Award remembers ice cream guru Morelli
A new award launched in memory of one of Northern Ireland's best-known ice cream makers hopes to recognise young talent in the industry.
A young ice cream maker from the Scottish Borders is the first-ever winner of the award in memory of Guido Morelli, known for his chain of ice cream shops along the north coast.
The accolade, which has gone to Somers Giacopazzi, honours a young member of the ice cream community who has made an impact within the industry in a short period of time.
Morelli's Ice Cream, which has branches in Ballycastle, Portstewart and Belfast, came up with the idea for the Rising Star award along with the Ice Cream Alliance, the UK trade association for ice cream manufacturers and retailers.
The Morelli family commissioned a specially-made trophy from Ironside Trophies in Lisburn, and selected the first recipient of the award.
Guido's daughter Daniela Morelli-Kerr - who also manages sales and marketing at Morelli's - said: "Dad was a much-loved figure in the ice cream community.
"He always sought to nurture young talent and we know how proud he would be to have a Rising Star Award created in his memory.
"Somers is a committed and passionate young man whose star shall no doubt continue to rise."
Guido Morelli passed away in June 2016. The Irish-Italian was affectionately dubbed "papa" by staff at the chain and had created hundreds of ice cream flavours for his family business.
The firm has been making ice cream since 1911 and currently runs six shops as well as a portable vending pod for festivals and events.
Somers has worked in his family business, Giacopazzi's in Eyemouth, Berwickshire, for five years and now leads the company's very successful retail offering and manages over 50 wholesale customers.