Celebrating 100 years of Joe’s.

Living in Wales, we’re all familiar with Joe’s Ice cream. Founded almost 100 years ago in 1922 by non other than Joe Cascarini, who is the man behind the famous welsh ice-cream? 

It all started in 1898, when Joe’s father, Luigi Cascarini, travelled to Swansea from the Abruzzi Mountains situated in Italy. Cascarini was astonished to find that there were no cafes open to accommodate the coal, steel and docks workers of the Swansea Valley. This is where Luigi decided to take matters into his own hands, and managed to borrow enough money from an Italian friend to open his first coffee shop. He worked consistently from the early hours of the morning until darkness, ensuring his business proved successful. Hard work eventually paid off and a string of coffee shops were opened that his children ran with him. 

Luigi Cascarini moved from Italy to Swansea in 1898.

Joe Cascarini, Luigi’s eldest son, eventually moved from Italy to Swansea to follow in his fathers footsteps and was given ownership of the cafe at 85 St. Helen’s Road. Wanting to add an Italian flair to the welsh cafes, Joe followed a secret recipe from his home town in Italy, sourced the finest ingredients in Wales and introduced to Swansea his unique tasting signature ice-cream. St. Helen’s Road was established as an Ice Cream Parlour and his Italian recipe officially known as Joe’s Fresh Vanilla Gelato. 

In 1960, Joe Cascarini fell ill so his Italian sister Delia Hughs began supporting him in running the Swansea ice cream business with Husband Colin Hughs. Eventually, Joe began to share his secret recipe with his nephew, Enrico Cascarini, who continued to make the ice cream on site at St. Helens Road with Joe. 

Sadly, in 1968, Joe passed away. 

Joe Cascarini sadly passed away in 1968.

Enrico began taking over the business, initiating new ways to sell his late uncle’s products. He began selling the ice cream from an ice cream van, with the fresh vanilla proving popular. This is where the business became recognised and the people around Swansea became fans. 

During the 1980’s, Enrico became to tackle a major issue with the business. The ice cream had to be eaten the same day as purchase. Before long, a ‘soft-scoop’ frozen version of the vanilla gelato was created, ensuring that the customers could store the product at home. More flavour’s began to develop within this time, leading to the business expanding. In 1984, a second parlour was officially opened in Mumbles with Delia and Colin’s sons, Dominic and Adrian Hughs, taking over. 

Enrico scooped the National Ice Cream Alliance ‘Champions of Champions’ cup for Joe’s Chocolate Ice Cream in 1944, the most prestigious award in the ice cream world. 

Joe’s Nephew, Enrico.

Swiftly, supermarkets began stocking the newly-made soft scoop ice creams, which are still available to by today in Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Co-op’s through out Wales. 

Between 2009 and 2011, Another 3 awards were granted to Joe’s Ice Cream for their Cappuccino, Mint Choc Chip, Chocolate, Vanilla and Raspberry Ripple flavours. 

Enrico passed away in August 2018, aged 86. 

Dominic and Adrian were given ownership of the business, with Dominic’s children also working for them. 

Today, the soft-scoop ice creams come in 25 different flavours, with a major rebrand in 2013 launching a range of ice cream cakes. 

The original Ice Cream Parlour still stands to this day, continuing to sell the famous Fresh Vanilla that started it all. 

Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour in Mumbles.