THE owner of window-cleaning firm Ladies With Ladders has branched out into cold snacks by snapping up a vintage ice cream truck.
Hilary Gardener, 43, of South Park Gardens, Berkhamsted, set up her first firm six years ago after leaving a job in nursing.
She said: “I was quite senior in the nursing world, but while my three children were young, I realised I could not keep up with it all.
“Then my window-cleaner came round and said, ‘That will be £20,’ and I thought, ‘I can do that.’
“Everyone seems to trust female window-cleaners and within six months, I had 400 houses on my books. It only cost me £300 in business start-up costs.”
It was such a success that a year later her husband Steve Atkinson, 49, left his job as a production manager to join her firm. It was then renamed Ladies and Lads With Ladders.
But Hilary said: “We needed something to help us through the winter. I was looking around for ideas and saw a classified ad for a vintage ice cream van.
“I just fell in love it and the winter idea went out of the window.”
She bought it for £7,000 and now ‘Elsie’ will serve her first ice creams at two school fetes this weekend.