Carlo's launches Italian ice cream business in Alnwick as fish and chip shop family rediscovers roots

A family business has revived its century-old ice cream tradition after recently rediscovering its roots.

Saturday, 7th March 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 3:56 pm

Carlo’s fish and chip shop, run by Adam Alexander and Andy Watt, has opened a gelateria within its Market Street premises using the traditional methods an Italian ancestor once used.

Adam said: “We weren’t aware we had this link until about two years ago when we did a little bit of research on our family tree and realised that not only have there been four generations of fish and chip shop owners but there’s a historical family link with ice cream.

“We found out that Gianni Piacenitini, my wife Sonia and Andy’s great uncle, had a gelato vending business on the west coast of Scotland in the early 1900s.

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Gianni Piacenitini had a gelato vending business on the west coast of Scotland.

“He and his brother, Guissepe, had left Barga in Tuscany for Scotland in 1910 and brought with them the secrets of making authentic Italian gelato.

“That sparked the idea of going into that line of work, even though there is a long tradition of fish and chip shops selling ice cream,” said Adam.

Brother-in-law Andy was the previous owner of Carlo’s in Morpeth but has gone into partnership with Adam with the new venture.

“We’ve both got young families so it made sense to pool our resources, time and efforts,” said Adam.

Ice cream gelato at Carlo's in Alnwick.

“We’ve done lots of research and tried out plenty of ideas to come up with something which we like – and we hope others will too.”

Customers will be able to choose from up to 18 flavours made fresh every day, from vanilla to white ripple cookie dough, pure Italian pistachio and fresh fruit sorbets.

They are made daily on the premises using locally sourced fresh milk and cream and the menu will change regularly.

Most of the ice creams are made without gluten and there are flavours made without dairy and suitable for vegans.

Andy Watt and Adam Alexander celebrate the launch of Carlo's ice cream.

“There is a flavour for everybody,” said Andy.

There are also milkshakes and sundaes to enjoy.

Adam added: “We’re fairly confident it’s going to be a success. There will be challenges but we’ve worked hard to get it right – and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like ice cream!”

Adam Alexander and Andy Watt at Carlo's.