History & Photos
The business was started in 1898 by Giuseppe Parravani, who had come to England as a teenager from a small village near Naples in Italy. He came to find his elder brother Domenico, who was already living in Ber Street in Norwich.
There was a large Italian community based around the Ber Street area at that time, with the residents being involved in a range of businesses. Domenico was working as an ice cream seller, making his ice cream early each morning to his family recipe, and selling it during the day from his beautifully painted ice cream cart drawn by his faithful pony around the streets of Norwich.
Giuseppe worked for Domenico for a number of years until he had enough money to buy a pony and ice cream cart of his own. From this time, the Parravani brothers were able to trade further afield, but retained the base in Norwich until Domenico died in the early 1940’s.
In 1931 Giuseppe’s family had arranged to move to Dulls Farm in Ellingham, near Bungay. Sadly a week before they moved Giuseppe died at the age of 47. This left his wife Caterina to bring up eleven children, look after the farm and milk the cows. The older children took over the making of the ice cream, and as each child left school, they helped in the business. They went out selling the ice cream from an ever increasing number of ice cream carts, often being shown the rounds by an experienced pony!
Just before the second world war the first ice cream van was put on the road. It was used for a while until production had to cease due to sugar rationing. After the war, production was resumed by Giuseppe’s son Augostino, known as Augie, and his bothers Peter and Domenico and continued until Augie retired in 1985. At that time the business was moved to premises at Chedgrave near Loddon, and was taken over by Domenico’s son Paul Parravani and his wife Sharon.
In 2001 the business was expanded to include a Wholesale side to the operation, which has grown steadily over the years. By 2011 we had outgrown the factory and offices at Chedgrave and started to look for a larger site. In 2012 we were very pleased to find the ideal location in Beccles, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.
We now have a wide customer base throughout Norfolk and Suffolk, expanding into Cambridgeshire and Essex. We currently produce a range of over forty ice creams and sorbets, and supply high class frozen patisserie and handmade cakes including a selection of gluten free products.