looking and community-minded ministry. They often have a particular concern for issues of poverty and justice.
The ice-cream café idea was a perfect fit for Jo as she was able to combine her love for God and His people and her background in running a small business. Jo explains: “When I went to visit Just-Ice in Derby, I knew that something similar could work in Poynton. Poynton is a small town with a village feel and its pretty high street is brimming with places to eat, shop and hang out. It is close to Macclesfield, Stockport, and Manchester and I knew there would be an appetite for high-end, luxury ice cream.