Life & Style

Hear from the Central Coast ice cream girl

Since 2013, HUNTERhunter has been getting the behind-the-scenes stories of our go-to hospitality and lifestyle businesses. We’ve been talking to the people behind the brands about where they’ve come from, how they got to where they are, and where they’re headed.

But what about the behind-the-scenes of their own lives? Where do they go to eat? What do they drink? Where do they spend their time? Ultimately, what makes them tick?

Introducing HUNTERhunter’s newest series, SPILL. Where we’ll be sitting down with some of the well-known and maybe not-so-well-known faces and voices of the Central Coast and ask them to SPILL.

Without further ado, let us introduce you to our very fourth instalment of SPILL of the Central Coast – the ice cream girl of Noraville, Olivia of Duff’s Ice Cream.

spill olivia duff duffs ice cream central coast nsw
Olivia Duff of Duff's Ice Cream

Where are you from?  

I grew up in Noraville, but have lived in Perth, Melbourne, and Ballarat for various adventures. But, I’m back in town now and keeping it local. 

What made you decide to make the Central Coast home?

I love being able to walk to the beach every day and that East Coast holiday town vibe. 

Do you consider yourself more of an early bird or a night owl?

I’ve heard if you’re not an early bird or night owl, you’re a permanently exhausted Pigeon – that checks out! 

What’s your morning ritual?

I decided since I work for myself and not in my old corporate job, I wake up without an alarm – that’s the perk! I get up at around 7.30am and try to go for a walk to the beach. 

Where’s your late-night hangout spot?

When I'm not up late making ice cream, I do love Mexicoast Cantina – killer margaritas and tacos.  

What’s your coffee order?

My morning drink is an iced chai latte with a pump of vanilla. I like things to taste like cake and this feels like a slightly healthier way than eating a slice first thing in the morning!

Speaking of coffee, which local venue knows your order by heart?

My go-to is Rise Mofo. A place that is a little ray of sunshine! 

Tell me about your biggest career highlight… 

I'm a food scientist and my first job was at Mars Food and Chocolate in Research and Development. That seemed big! Now being able to make ice cream for a living – this is HUGE! 

Being in the Food Manufacturing space, I've had some amazing opportunities including being invited down to Arnott's to be on a panel for International Women's Day alongside some of the most inspiring and talented women in Food Tech!

Locally I'm on the steering committee for the Central Coast Food Alliance. It's mind-blowing stuff in my eyes to be doing this as my job! 

In your spare time, what are your THREE top favourite things to do on the Central Coast?

1. Finding the best places to eat! We have such delicious and creative foodies here and I want to try it all.  
2. Thrifting – I love a good op shop trip and we have so many cool places for a knick-knack hunt. 
3. Heading to the sea and taking a swim in the ocean baths. 

If you wanted to dazzle your out-of-town friends and family, where would you take them?

I’ve had a lot of friends come from overseas to visit and my go-to tourist spots are driving around the windy Jurassic (Frazer) Park; and then eating fish and chips at the Beach. You’ll often find me getting chippies from Ocean Blues Budgewoi and sitting at Soldiers Beach. 

Beer? Wine? Cocktail? Mocktail? What is your tipple of choice and where do you frequently visit? 

I love the revamped Beachie and Budgewoi Hotel. I think summer, you'll find me there with a cider and then double parked with whatever the pinkest, or fairy floss-loaded cocktail they offer is (hopefully they read this and add something with fairy floss to the menu, please).

On the daily, what’s guaranteed to make you smile?

I love to watch people have their first lick of ice cream and you can see them get taken back to a faraway memory of something wonderful! I make ice cream for this very nostalgic reaction and it makes my day! 

What do you NEVER leave the house without? 

My flavour book. I keep a notebook of ideas that pop into my head. Maybe I ate some chilli eggs and got inspired for ice cream or maybe I just had the best silly iced drink of my life. I love to capture flavours that make me feel excited. 

We’re all about keeping it local here at HUNTERhunter – tell me THREE of your favourite local businesses that you live and breathe by and why you couldn’t live without them…

I have so many favourites! That's the coolest part about starting a business on the Coast, you get so many new business friends and I love everything they do! 

1. NQ studio – she’s the best brow girl in the biz and has the most calming studio, where you get to chill out listening to Beyonce for 30 blissful minutes 
2. Cutting Edge Laser Design – they can turn any dream you have into acrylic reality. You'd be surprised at how often I want something made or what ideas I have brewing! My latest was a custom orange and pink "mojo dojo casa house" key ring. 
3. All of the local cafes in Noraville and Toukley fuel me. I like to be hydrated so I am partial to a visit to Beach Haus Norah Head to pick up a Kombucha.

What are you reading / watching / listening to now?

Reading – Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential 
Watching – Only Murders in the Building & Pushing Daisies (for the millionth time – I love a technicolour murder show)!
Listening to – Heston Blumenthal's Journey to The Centre of Food and Cool Story by Bri & Bridie 

If you need a short break away from the Central Coast, where do you go and why?

I love to hang out in Newy and explore the graffiti art walls and ocean baths or head to Melbourne (my soul city) for a longer creative inspo trip. 

What would you like to see more of on the Central Coast?

Hella cool late-night hang-out places. I want to live out my Friends and Seinfield dreams and drink coffee and eat breakfast at night please. 

Lucky last – who would you recommend we interview next for SPILL? 

Please interview my taco dealers at Mexicoast! 

PLUS, one last little note from Olivia...

Due to The Central Coast Council red tape closure of Duff's Ice Cream, we are looking for a cool spot in Newy to bring our treats! If you have the perfect place for our kiosk or a shop for us, please get in touch!