In 1907, brothers Domenico and James Rizza — aged just 17 and 7 — left their home in Belmonte Castello in Southern Italy, and settled in the North East of Scotland.
In 1914, the Rizza brothers opened their first confectionary shop in Mid Street, Keith.
Five years later, James Rizza opened a confectionary and ice cream shop in Aberdeen. The brothers continued to open businesses in the North East — with Domenico opening a shop in Huntly and James moving to Banff where he installed one of the first soda fountains in this region of Scotland.
Sadly, fire devastated the shop in Banff — leading James, his wife Emily and three children to join Domenico in the Huntly shop.
Domenico took the opportunity to take over the Clifton Road shop in Lossiemouth, Moray, which had been converted from a butcher’s shop to a cafe by Luigi Zaccharini.
Dom was one of Lossie’s favourite characters, dispensing excellent ice cream in summer and hot drinks in winter with a quiet smile. The Lossiemouth shop still bears the Rizza name to this day.
Mary's son Philip introduced Rizza's ice cream to a new market.
In 1975, both James and Domenico passed away — mere months apart.
With Mary (James’ daughter) and her husband Gordon Morrison keeping a close eye on Lossiemouth while running the Huntly shop, it was then left for Philip Morrison (Mary’s son and third generation of the Rizza's family business) to begin wholesaling and distributing Rizza’s Ice Cream from the Upperkirkgate premises in Huntly.
A few years later, Philip took a gamble and moved from Rizza's original premises to a purpose-built ice cream factory, converted from an old SPAR warehouse — the North East's first ice cream factory! Philip’s vision was to introduce Rizza’s Ice Cream to as many towns and cities as he could, and with the new production facility, he had much more space to make ice cream for the masses — especially when compared to making ice cream in the back of the shop in Huntly!
In 1979, Philip married Nora. A primary school teacher by profession, Nora became a director in the firm in 2002 and took responsibility for Quality Control and BRC accreditation — which Rizza's still hold to this day.
From starting out supplying nearby towns and villages, Philip continued to steadily grow the business. With the Upper Kirkgate premises beginning to feel crowded with the introduction of sundries such as cones, mix and ice lollies, he made the move to Huntly’s industrial estate in 2002.
Rizza's now manage our own distribution, from John O'Groats to Perth, and west as far as the Isle of Skye — with a fleet of three 7.5 tonne lorries and two refrigeration vans. The business works with trusted third-party distribution partners to supply other areas.
Today, Donald Morrison leads the business — the 4th generation of the Rizza family to do so.
Rizza’s is now based in Huntly’s industrial estate — in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility with a viewing gallery to allow visitors to see how our ice cream is made. The business has invested in new machinery that has helped produce up to 1500 more litres per hour, allowing us to increase our customer portfolio and reach out to more consumers.
In addition to our Italian recipe ice creams and sorbets, we also make an award-winning premium ice cream using double cream sourced from the Channel Islands. This range was developed for the National Ice Cream Alliance Competition in 1997, which it won.
Donald has also championed the development of Rizza's plant-based ranges. With more and more plant-based and vegan-friendly cafes opening, Rizza's has increased its portfolio of plant-based lines as well as scooping options. Focusing on all aspects of the business we now offer a range of food service lines suitable for any occasion.
We are committed to reducing our environmental impact by reducing, reusing and recycling, as well as increasing our employees’ environmental awareness.
We are continuously improving by monitoring, training and reviewing our processes. Since 2014, we have annually shared the positive impact of our initiatives with our staff. We recycle plastic, cardboard, paper and any glass to try and limit our waste going to landfill.
Our factory in Huntly maximises renewable energy with solar panels on the factory roof and grounds.
OUR RETAIL STORES
We still run two retail outlets in Huntly and Lossiemouth, serving Rizza’s ice cream, delicious whippy ice cream and ice lollies along with confectionary and other family favourites.
Both shops boast a large range of traditional sweet shop jars, as well as individually wrapped gift packs ideal for special occasions. Pop in and pick up your favourites.
WHERE TO BUY RIZZA'S ICE CREAM
Our ice cream is stocked in a number of cafes, restaurants and shops across Scotland — from Cove to Coatbridge. See our map to find out where you can enjoy Rizza’s near you!
AWARD-WINNING ICE CREAM
We're so proud of our award-winning ice creams, sorbets and plant-based products — and the awards judges agree!