Capaldis Brora Ice Cream bringing you our ice cream shop online!
Take a little read of how we got to where we are today!
In 1929, twenty four year old Alfedo Capaldi arrived in the Scottish Highlands from Picinisco, Italy and decided to settle in Brora. With family assistance he took over vacant shop premises in the centre of the village.
Originally an Italian confectioner, he decided to branch out in Brora as an ice cream maker of traditional hand made Italian ice cream.
In no time at all his delicious ice cream became a well established and prosperous business. There was now passing traffic in growing volumes with the increasing popularity of the motor car. Capaldis was just in the right place as a convenient stop for a break whether travelling North or South. Word of mouth ensured that Capaldis ice Cream was soon to become famous throughout the North and beyond.
Unfortunately just 5 years later Alfredo was to take ill and die from meningitis. The ice cream business continued to be run successfully by the Capaldi family from what was to latterly become Graham Beggs electrical shop in Fountain Square, until they moved to larger premised in Rosslyn Street in 1959. This shop is now owned by Harry Gow bakers, but they continue to stock Capaldis ice cream.
The business continued until January 1984 when Mike & Lorna Small took over Capaldis from Victor Capaldi who was retiring due to his failing health.
When Mike was being trained by Victor, he was amazed at the whole process particularly as it seemed to be heaped buckets of this and handfuls of something else. Clearly a different, more precise approach was now required!
Everything was from that point on carefully weighed and recorded by Mike, although he found that Victor was incredibly accurate with his simple method of quantities.
Mike and Lorna worked very hard developing the business and increased the number of outlets over the years, running a delivery van all over the Highlands and an Ice cream van for the general public in the evenings and at weekends.
In 1993, the business was struggling to operate from the small premises located in the middle of the village so a purpose built factory was established at the Factory Park in Brora and much needed local employment was created. Ice Cream however still continued to be sold from the original Capaldis shop in the centre of the village.
By the mid 90’s Capaldis of Brora’s now very famous ice cream was making ice cream cakes and boasting a range of approximately 50 flavours. A big change from the early days where you could order any flavour of Ice cream you wanted as long as it was vanilla!
In 2005 Mike & Lorna Small decided to retire and put Capaldis up for sale. New owners appeared in the form of Culloden Foods Ltd who owned Harry Gows bakers.
When Harry Gows took over the business, the shop was closed and refitted. When it re-opened however the emphasis was on the bakery section as its main product. Ice cream was secondary and no longer could you buy sweets, crisps , cigarettes or Sunday papers. Sunday opening was restricted to the months of July and August and latterly discontinued altogether. Opening hours were also reduced substantially.
Harry Gows continued to manufacture Capaldis Famous ice Cream until they realised that their bakery operation had grown to the extent that they were no longer able to devote the required time to the Ice cream side of the business.
Therefore, in June 2017 a buy-out of Capaldis of Brora's Famous Ice Cream was executed sucessfully by Lorna Campbell with assistance from Business Gateway, Highland Opportunity Investments Ltd and The DSL Business Start Up Loan Company.
Lorna at the age of 25 had already many years experience in the manufacture of Capaldis of Brora's Famous ice cream. Having left school to work in Harry Gows bakers, she was involved initially in the shop selling the product before her potential was spotted and she was transferred to the Capaldis Ice cream factory in Stafford Terrace Brora and trained in the art of ice cream making.
Shortly after this, Lorna aquired her own ice cream van and built up a very successful business selling the delicious ice cream all round the local area and beyond, evenings and weekends. During this time she built up a valuable knowledge of customers preferences and any new flavours that were likely to sell.
This knowledge of course was immediately put to good use when she assumed control of Capaldis.
With her hard work ethic, quality ingredients, and the ORIGINAL Capaldi recipe, she and her family went to work!
The flavour range was extended from approximately 13 to around 34. Seasonal flavours and ice cream cakes were also re-introduced. All manufactured to the highest quality using Alfredo Capaldis original Italian recipe.
In 2018 Lorna added dairy free flavours to Capaldis range of delicious ice cream.and in July that year she opened a little pink shop in Golspie's Main Street. Open 7 days a week in the summer, it is popular with locals and travellers alike.
Capaldis Brora currently supply Hotels, Restaurants, Shops, Theatres, Schools and Ice Cream Parlours, as well as attending various shows, wedding venues etc with our ice cream van, The Munch Box.
The business continues to grow with with new customers coming on board from all over the North of Scotland and enquiries have been received from as far away as London and Shetland.
So the story of Capaldis Very Famous Ice Cream continues 90 years on with a few chapters still to be written....
You can contact Capaldis Brora as follows:
By phone: 01408 621803 or 07787977882
Facebook: Capaldis of Brora's Famous Ice Cream