Mammino's Gourmet Ice-Cream sells up and is moving
MAMMINO'S Gourmet Ice-cream has been the name, and the taste, on everyone's lips across Queensland for more than 20 years.
However, change is in the wind.
From next Friday, September 15, the business, created by Childers locals Teena and Anthony Mammino in the family's back yard, will change hands.
The great news is that the popular "anytime is the right time" dessert will remain in Childers, continue to be produced locally with the same family recipe and pass to Helen and Leo Ricciardi, who just happen to be relatives of the Mamminos.
Teena Mammino, who lost husband Anthony to cancer in January this year, admitted that parting with the business has created its share of inner turmoil.
"It's difficult not to feel an emotional wrench," Teena said.
"This is something that Anthony and I created, nurtured and toiled so hard at turning into a successful business.
"However, the loss of Anthony put a whole new perspective on running the business.
"In truth, we had discussed the sale of the business long before he passed away.
"We agreed that we had put a huge personal effort into the product.
"I really think we knew that we had taken it about as far as we could."
Mammino's Gourmet Ice-cream was just one of those simple ideas that clicked.
Anthony and Teena lived on a farm in Childers with macadamia trees near the house.
While the Colonel may have had his secret herbs and spices, Teena had her grandmother's cherished recipe for delicious handmade ice cream.
"We experimented with the macadamias, taste tested it on family and friends and, buoyed by the feedback, decided to market it initially through a roadside stall.
"It really did capture people's imagination and pretty soon we were into bulk manufacturing.
"The business simply grew to a point we were supplying to numerous outlets and to the general public who just adored the product.
"We won business awards, tourism awards, took the ice cream to the Ekka and continue to take it to virtually every prestige event held around Queensland.
"The Mammino's Ice-cream vans are always included in the A-list of food vendors invited."
Teena said that there were plenty of lookers when expressions of interest were invited for the purchase of the business.
"While they may have been looking I was also looking," she said.
"I have so much respect for what Anthony and I refined over the years into a premier product that I wanted it to go to the right people.
"In Helen and Leo Ricciardi we have the right people.
"The Ricciardis are aware of the history of the product and, as Childers locals, know of its importance to the community.
Helen, recently retired as an IT professional with Bundaberg Regional Council, admitted that the venture into ice cream was a challenge but one that she and husband Leo were relishing.
"We have a background in farming and an equine spelling property as well as my IT experience," she said.
"I really think that our strength with the business lays within our capacity to effectively market the product.
"The name won't change, the recipe certainly won't change and Leo and I will bring a philosophy to the business based on the saying 'If it isn't broken - don't fix it!'."
Mammino's Gourmet Ice-cream will continue to be sold from the colourful Churchill St outlet until after the school holidays when it will move a short distance to the Paragon Theatre.
"The Paragon currently serves premium coffee and craft beers and now we will introduce the premises as the outlet for Mammino's Gourmet Ice-cream," said Helen.
"The ice cream will also continue to be produced and sold from its traditional location at the factory address on Lucketts Rd."