The Scoop On The Rob Roy Dairy

The Rob Roy Dairy is something of an institution in Dunedin, if not throughout New Zealand and the world.


The somewhat innocuous corner dairy in North Dunedin’s student quarter has become world-famous-in-Dunedin thanks to its mind-boggling selection of ice creams and toppings, so much so that owner Liz Watson created ‘lanes’ in the shop to manage the queues.


But all good, sweet things must come to an end.


And while it’s time for Liz to move on, this frozen treat business will no doubt deliver the goods for its next owner.


Harcourts business broker specialist Jim Packer knows a great business when he sees one, and this one takes the cake.



“The Rob Roy Dairy’s been in business for over 30 years and is an iconic part off the local dairy and ice cream scene,” he says.


“It’s in a prime spot at the central hub of student life while also being part of the George Street retail strip which has recently been revitalized with superb street design.


“It has fantastic foot traffic, great parking at the door, Liz has done all the hard work in creating the Rob Roy Dairy Designer Desserts alongside all the dairy staples, and turnover is back to pre-Covid levels.”


Renowned for its generous ice creams, thick shakes and frozen yoghurt, the Rob Roy is one of New Zealand’s biggest sellers of Tip Top scooped ice cream (and its premium Kapiti brand) since 2013. Over 30 delectable ice cream flavours are on offer and it’s the home of the Cookie Time Pie, plus cookie batter Bikkie Batter made in store.


For Liz it’s bittersweet to be saying goodbye to the business after originally buying it 16 years ago with her then husband.


She bought him out three years later when they split and has been running it ever since by herself, including opening up the ice cream parlour in a space next door 12 years ago.



“Running a seven-days-a-week business is hard, especially after the ice cream business grew like topsy with the help of Tip Top,” she says.


“It quickly gained cult status because we do very good great value ice creams, and nighttime business is the busiest part of the day. Word of mouth has been very good, Instagram has been our friend especially with lots of overseas visitors, and over the years we’ve had lots of All Blacks, rugby stars, and even Chinese movie stars come through the doors.


The cruise ship business has been huge for us, such as the couple from Australia who come every year for at least the last five years, always buy two ice creams at a time, and tell all their friends.


“But now its time for someone else to take over as I turn 65, sleep for a month and get back into painting which I’ve always loved.”


The business is for sale with the price by negotiation. View the live listing here.