With four decades in the food industry, and as part of Italian family that sold ice-cream for generations, Johnny Lo Ricco knows gelato and sorbet.
He opened his new store, Johnny’s What’s the Scoop on Pakington St, which he describes as Geelong’s “Italian Mecca“, in early November, just in time for summer.
“Satisfy your sweet tooth with our delicious Everest gelato or ice cream flavours,” he says.
“Almost all our varieties are gluten-free and use only natural flavours and colours.“
Johnny grew up in Colac, where his parents and dad’s brothers all ran fruit shops for more than 60 years.
The stores sold virtually everything, including ice cream.
“You name it, we did it – except maybe gravy,” Johnny says.
He moved to Geelong for a bakery job, but decades later returned to doing what he loves best, selling a rainbow of ice cream in 72 flavours.
His new ice creamery is “in the same vein” as his parents’ Italian grocer, with a variety of cafe items.
“I’ve sort of come back to roost,” he says.
“It’s always been a passion of mine – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Johnny stocks delicious wraps, focaccias, smoothies, yoghurt breakfast cups, cakes, slices, biscuits, milkshakes, coffee, cannoli and, soon, churros.
He loves selling quality food, but he enjoys meeting locals even more.
“Every day you get to meet a lot of people you don’t know and learn about their lives,” he says.