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, Manchester.

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 drawn barrow.

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 Moss Side.

Despite a brief spell spent fighting for queen and country,

Gerardo’s 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.

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