New Kettering ice-cream parlour to bring Northamptonshire 'gelato' to town centre

British milk is combined with ice cream techniques from Italy, to create ‘Britalian’ gelato

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 6:00 am

Ice cream fans will be able to get a taste of Italy when a gelateria opens in Kettering town centre next month promising great ‘Britalian’ taste.

Rockys Gelato in Sheep Street will bring a tried and tested formula that is already on sale across the county but the store will be the first dedicated outlet.

The first Rockys ice cream was created in 1882 when Eliseo Rocchiccioli moved to England from Barga, in Northern Tuscany.

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Rockys Gelato shop in Sheep Street, Kettering is due to open next month

Now Eliseo’s great-great-great-grandson Ian Rock, from Broughton, will carry on his work.

He said: “The shop will be serving our authentic Italian style gelato, which is made using dairy from our own farm and fresh ingredients. Everything is 100 per cent natural. We only churn in a minimal amount of air, so the gelato is dense and unctuous."

Eliseo Rocchiccioli settled in London and became known as Rocky because locals struggled with his name - and the nickname has stuck with the family ever since with the surname later anglicised.

Eliseo and his wife, who had come to London from Northamptonshire, started selling Italian ice cream from a cart known as Rockys.

Rockys Artisan Gelato shop is due to open at the start of July

The original family business stopped trading during the Second World War, when the main ingredients were rationed.

Ian and Gerald Bailey from Newlands Dairy Farm in Hannington brought the business back to the public in 2020. It can be found in independent retailers like Beckworth Emporium and also in restaurants like the award-winning Tollemache Arms in Harrington.

Ian added: “We looked at lots of different properties around the county beforehand, but the shop on Sheep Street in Kettering was perfect for us. It’s in the heritage area of Kettering, which really fits with our brand.“I know it’s fashionable for people to put their home town down, but the council and local businesses have done a great job of breathing life into the area around this end of Kettering and we wanted to be a part of that.”You can find out more about Rockys Gelato at or visit the shop opening the first week in July.

Eliseo's ice cream cart