Luciano has competition licked as he scoops a hat-trick of awards

Luciano Di Meo who has won a hat-trick of awards at the 2015 Ice Cream Alliance's national awards. REF 0804148766

Luciano Di Meo who has won a hat-trick of awards at the 2015 Ice Cream Alliance's national awards. REF 0804148766

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An Whitley Bay ice cream maker with traditions dating back more than a century has scooped a hat-trick of awards at a national competition.

Luciano Di Meo has added 2015 success at the Ice Cream Alliance’s national awards to his 2013 and 2014 champion wins

Champion ice cream maker Luciano, whose family runs De Meo’s ice cream parlour and pizzeria in Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay, took home three awards.

He has been awarded the Silver Challenge Cup for coming first with his bubblegum ice cream.

He also received a gold medal for winning the frozen yoghurt category and a bronze in the artisan section.

Luciano, whose family have been making ice cream for more than 100 years, said the business constantly needed to adapt to meet changing demands and tastes.

“We developed our yoghurt ice cream to meet demand for healthy ice cream and the bubblegum ice cream to meet the appetite for that flavour, and only this morning I was developing a mojito sorbet,” he said.

His family has been involved in making ice cream for more than a century – a tradition that started at the turn of the 20th century when Luciano’s great, great grandfather Isidoro Di Meo walked from southern Italy to the north east of England to find his fortune and sold ice cream from a barrow.

Luciano was taught the secrets of making ice cream by his grandfather when he was eight-years-old, and now it was in his blood.

“It is my passion and my life,” he said.

Zelica Carr, chief executive of The Ice Cream Alliance, said: “It is a tremendous achievement for Luciano to go on to win these awards after being named champion for the past two years.

“And it is a reflection of his continuing enthusiasm and commitment to developing new and exciting flavours.”