A family of Whitley Bay ice-cream makers has scooped two more national awards – just as they prepare to open a second parlour in Newcastle.
The Di Meo family fought off competition from across the UK to win a National Ice Cream Competition cup for their passion fruit sorbet, made by Luciano Di Meo.
A model of a party hat, made completely out of ice-cream by Luciano’s sister Rosa, also won a gold award in the contest’s mini artistic class.
The competition, organised by the Ice Cream Alliance, the trade body for the UK’s £1billion ice-cream industry, attracts entries from the best ice-cream makers in the UK and Ireland.
The family runs the Di Meo’s ice-cream parlour on the sea front in Marine Avenue and their ice-cream has twice previously been voted the best in the UK.
Luciano said: “We are over the moon. It’s the first time we have won in the sorbet class.
“It’s the third time we have entered the artistic class. Rosa has won silver and bronze before but they’ve been damaged in transit and so we made sure we hand-delivered it this time.”
He said Rosa had put a lot of time and effort into crafting and moulding her party hat ice-cream cake.
“It’s taken two weeks, with trial and error,” he said. “She could only work in a short time frame before quickly putting it back in the freezer before it could melt.
“It all came together on the night before the contest and we delivered it first thing the next morning.”
He said he started making ice-cream as a young boy, following a long family tradition, and he was taught the secrets of the trade by his grandfather when he was just eight years old. Passion fruit is something I really like making sorbet with, as it is full of flavour and something which vegan customers can enjoy also.”
The siblings’ father Armando said he was delighted by his children’s success, which was well-deserved.
“I am very proud,” he said.
Luciano said that having run a parlour on the seafront at Whitley Bay for the past 19 years, the family was now preparing to open a second one this year in the Ouseburn district of Newcastle.
He said people from Newcastle who enjoyed the firm’s ice-cream while on a day out in Whitley Bay would then be able to buy one back in their home city as well.
Zelica Carr, chief executive officer of The Ice Cream Alliance, said: “For the Di Meo family to keep winning these awards, year after year, and against the best ice-cream makers in the UK, is a stunning achievement.”
More information on The Ice Cream Alliance can be found at www.ice-cream.org