'ODT’ gets scoop at Rob Roy

Over the years there have been queues down the block for one of her generous ice cream cones.

Now Rob Roy Dairy owner Liz Watson says it is time for her to have a sleep in, and perhaps paint her masterpiece.

Her celebrated North Dunedin ice cream parlour is for sale, and Ms Watson says she hopes to pass the baton as she sets her sights on retirement.

"It’s a successful business — it works. So it would be really good if someone could just come along and reap the benefits of the hard work that’s been put in.

"I’ve been here for over 16 years and I’m getting to the grand old age of 65 this year, so I fear it’s time to retire," Ms Watson said.

The owner of Rob Roy Dairy Liz Watson says she is selling her esteemed George St ice cream...
The owner of Rob Roy Dairy Liz Watson says she is selling her esteemed George St ice cream parlour and shop to enter retirement. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The real estate listing for the business states that turn over for the business is "over $1,000,000 yearly, back to pre-Covid levels".

As for the staff, she would want them to continue working in the store.

"There’s a fair bit involved on the parlour side, so you have to have experienced staff."

Ms Watson had the idea of expanding the business and creating Rob Roy Dairy Designer Desserts next to the dairy about 11 years ago.

"Tip Top was really supportive and said ‘we’ll help you out, so why not go for it?’."

"It was really nerve-racking to start off, but it has proved successful."

The parlour, which stocked Tip Top and Kāpati ice cream, grew the success of the business exponentially.

Due to their generous portions and the late closing hours, it became a popular student hub.

"I think the students like a bargain," Ms Watson said.

She moved to Dunedin from Gore to study at the University of Otago, where she got a degree in programming.

"I couldn’t do that now though," she joked.

Ms Watson bought the Rob Roy Dairy with her husband before buying him out three years later, after they split.

They kept the name Rob Roy, which had been linked to the dairy for the past 30 years.

In terms of her retirement, she want most excited to "have a sleep in" and "get into [her] painting".

"I love painting, so I want to spend some more time doing that."

She said it was hard to say what she would miss about the store the most.

"I love organising, and people - we can get over them sometimes - but just the general buzz of the place and working with the staff."

Although she looked forward to putting her feet up and picking up some hobbies, she enjoyed having a purpose, she said.