History of Parisella’s Ice Cream


Domenico Parisella

Domenico Parisella

Carolina, Irena and Tony

Carolina, Irena and Tony

Irene and the staff of the Continental Ice Cream Parlour Conwy

Irene and the staff of the Continental Ice Cream Parlour, Conwy

Irene and the staff of the Continental Ice Cream Parlour, Conwy

Irene and the staff of the Continental Ice Cream Parlour, Conwy

Joe, Anna and Emma
 
Leo, Arthur and Carolina

Leo, Arthur and Carolina

Joe

Joe

Leo

Leo

Tony

Tony

Domenico Parisella

Along with many other Italians looking to better their prospects, 16 year old Domenico Parisella emigrated to Great Britain from the small village of Colle San Magno, 110 kilometres south east of Rome, in 1912.

He settled in Greenock, Scotland and started to work for the Di Murro family learning, amongst other things, how to make ice cream.

He married Carolina Forte and they had three children Leo, Irena and Joseph. In 1936, Domenico moved the family from Wooler, Northumberland to Berwick upon Tweed where they ran a small shop selling fish and chips in the winter and home made ice cream in the summer.

In 1943, the family moved to North Wales where Domenico was given employment by the Forte family making ice cream in their Llandudno shop.

After six years, he decided to set up his own business and found premises in Lancaster Square, Conwy where he opened the Continental Ice Cream Parlour. In 1953 the first motorised tricycle was purchased and the Parisella ice cream van business was born. The business grew throughout the fifties and sixties as the reputation of Domenico's traditional ice cream spread through North Wales. By now Leo, Joe and Irena's husband Arthur would drive the vans and Irena would run the parlour in Conwy all under the watchful eye of Carolina or “Ma” as she was affectionately known. Meanwhile, Domenico would be busy making the day's supply of ice cream in his vertical freezer to the rear of the shop.

Following the closure of the Hi Hat ice cream factory in Llandudno in the early seventies, Parisellas, now with Joe managing the business were able to offer employment to several of the staff including Mr Frank Carnall, the factory manager. This coincided with the installation of a new plant capable of producing 130 gallons of ice cream every hour. By now the firm was able to wholesale as far as the Midlands and Kent and secured a contract to supply Freezrite, a local firm enjoying a good deal of success. The mid-seventies saw a boom in ice cream sales culminating in the long hot summer of 1976. Sadly however, the by now retired, Domenico died in May of that year.

For the ice cream industry as a whole more difficult times were approaching. A series of indifferent summers and the recession of the eighties saw the wholesale ice cream market slide into depression. As a result, production was scaled back and eventually the old plant was decommissioned in 2003. 

The desire to resurrect the Parisella name was strong. The decision was made to open an Artisan ice cream factory on the site of the old plant. Under the direction of Joe and his son Tony and daughter Emma together with support from the Welsh Assembly Government the new factory commenced production in June 2006.

Today, Parisella's Ice Cream is a leading manufacturer of quality, award winning ice cream and sorbet available in over fifty outlets throughout North Wales.

Domenico's legacy remains to this day.