In 1918, a young poor olive farmer by the name of Isidoro Di Meo set off on foot from a small mountainous village in Southern Italy to find work to support his young family, 1500 miles later he reached the North East of England.
He used what money he had to start a small ice cream business, ice would be collected from the local fishing port and the ice cream would be churned by hand.
He would then load up his ice cream barrow and sell his freshly made ice cream around the streets of Ashington, a mining community 15 miles north of Newcastle.
Isidoro remained in Ashington for several years before deciding to relocate his ice cream operation to Glasgow.
In 1964, isidoro’s grandson Armando, refocused the Di Meo legacy back in the North East when he established a small factory unit to manufacture ice cream to sell on his ice cream van.
In 1968, Armando decided to become a member of the ice cream Alliance (The UK trade association for Ice Cream Manufacturers & Retailers), a decision which was to change his life in many ways.
It was at one of the Ice cream Alliance’s dinner dances that he met his future wife Marianna Bonadies – who was no stranger to ice cream herself, since she worked in her parents ice cream shop.
Fate had the couple sat next to each other and they married a year later going on to have four sons and one daughter Alfredo, Franco, Luciano, Romano and Rosa.
“I was taught the secrets of making ice cream when i was eight-years-old and now it is in my blood. Creating the perfect ice cream is my passion.”
Luciano Di Meo
In 2001, the couple decided to open an ice cream parlour with the help of their son’s Luciano & Romano in the seaside resort of Whitley Bay.
Luciano, having helped make ice cream from the early age of 8- years- old made it his goal to make the most of this new venture by developing new flavours of ice cream beyond the traditional vanilla the family were renowned for.
Romano then went on to bring his expertise as a trained chef and expanded the business menu to offer authentic Italian stone baked pizzas.
Now after several national awards, Di Meo’s has become firmly established in Whitley Bay and the surrounding area for its phenomenal pizzas and award winning ice cream.
The family have built on their success and expanded their operations. Rosa now manages the shop at Whitley Bay, Alfredo looks after the families new venture at the riverside, Newcastle while Luciano’s girlfriend Katie runs Lido Di Meo beach kiosk on Whitley Bay’s Northern promenade.