An ice cream van in south London is the ‘bark of the town’, as a dog-loving business woman from New Addington has just launched her very own ice cream van for dogs.

Emmie Stevens, 36, realised her “niche in life” was to work with the loyal, loving dogs of south London, and has been working as a dog groomer for the passed 15 years.

The mum-of-one told Newsquest London that she went through a “troubled childhood”, such as being bullied at school and finding it hard to socialise, so, she decided to rescue a dog named Doodles from a puppy farm.

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Emmie said: “I gave Doodles a chance – he was in a complete state when I got him.

“But when I took him on, he changed my life”.

After rescuing Doodles, Emmie and the pooch headed to dog events across London, and before she knew it, she ended her career as an airhostess and took a new role on as a dog groomer.

She added: “I realised this was my niche in life – I wasn’t a people person.

“I then realised dogs are for me – they’re very loyal, loving, and deserve to be spoiled.

“I offered one-to-one service for the dogs at my clients houses and was so busy, but I then got a mobile dog grooming van.”

Emmie’s business was so successful she opened a “cage free” dog grooming shop, and eight years later, she now has a three-year- old boy, eight dogs (four rescued) and a brand-new ice cream van for dogs of south London.

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The business woman told Newsquest London that she initially got inspiration for her ice cream van four years ago after attending dog shows and seeing people sharing their ice cream with their furry friends.

Emmie explained: “I saw normal ice cream vans stocking dog ice creams – it wasn’t just me being over the top with my dogs - dogs are like people’s family now.

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“I am very over-the-top with my dogs; I dress them up, they have their own bedroom, shoes, buggies, and dresses – some dresses have cost me £60 per piece.

“So, I wasn’t sure if I was just wanting to spoil my dogs, but even a normal person will want to spend a little money to give their doggy an ice cream”.

After researching ingredients, figuring out what would appeal to humans, and what would taste great for dogs, Emmie decided it was time to buy an ice cream van, and make her dream, a reality.

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The ice cream van – Poochies Pupsicles – officially opened for business on Sunday (March 31), and items sold out completely.

“The dogs are absolutely loving it”, Emmie says, as the menu includes stacks of options for pooches, including a ‘Doggy Mr Whippy’ which comes with a gravy bone and doggy sprinkles, and ‘Pupsicle bites’ which is six different flavoured ice bites with flavours ranging from peanut butter, mango, strawberries, and banana, and many more.

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Despite residing in New Addington, Emmie says she plans on taking Poochies Pupsicles to the surrounding areas, such as West Wickham and Bromley, and will cover special days further afield, such as in Dartford and Lakeside.

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Emmie added: “All our food is home made.

“In the summer I’ll be going around the roads, selling to my current clients and new ones.

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“We will be pulling up by the side of doggy parks, and then deep into the summer we'll be doing dog events like ‘Paws in the Park and the Detling Show Ground.

“We're also going to be offering a service where you can hire me.

“So, if you have a grand opening or a dog party, you can hire me for the day which will cover the cost of a certain amount of ice creams which are free for your dog party friends.

“This is a very unique business, there isn't anything out there currently like me.”