About Us

About Rossi Ice Cream

Rossi has been producing award-winning ice cream in Essex since 1932; based on a traditional Italian recipe of fresh milk, butter and double cream. Over 85 years later and we now have a long-standing heritage that continues to be loved by generations throughout the county.

Our first ice cream parlour and factory was opened in 1932, at 37 High Street in Southend-on-Sea. The parlour was opened by Massimiliano Agostino (also known as ‘Gus’) with his wife Anna Rossi. As business flourished a further parlour was opened at 1 Marine Parade. This branch began a partnership with Pietro Rossi, a distant cousin of Anna’s who’d moved to Southend. Pietro and his family had relocated from Consett, County Durham, where they owned their own ice cream business.

Unfortunately, the partnership did not last and soon after dissolved in 1938. It was agreed Pietro Rossi and his Wife Luisa would trade along the seafront, while keeping 1 Marine Parade. Thus the Westcliff parlour was opened; later a factory was built on Lucy Road in the late 1960’s.

Our History

1932

- Pietro Rossi, a distant cousin of Anna Rossi, moved to Southend with his family from Consett County Durham. Pietro went into partnership with Gus and Anna Rossi, opening a parlour at 1 Marine Parade.

1938

The partnership dissolved with Pietro; he kept 1 Marine Parade parlour and opened a kiosk along Westcliff seafront. Pietro’s eldest daughters, Gemma and Maria, helped in the business whilst his youngest daughter Lolanda and only son Tony attended the Sacred Heart and St. Bernard’s School. When war broke out Tony was sent to a boarding school in Italy.

1939

World War II began and the Rossi family had to vacate their premises due to the seafront area being used for military purposes. Luisa and her two youngest children spent the war years in Italy, whilst Pietro and Maria remained in England. Pietro Rossi was interned as an ‘enemy alien’ on the Isle of Wight and Maria worked as a waitress to support her father. (Enemy Alien - an ‘alien’ residing in a country at war with the one of which they are a citizen).

1946

The end of the war meant the Rossi family were re-united. They resumed their business interests in Southend, selling ice cream from Marine Parade and the two sites along Western Esplanade.

1950's – 1960's

The business flourished throughout this period with Luisa and Pietro’s children taking over the reins. To cope with demand, an ice cream factory was built on Lucy Road, Southend in 1967. Luisa died in 1957 and Pietro died in 1968 respectively.

1969

Rossi Ice Cream acquired a kiosk at the top of Southend High Street, which proved to be a very busy site in the summer months. Demand was always high for our traditional vanilla ice cream. It was served from stainless steel barrels and required a scoop to serve on cones.

1983

Maria Rossi, by then Maria Fantauzzi, was invited onto The Generation Game in 1983 to demonstrate this method of serving ice cream.

2006

Following the deaths of Maria, Lolanda and Tony, the factory on Lucy Road and Westcliff Kiosk were sold and 1 Marine Parade was leased out. The business continues under new ownership manufacturing ice cream from Lucy Road based on the same traditional recipe. However, with the addition of modern administration practices to operate more efficiently.

2010

Achieved accreditation with SALSA.

2012

Rossi Ice Cream celebrated its 80th Anniversary

2012

The business introduced personalised branded ice cream tubs. The first year saw tubs going as far as the South of France, in Monaco, for a Sportfive event.

2015

Summer 2015 saw a brand refresh for Rossi, which introduced the company’s first ever printed containers in over 80 years. Together with our updated logo enabled our products to sit proudly on retailer’s shelves, reflecting the premium ice cream we produce and helping to support sales for customers.

2016

In July 2016 we believe Rossi became the first known manufacture in the UK to produce black ice cream! This created HUGE interest within the press, which included both national and international media coverage.

2017

Rossi moved from its original Lucy Road factory, where it was situated since 1967, to new premises at Temple Farm Industrial Estate, Southend. The biggest move for Rossi Ice Cream in 50 years.

2017

Rossi celebrates 85th Anniversary

Hall of Fame

Dom Littlewood
TV Presenter - With Colin Gray, Director of Rossi Ice Cream at Westminster to support 'Southend Alternative City of Culture'. "Rossi, best ice cream in the world".
Russell Kane
Comedian - With Rossi Bear at the Rossi Ice Cream Comedy Festival.
Tommy Walsh
TV Personality - Thumbs up from Tommy Walsh of Ground Force fame.
Nicky Campbell
TV Presenter - With Colin Gray, Director of Rossi Ice Cream for a Radio 5 live broadcast to celebrate the British Seaside - "What great ice cream'"
Lydia Lucy
Singer ('The Voice) - "Off to sing in Southend today with a Rossi Ice Cream, they are the best"
Theresa May
The Prime Minster - With Colin Gray, Director of Rossi Ice Cream.
Rachael Riley
TV Presenter - With Colin Gray, Director of Rossi Ice Cream supporting Bosom Pals (Breast Cancer) event enjoying pink ice cream produced by Rossi.
Sam Bailey
Singer - "Had a delivery of my fave ice cream - LEMON SORBET. I'm so lucky and it tastes amazing. Thanks Rossi"
Chas and Colin
Colin Gray, Director of Rossi Ice Cream with Chas of 'Chas & Dave'
Andi Peters
TV Presenter - 'Very nice ... thank you'
David Cameron
Former Prime Minister - Enjoyed a Rossi Ice Cream at a meeting with backbenchers inside No. 10
Laura Mvula
Singer - With Colin Gray, Director of Rossi Ice Cream. at an awards ceremony.
Francis Rossi
Singer (Status Quo) - With Colin Gray, Director of Rossi Ice Cream during a visit to the Rossi Ice Cream Factory.
Alison Moyet
Singer/Songwriter - "Wow ... the best taste of home. How utterly splendid!"
Terry Alderton
Comedian - "When I think of Southend, I think of The Pier, The Kursaal, Southend United and Rossi Ice Cream"
Jamie Oliver
Celebrity Chef - "A perfect day out on the seafront - Some fish & chips and an ice cream from Rossi's"
Mark Foster
6 Times World Swimming Champion - "Rossi .... you are the best"
Danniella Westbrook
Actress - "Crack open the cupcakes and the Rossi ice cream"