The Di Meo Family Have Things Licked!
11th April 2013 Paul Andrews
Family owned ice cream parlour scoops national award
A Whitley Bay family whose ice cream has been judged the best in Britain is hoping their success will help to put the seaside town back on the holiday map. The Di Meo family have been making ice cream for more than 100 years and their skills have finally paid off after judges at The National Ice Cream Competition voted their vanilla ice cream as the best of the best.
The competition is run by The Ice Cream Alliance - the trade body for the UK's £1.1 billion ice cream industry.
The family, who run Di Meo Delaval ice cream parlour and pizzeria in Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay, are hoping their victory will give their town a major boost. Luciano Di Meo said: "To win this accolade is wonderful recognition for the years of hard work, skill and passion that my family has put into making ice cream over the last 100 years."
"It is a fantastic achievement to win against such strong competition and now I hope that our success will help in the regeneration of Whitley Bay by attracting more visitors to sample ice cream of the highest quality."
The family's ice cream heritage was 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.
He sold ice cream from a barrow and through the generations the family have built up a successful business, previously running a shop in Seaton Delaval before moving to Whitley Bay in 2001.
Luciano's father Armando still runs an ice cream van in Blyth trading as Mr Eddie and his mum, Marianna, has worked in the family business for nearly 50 years. The couple met at an ice cream alliance dinner dance in 1970 and married shortly afterwards.
Luciano, 34, said: "I was taught the secrets of making ice cream when I was just a boy of 8 years old by my grandfather. Now ice cream making is in my blood. It is my passion and my life."
"All my life I have been dedicated to developing the perfect ice cream using the skills and knowledge passed down the generations of my family and now I have realised my dream. It is fantastic."
Luciano added: "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my wife, Victoria, for being there and supporting me and it's not true that I love ice cream more than her, it's more like they are on a par!"
The family were praised by Zelica Carr, Chief Executive Officer of The Ice Cream Alliance. “The Di Meo family were up against very strong competition but the judges felt their ice cream was outstanding and their success is well-deserved. "
“The ice cream industry continues to flourish and the quality and flavour is increasing every year thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of ice cream makers like the Di Meo family.”