James and Emily
James Rizza and Emily Neri
Domenico outside Huntly Shop
James Rizza second wedding to Antonette Delicato
James Rizza’s daughter Mary on her wedding day to Donald Gordon Morrison
James Rizza with daughter Mary and her sons Michael (right) and current owner Philip
Carlo Rizza with family on day of his son Lenord’s wedding to Maureen
Mary posing to the camera at the back of the Huntly Shop
The office's of the new Rizza's factory being built during 1989
Philip and Nora
Philip and Nora outside the Huntly Shop
Philip hard at work at Upperkirkgate after receiving news that our premium Gold Top won the Challenge Cup at the annual Ice Cream Alliance awards
Philip’s children Donald, Fiona and Euan enjoying an Ice cream at the Huntly Shop
The Rizza's factory on Steven Road. Purpose built in 2002
Mary enjoying her 90th birthday with family at Rizza’s
Current Huntly Shop
Outside the Huntly Shop on Gordon Street
The Rizza brothers began manufacturing ice cream to a traditional Italian recipe in 1914 when they opened
their first business in the North East of Scotland.
Like most of their countrymen James and his brother Domenico left the small village of Belmonte Castello, near Monte Cassino in the south of Italy during 1907. Domenico, who was only 17 at the time, arrived in Scotland and was ten years older than his younger brother James (Giuseppe Rizza).
It was during 1914 that James and his brother Domenico opened for the first time a confectionery shop in Mid Street, Keith. This however was briefly interrupted by the 1st World War. In 1919 James opened a confectionery and ice cream shop in Aberdeen and in the late 1920's Domenico opened his own confectionery shop in Huntly. Around this time James moved to the seaside resort of Banff. Here he installed one of the first soda fountains in the north of Scotland.
Sadly, fire devastated this shop and James, his wife Emily and the three children Carlo, Maria (Mary) and George came to join Domenic in the Huntly business. As Dom remained a bachelor all his days, he came to his brother's aid and moved out of Huntly, eventually taking over the Clifton Road shop in Lossiemouth which had been converted from a butcher's shop into a café by Luigi Zaccharini. Dom soon became one of Lossie's favourite characters, dispensing with a quiet smile excellent ice cream in summer and hot drinks in winter. To this day the Lossie Shop still bears the Rizza name.
Tragedy struck the Rizza family when Emily, James' wife, passed away in 1944. Years later, however, James found love again and married Antoinetta Delicato.
In 1948 James' daughter Mary married Rothiemay born Donald Gordon Morrison (known as Gordon). After years working at the Huntly shop, Mary and Gordon moved to Mid Street in Keith when Carlo (Mary's older brother) returned from the 2nd World War to come into the business.
In June 1951 Philip George Morrison was born.
Again tragedy hit the Rizza family when Mary's brother Carlo died in 1965 and consequently Mary and Gordon with their young family returned to live in Gordon Street to help with the running of the Huntly shop.
In 1971 the family firm moved up a gear and opened a wholesale ice cream business, investing in premises in Upperkirkgate where they stayed for the next 30 years. When James retired, Mary and Gordon ran the Huntly shop and Gordon took note of Philip's views of expanding the business and purchased the old Spar distribution building on Upperkirkgate.
With Domenico still in Lossiemouth and Mary and Gordon in Gordon Street, Philip had plenty of help from all the family and the future looked very promising.
However during 1975 both James and Domenic passed away months apart. It was then left for Philip to continue running the Upperkirkgate premises, with Mary and Gordon keeping a close eye on Lossiemouth while running the Huntly Shop.
In 1979 Philip married Nora, a primary school teacher. Nora became a director in the firm in 2002 and took responsibility for Quality Control and BRC accreditation.
Today Rizza's are now based in Huntly's industrial estate with a state of the art purpose built factory.
Moving with the times, the family business has invested in new machinery which has helped produce up to 1500 more litres per hour.
In addition to their Italian recipe ice creams and sorbets they also make a prize winning Rizzas Gold premium ice cream using Jersey double cream. This was to win the Challenge Cup for the National Ice Cream Alliance Competition in 1997.
Rizza's real dairy ice cream is made using cream supplied by a local dairy and this too has won numerous awards and cups throughout Rizza's 64 years as members of the Ice Cream Alliance.
Now Philip's elder son Donald is to take the reigns. As a 4th generation member of the Rizza family, he hopes to continue the work that his great grandfather, his grandfather and father began.