Most Durbanites know the name Freddo Ice Cream! I certainly do. I remember being in school and going to Hypermarket with my mom and seeing the shop and desperately wanting one every time. Since lockdown, they have pivoted their business to include selling 2L and 5L of Ice cream delivered to your door! I am now fully obsessed and thought they deserved some Durban love. Read on about this incredible story!
Tell us a bit about your background in Durban?
Mr Freddo, Carlos Peria, was born in Argentina. He married Patsy in 1974 in Argentina and a year later, Guido was born. Carlos’ first love was rugby. He was lucky enough to be selected to go on a tour to South Africa. He unluckily never got a chance to play, but that was how he ended up here. The story goes that he phoned Patsy from South Africa and told her to pack her things and bring Guido to SA. Within a year or two of being in South Africa, my sister Malena was born in Durban.
Durban, being able to attract tourists from all around the world with its favourable climate, great beaches and relaxed lifestyle, prompted my dad to open an ice cream shop! Ice Cream is a huge part of the Argentine culture so with my dad having never made ice cream before, he taught himself the craft and developed each and every recipe himself. Those are the very same recipes of 40yrs ago that we still follow today!
Tell us about your business
Freddo started in 1979/1980, in a small shop in Hill Street Pinetown. Freddo was founded on hard work and passion. Both of my parents worked 2 jobs, and my sister and I spent most evenings in the back of a shop eating dinner and doing homework. In the mid 80’s, we opened our second store in Point Road, Durban. (Next to Just Donuts in the Checkers centre) My parents really hustled to create a life here, and when they weren’t working 2 jobs each during the week, they were at flea markets over the weekends selling Ice Cream. My sister and I grew up scooping and operating the tills. All of our memories are intertwined with Freddo.
My Dad passed away last year, rather suddenly, and it has been a long and wobbly road since. We are starting to find our feet again, even during this very unusual time. My Dad was the most incredible person! He took immense pride in his business and his product! He absolutely refused to cut costs when manufacturing as he refused to compromise on the quality of the Ice Cream, and it is for those reasons we use only the finest and most natural ingredients. Our Ice Cream is crafted in small batches, by hand. We have the most loyal and outstanding factory staff. These 5 ladies have been with us for the last 10 to 15yrs and 2 of whom have been with us for 30+years!
Our milk is delivered straight from the farm in the Midlands, to our factory. The labour of love process then begins where the milk is pasteurised and homogenised. We then add only the finest and most natural ingredients such as cream, eggs and butter, and NO powders, vegetable fat or gelatine is used, thus enabling us to craft a premium, high end gelato, just the old fashioned way. Our machines in our factory operate on the old fashioned technology where gelato was a craft, mastered with the quality of the recipe and the passion for creation. These machines are old fashioned in the sense that there is no extra air that is pumped into the ice cream, thus creating an ice cream that is much heavier in weight to other brands out on the market.
What is your favourite thing about your business?
People love Ice Cream. Who wouldn’t want to sell happiness to people? We get to be a part of family occasions and special moments! It is incredibly rewarding hearing people’s stories about their childhood, and how they enjoyed our ice cream in Pinetown, in town, or at the Hypermarket. We have been around for so many years we forget how lucky we are to have reached so many people over the years. During this lockdown period, we were forced to sell our Ice Cream in a completely new way. Starting social media has also allowed us to interact with so many more customers and hear the most amazing stories about how much they love Freddo too!
What would you like people to know about your business?
Freddo is, and always will be a small family business. Between my sister, my mum and myself we manage the different areas of the business such as deliveries, managing our stores, our factory and events.
Our staff is made up of 99.999 percent women!!!! (In fact, I am the only Man). Our Double Caramel and Super Vanilla are our biggest sellers! We also make our own Dulce de leche, which is a hands-on labour of love (a 6 hour one).
What do you love about living and working in Durban?
Our family all love the weather in Durban! We love the beach and the sea, as well as the way of life that only Durban can offer. We love the people and the communities in which we live and do business with, and are extremely proud at having grown up in such a wonderful and friendly city.
How can people support you?
Just plainly by enjoying our products!