When Geralmo Scappaticci and his brothers
came to England in 1898, they brought with them their famous
ice cream recipe, and little else.
But being enterprising
kind of fellows they soon made a home for themselves selling
ice cream in the close-knit Italian community of Ancoats,
It was here, in the bustling back streets of
Little Italy that Gerado - the eventual founder of the Gerards
Empire - was born.
Entrepreneurial in spirit from a young age, Gerardo cut his
teeth in the family business, selling ice cream from a hand
In fact, Gerardo was so successful that by 1939
he was selling ice cream all over - from the bright lights
of the City Centre to the cobbled streets and factories of
Despite a brief spell spent fighting for
queen and country,
family business grew and prospered throughout the 1930s and
40s. In fact, Gerado was
doing so well for himself that by the 1950s he decided to
go it on his own.
Dedicated to his vision of
the very finest ice cream created according to old world traditions
- Gerards Ice Cream was born.
The days of Gerardo’s hand drawn barrow are now a distant
memory and generations of Scappaticci’s have come and
gone, yet Gerardo’s descendants are still established
firmly at the helm of the business.
Being a family-run business has helped Gerards
stay faithful to the original vision of its founder. Yet each
successive generation has helped inject new drive into the
company, so that Gerards continues to meet the challenges
of the future.
Today, modern vehicles have replaced the traditional
vans of the 1960s and the fleet has expanded to include a
large number of purpose built trailers for outside catering
at major venues.
Gerards has diversified, so that on a cold day
you can now find real Italian coffee, biscuits and buns on
the menu, a move that has helped Gerards to secure venue contracts
and major events up and down the country – some as sole
suppliers and others through successful partnerships with
other large vending companies.
This year Gerards was proud to have a presence
at the following high-profile events:
Lancashire Cricket Club at Old Trafford
Party in the Park, Hyde Park
The grand re-opening of Trafalgar Square
Richard Branson’s V festivals
The Leeds festival
Tea in the park, Scotland
The future is an exciting place for Gerards,
and as exciting, new partnerships are forged and the wholesale
side of business continues to expand, it is clear that the
Gerards story is only just beginning.
Throughout the 1960s Gerards Ice Cream continued to uphold
the time-honoured tradition of the ice-cream makers craft.
Yet, he always kept an eye on the future.
Constantly looking for new ways to bring the
Gerards Ice Cream experience to its customers, Gerardo became
one of the first businessmen in Manchester to acquire a diesel/petrol
Ice Cream Van.
It was a development that revolutionised the
business and allowed Gerards Ice Cream to bring a little sweetness
to even far-flung corners of Manchester.
Sadly, in 1971 Gerardo passed away, but his
legacy lived on.
Under the watchful eye of his sons, Antonio
and Gaetano, expansion continued unabated throughout the 1970s,
with permanent sites - from Oldham Street to Platt Fields
Park - won throughout the city.
And in the 1980s a major milestone in
the company’s fortunes was proudly reached when Gerards
won a major contract with Walls and started selling wholesale
to shops and other independent Ice Cream vendors.