It was way back in 1925 when Gerardo Porrelli uprooted from San Biago in southern Italy and moved with his family here to Scotland, choosing to settle in Paisley where the home of Porrelli ice cream remains to this day.
A lot has changed in 90 years but we’re proud to still be a family run business using the same secret recipe handed down by Gerardo, grandfather of our current managing director Enzo.
However, looking back to 1925 it’s interesting to see what kind of Scotland Gerardo would have been coming to and what typical Glaswegian life was like 90 years ago. Doing our research we know that there were approximately 200 miles (320 km) of tramlines and 1100 trams in and around the city, it seems hard to imagine our city like this now, certainly different from the quiet life of San Biago that Gerardo would’ve been familiar with.
The cost of living is of course one of the most obvious and notable differences. You could expect to have paid around 5d (5 old pence) for a pint of beer in 1925 – the modern equivalent of about £1.13 today. A small bar of Cadbury’s chocolate was more expensive costing a whopping 10d (10 old pence) which is around £2 in modern money.
Funnily enough it was only a few years before Gerardo arrived in the UK that the Cadbury’s Flake arrived on the market and around 1922 the ’99 Flake’ was born and has been a popular favourite ever since!
British popular culture at the time was becoming more and more influenced by what traveled over from the USA.The Charleston had just flapped its way across from America and so many people enjoyed to go dancing. This American influence was also evident in the fashion of the day.
Dancing was often followed by a trip to a cafe, deli or ice cream parlour where ice cream sundaes and milkshakes were a favourite amongst young friends and couples. According to our research, it was in the 1920s when ice cream brands first started introducing combined flavours, like raspberry ripple, our third most popular flavour today!
By the end of the year Margaret Thatcher, Peter Sellers, Michele Ferrero (of Nutella fame) and Blues legend BB King had all been born! It was also the same year that the first-ever television transmitter had been created in Scotland and Murrayfield Stadium was built – funnily enough a place where we regularly take our Porrelli Ice Cream Cart for events and corporate functions today!