For generations of Geordies, it has been a key part of childhood to settle down in one of Mark Toney’s city centre cafés to have a banana split or a knickerbocker glory.
The roots of the firm date back to the late 19th century, when Giovanni Marcantonio and his seven-year-old son Antonio emigrated from Italy to the UK, reportedly settling in Newcastle because that was as far north as their fare would take them.
When Giovanni returned to Italy, Antonio - by then known as Mark Toney - founded the now famous company with his wife Angela at a stall in the Grainger Market. The firm, still run by the same family, later added sites on Grainger Street and Percy Street.
Lickety Split Creamery is a 1950’s American themed ice cream parlour overlooking Terrace Green at Seaham, County Durham.
It was founded in 2007 by Carl Marshall and his mother Cindy and has gone on to win numerous ice cream and business awards since then.
Made using milk from the farm’s own herd of Jersey cows which have been in the Richardson family for 95 years, Wheelbirks serves its award-wining ice creams from its own on-site parlour near Stocksfield in Northumberland.
As well as the more routine flavours, Wheelbirks likes to get experimental with the likes of liquorice and caramel, and coconut and passionfruit.
The South Tyneside favourite was formed by Italian emigré Giuseppe Minchella, whose first pitch was in Boldon Colliery selling ice cream to miners after a hard day’s work.
He later set up shop in South Shields, initially at King Street, and now with parlours on Ocean Road and the Elevated Walkway. The Minchella family still run the business, and it won two of the top prizes at this year’s UK Ice Cream Awards.
Home of the Teesside delicacy, the lemon top, Pacittos dates back to 1924 is one of a number of North East ice cream parlours started by Italian families.
Many believe that its two sites on Redcar’s Esplanade and the town’s High Street - only a short distance apart - are linked, but this is not the case.
Another Teesside favourite is this Great Ayton sweet shop which is renowned for its ice cream.
The shop dates back to the 1950s, though the Suggitt family - who still run the shop - have been making ice cream for almost 100 years.
Nick and Katie Spurr launched their parlour in Amble after visiting the National Ice Cream Exhibition in Harrogate and then travelling around Italy to learn the craft of ice cream making.
The converted chandlery in Amble’s boatyard has been a major part of the town’s renaissance in recent years, while its ice creams have won numerous awards.
Also known as Arrighis, the Crescent Cafe first opened in Seaton Delaval in 1925, founded by Franco Arrighi.
The popular cafe remains in the founding family, with its range of ice creams made to a secret family recipe.
Isidoro Di Meo emigrated from southern Italy to Britain in 1918, setting up a small ice cream business using ice from the local fishing port and selling ice cream around the streets of Ashington.
Though he moved to Glasgow, Isidoro’s grandson Armando moved back to the North East in the 1960s to set up an ice cream factory. In 2001, he and his wife Marianna opened an ice cream parlour in Whitley Bay with sons Luciano and Romano in the seaside resort of Whitley Bay.
The business is a multiple-award winner and added a site in Newcastle’s Ouseburn last year.
Doddington Dairy Milk Bar
The Doddington dairy farm in north Northumberland has been winning prizes for its cheese and ice creams since farmers Neill and Jackie Maxwell decided to diversify in the late 1990s.
The Milk Bar at Wooler was built by a local dairy farmer in the 1930s and was recently updated to showcase the farm’s ice creams, proving popular with both locals and people travelling between Newcastle and Edinburgh.
The farm near Warkworth, Northumberland, produces a range of ice cream flavours which are made in a traditional farmhouse style in small batches.
Its on-site parlour was adapted from farm buildings and opened to the public in 2003.
The Whitburn café channels 1950’s vibes to go alongside its wide range of ice creams, many made by North East producers.
It has been variously described by food reviewers as “a little gem”, “amazing” and “ astounding”.
John and Susan Archer diversified their third-generation dairy farm in 2002 in the wake of the devastating foot and mouth outbreak, making ice cream from the milk they got from their Jersey cows.
Along with a wide range of flavours, Archers has a parlour on its farm and another in the old train station at Richmond, North Yorkshire.