Belfast Telegraph

End of an era for one of Northern Ireland’s oldest ice-cream parlours

By David Young

It's the end of an era as one of Northern Ireland's oldest ice-cream parlours is to close its doors in two weeks' time.

Cafolla's of Carnegie Street in Lurgan has been a favourite destination since way back in the 1930s when it was opened by an Italian family whose secret ice-cream recipe has tickled the tastebuds of generations of children - and their parents.

Owner Joseph Cafolla is not in good health, but his daughter Maria last night shared her memories of the ice-cream parlour that has become a Lurgan legend.

She and her sister Lisa have been working in the restaurant for more than 30 years.

"My daddy worked here since he was a young boy," Maria said.

"We were here when the town was bombed during the Troubles. Our shop was damaged, but we came back and built the business up again."

The Cafolla family emigrated to the Lurgan area from Casselatico village near Monte Cassino in southern Italy at the turn of the 20th century, Maria said.

"My great grandparents started up the ice-cream business with just an ice-cream cart."

The restaurant quickly became famous in the locality for its fish and chips and ice-cream - the ice-cream made to a secret recipe dad Joseph has still not shared with daughter Maria.

She said: "The Carnegie Street shop has been through good times and bad times, - but we've loved it.

"Daddy loved his customers."

Local MLA Dolores Kelly said: "I am so sad to see it close. I have so many happy memories of a day out at Cafolla's.

"It's a great loss to the town."

There is another Cafolla ice- cream parlour in Lurgan - it's in Church Place, and is known as the 'Wee Cafolla's'.

It is owned by another branch of the Cafolla family and is not closing down, Maria said.

Belfast Telegraph

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