Joe’s Ice-cream Parlour
In 1898 Luigi Cascarini left the region of Abruzzi, in the mountains of Southern Italy and made their way to South Wales eventually settling in Swansea. Noticing there were no shops or cafes open to accommodate the many workers, he quickly set up premises to fill this gap. He borrowed money from an Italian friend and set up a general food shop on High Street opposite the Palace Theatre. He opened the shop at 4 am every morning to accommodate the early shift workers. While at these premises Luigi developed an ice cream consisting of fresh milk, sugar and cornflour, to quote his nephew Enrico ‘it looked like wallpaper paste’. However, it became very popular and his shops and ice-cream business flourished with him opening another 5 more premises in Swansea. In 1922 Luigi brought his son Joe over from Italy to run his cafe and shop at No 85 St Helens Road, Swansea. Joe decided to concentrate on the sale of ice cream and developed the ice cream parlour.
Note: 85 St Helens road is where it still is today, ‘interestingly the original ceramic St Helens Road sign can still be seen above the shop front’.
Joe created a recipe and technique for making fresh vanilla flavoured ice cream that is still one of the best selling and award winning ice-creams in the UK. Joe Cascarini died on 1968 and his parlour was passed onto his sister Delia and her husband Colin Hughes. The name Joe’s Ice cream Parlour in St Helens Road, Swansea is still kept proudly on the premises and these days you can also find a Joe’s in Cardiff and Llanelli. Today Joe’s is still owned by the family and is run by Dominic and Adrian Hughes, Colin and Delia’s children.