Northern Ireland’s award-winning Morelli Ice Cream business has its eye firmly fixed on expansion into the GB market.
The firm, which supplies one of the leading supermarkets in Scotland and the North of England, Morrisons, has just expanded its production capacity and installed a new super-freezer warehouse at its HQ in Coleraine with space for a whopping 100,000 litres of ice cream.
The investment was financed through Barclays. David Morrow, Associate Director, Business Banking with Barclays said, “We are very excited for Arnaldo and the Morelli Ice Cream family business. Having been named as National Supreme Champions in the UK Ice Cream Alliance Awards in 2019, they are poised for further growth and success. As one of Northern Ireland’s favourite home-grown local brands, they have an opportunity to develop their sales with Morrisons and to further build their national supermarket listings. With this increase in production and capacity, there’s nothing holding them back and they deserve every success.”
Arnaldo Morelli, Managing Director, Morelli Ice Cream said, “When my family started out in the ice cream business over 100 years ago, it was a summer treat at the seaside. Ice cream is no longer a seasonal product and we have spent the last 25 years building up our wholesale business. We have built strong sales of take-home tubs all year round in independent food shops, convenience stores and supermarkets across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. GB supermarket listings are our next major focus for growth and this new super-freezer will allow us to ensure our production can keep step with demand.
Sharing some insight into the early summer ice cream trends, Arnaldo Morelli said, “Our double cream vanilla is still a firm favourite, closely followed by Honeycomb, but the one everyone wants to try this summer is our cinnamon ice cream swirled with a famous brand of biscuit – it’s the flavour of the moment. We bring many of our authentic Italian ingredients in from Italy so with this one, we just keep upping the order each time and it’s flying!”
Morelli Ice Cream Ltd has refinanced all of its banking with Barclays and funded its expansion and new freezer investment through a competitive working capital arrangement. Morelli Ice Cream employs 23 staff through its wholesale business and has 14 family owned and franchised stores in Northern Ireland and a further 400 active customers throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.