An ice cream business which started by selling ice cream to hard working coal miners has struck gold after being voted the best in the UK.


More than 75 years ago Giuseppe Minchella’s ice cream became a firm favourite with coal miners as they came out of Bolden Colliery in Durham.


Now Guiseppe’s grandson 69-year-old Michael Minchella 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 £1bn ice cream industry.

Michael, who runs South Shields based Minchella & Co, 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. I am so proud. It’s like winning the Oscars for ice cream. It doesn’t get any better than this.” 

Michael picked up four trophies in total including best pistachio ice cream, best lemon sorbet and best overall flavour.  Hi businesses operates two parlours and has been making ice cream since 1942. 

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. 

Further information on The Ice Cream Alliance can be found at

Award winners: National Ice Cream Champion Minchella & Co; Best Vanilla: Manfredi’s Ices; Mint Choc Chip: Ryeburn of Helmsley; Blood Orange Sorbet: Mediterranean Ices; Raspberry Ripple: Equi’s Ice Cream; Chocolate: Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour; Artisan Vanilla Dairy Ice Cream: Goodall’s of Tong; Continuous Vanilla Dairy Ice Cream: Morelli’s Ice Cream; Frozen Yoghurt: Fortes Ice Cream Ltd; Artisan Ice Cream: Manfredi’s Ices; Ice Cream Continuous: M B Mancini & Co;Best Newcomers Vanilla: Miogelato; Open Flavour: Swoon Gelato; Open Ice Cream Vanilla: Morelli’s Ice Cream; Soft Serve Vanilla: Dave’s Delicious Soft Ice Cream; Supply House: HB Ingredients; Large Artistic Ice Cream Cake: Minoli’s of Machen; Mini Artistic Ice Cream Cake: Suncream Dairies Ltd