Anthony Mammino at the Ekka, where barricades have been installed in an effort to control the massive crowds swamping his stalls for a taste of Mammino’s strawberry sundaes. MasterChef contestant Ellie Paxton-Hall (inset) has added to the popularity of the Childers ice cream, rating it a perfect 10 out of 10.
Anthony Mammino at the Ekka, where barricades have been installed in an effort to control the massive crowds swamping his stalls for a taste of Mammino’s strawberry sundaes. MasterChef contestant Ellie Paxton-Hall (inset) has added to the popularity of the Childers ice cream, rating it a perfect 10 out of 10. Contributed

Screaming for local ice cream

CROWDS at this year’s Ekka are screaming for ice cream, and Childers-based Mammino Ice Cream is only too happy to deliver.

The company was tasked with the huge job of providing the famous strawberry sundaes to the thousands of people at the Ekka this year.

And the response has been beyond owner Anthony Mammino’s wildest dreams, with demand so high they’re in danger of running out of ice cream.

“It has been phenomenal,” Mr Mammino said.

“They’ve had to put up barricades to organise the huge queues.”

The family-owned Childers company made up 11,500 litres of ice cream for the event and the sundaes have proved so popular they are being forced to make another 1000 litres just to keep up with the demand.

“Even then, we’ve got grave fears we’re going to run out,” Mr Mammino said.

“We’re selling between 15,000 and 20,000 a day.

“We can’t afford to run out.”

He said while the family had first been nervous and apprehensive about the response they would receive at the Ekka, showgoers had made no secret of their love for the creamy treat.

“Some people were waiting in queues for 40-45 minutes,” Mr Mammino said.

“We’ve got four stalls and 40-50 volunteers serving at each one.

"There are people lined up from the moment they come in.”

Mr Mammino said that years ago when he and his wife Teena were visitors to the Ekka, she commented on the number of people eating the famous sundaes and said how nice it would be for that to be their ice cream.

“And now it is,” he said.

“This is certainly the biggest thing to happen to us.

“It’s had a real flow-on effect.

"The shop at home has been crazily busy.”

Prior to this year, Peters Ice Cream had provided the sundaes since the 1950s, but Mr Mammino said he hoped the change would become permanent.

“When you’re breaking tradition like that, you really need to get it right and, luckily, it seems we have,” he said.

“We hope to get a long-term contract, but we will have to wait and see.”

The ice creams have even created a buzz in the cooking world, with MasterChef contestant Ellie Paxton-Hall rating the strawberry sundae 10 out of 10.

“Another food critic gave it 9.5/10 and only took the .5 off because of the cone,” Mr Mammino said.

“I think it’s a reward for perseverance.”



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