End of an era for Jaconelli’s

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After almost 80 years, Jaconelli’s ice cream will no longer be produced in the town from April, The Scarborough News can reveal.

The firm has confirmed that its factory at Cleveland Road has been sold, with up to 12 staff being made redundant.

The two Jaconelli-branded outlets on the Foreshore, run by franchisees, will not be affected and will still be able to trade as long as the ice cream is made in the same way but by another manufacturer.

At its height in the 1990s the factory was churning out 2.5 million litres of frozen desserts each year. Joint-owner Denis Jaconelli said the in recent years the business has been hit by the recession and was now only operating three days a week.

He said: “The main bulk of our business is selling to trade so it can be very up and down.

“We sell to companies such as Pizza Express, JD Weatherspoon and to Burger King in places like Spain, Portugal and the Middle East.

“So if we have something on a Weatherspoon’s menu then our production could be 14,000 pallets a week, but once it comes off the menu then that drops to zero.

“Over the past five or six years there’s been a decline in eating out.

“The credit crunch saw many people opt for dining at home and if they did go out they’d be more likely to go without a pudding. It certainly impacted our business, but we’ve continued to operate for a number of core clients.

““I turn 65 this year and would like to retire, so myself and my brothers have made the decision to sell the business.”

The company has been sold to an international frozen dessert manufacturer, who, due to a time-sensitive non-disclosure agreement, cannot be named yet.

Jaconelli Ltd’s machinery, expertise and customer base will be transferred to the purchaser.

Jaconelli Ltd first started operating behind Tricolos restaurant in Newborough in 1937, making only handmade vanilla gelato.

In 1987, Denis took the reins of the business, started by his grandfather Richard, moving to the Cleveland Road factory where the business remains today.

In recent years the Jaconelli name has thrust back into national attention after police confirmed that former Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli, one of Richard’s sons, would have been charged with child sex offences if he were still alive today.

Mr Jaconelli said the fallout from the scandal had not impact on the business or the decision to sell.

He said: “With 95 per cent of the business being sold to trade the name Jaconelli does not even appear on the packaging.

“The decision is just down the recession and the offer coming at the right time for us.”

He added that all the staff affected by the closure had been offered employment with the new owner but it would involve relocating to a new area.