An ice cream business which started by selling ice cream to hard working coal miners has struck gold after being voted the best in the UK.
More than 75 years ago Giuseppe Minchella’s ice cream became a firm favourite with coal miners as they came out of Bolden Colliery in Durham.
Now Guiseppe’s grandson 69-year-old Michael Minchella has won national acclaim after he was voted the UK’s Ice Cream Champion by judges at The National Ice Cream Competition.
The award is the most prestigious in the country and is awarded by The Ice Cream Alliance – the trade body for the UK’s £1bn ice cream industry.
Michael won the coveted title for his pistachio ice cream and said the triumph was his greatest moment in his 50 year career.
“I am still waiting to come down. I am so proud. It’s like winning the Oscars for ice cream. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
He said the award was so special because his products had been judged by expert ice cream makers from across the country.
Michael, whose business is based in South Shields, picked up four trophies in total including best pistachio ice cream, best lemon sorbet and best overall flavour.
He dedicated his success to two people – ‘my father Fred, who taught me everything I know, and my son Joseph and his team.”
Mr Minchella said the business was founded by his grandfather Giuseppe Minchella after moving to England from Italy. He worked in different north-eastern towns before settling down in South Shields.
He said the business now had a seafront parlour in Sea Road and another in Ocean Road, in the town centre, where the ice cream has been made since 1942, and it employs a total of 30 people.
Asked how he made his his ice cream taste so good, he said it was essential first of all to have the best quality ingredients, and it was then down to skill and experience in knowing how to blend them together.
ICA Chief Executive Zelica Carr praised Michael’s success, saying: “Michael and his family have been making superb ice cream for many years and he fully deserves this win.
“Throughout his long career he has shown passion and dedication and he is a wonderful example to the rest of the ice cream industry.”
For more information, go to www.minchella.co.uk or call 07785 397506.
Further information on The Ice Cream Alliance can be found at www.ice-cream.org.
Media Contact: Steve Verrill – VPR – 01430 871166 or 07725 196753