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Minchella's ice cream is named 'best in UK' at national competition

National icecream champion Michael Minchella.
National icecream champion Michael Minchella.

A popular ice cream parlour business has the competition licked after being named the best in the UK.

More than 75 years ago Giuseppe Minchella's ice cream became a firm favourite with coal miners as they finished their shift at Boldon Colliery.

Now Guiseppe's grandson 69-year-old Michael Minchella, whose business is based in South Shields, 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 £1billion 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," said Michael.

"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 East 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."