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Morelli's Gelato is a producer and retailer of ice cream. The company was founded in 1907 by Giuseppe Morelli. Initially he sold ice cream from a bicycle with his son Mario. As the business grew, an ice cream van was used. In 1932, an ice cream parlour was opened on the seafront of the seaside resort of Broadstairs.

The company now has several branches which included a flagship concession in Harrods Food Hall and more recently, the historic Covent Garden[1] market building and Portobello Road[2] as well as global franchises in Dubai (Dubai Mall, JBR and Mall of Emirates), Kuwait (Avenues Mall), Bahrain Bahrain City Centre , Saudi Arabia (Mall of Dhahran), Manila, (Rockwell and Shangri-La[disambiguation needed]), Kuala Lumpur (Bangsar), Tbilisi (Saburtalo), Libreville[3] (Pont Gué Gué) and the Café de Paris, Monte Carlo.[4]

Morellis have opened a summer pop-up at the vintage Dreamland Theme Park.[5]

In addition to luxury gelato which is produced fresh every day, in every store, Morelli's gelato also serve their own blend of Kilimanjaro coffee and their signature, elaborate, retro sundaes.[1]

Morellis has also featured many times in TV/Films, such as Eastenders,[6] Mary Berry,[7] BBC's The One Show and The Lady in the Van.[8] It has also been voted No1 of the 5 Best Ice Cream parlours in the UK by the Telegraph,[9] Top 10 by The Times,[10] and Stylist magazine, as well as some of the best gelato in London[11] and the best ice cream in Britain by Conde Nast Traveller. [12]


The Morelli family arrived in the UK from Italy in 1907. Soon after Mario Morelli began making ice cream, which he sold from a bicycle in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In 1932 Morelli opened an ice cream parlour and cappuccino bar on the seafront in Broadstairs, Kent. The ice cream parlour continues to serve visitors to Broadstairs today. After Mario Morelli's retirement the business was taken over by his son Giuseppe Morelli in 1954. He opened a second parlour/espresso bar in Broadstairs in 1955. In 1957 he rebuilt the Broadstairs ice cream parlour, which was the first of its kind in the UK selling over 20 flavours of ice cream.

In 1972 the two ice cream parlours in Broadstairs were taken over by Giuseppe’s eldest Son, Marino Morelli. Each generation has contributed to the development of the business. Marino Morelli, while continuing the Gelato business, also focused on building what was at the time the biggest private coffee chain in the UK (with over 30 units), a bakery and sandwich factory. The parlour served more than 20 flavours, made in front of the customer and a variety of ice cream sundaes, which are still produced Broadstairs, London and the many franchised units around the world.

His daughter Bibi Morelli joined Morelli’s Gelato in 2003 and took over fully in 2005, on Marino’s retirement. Bibi Morelli had studied law at King's College, London. After completing a master's degree in international law at Georgetown University, she qualified as a lawyer in both the UK and US, (NY), specializing in banking law at Clifford Chance in London, Milan and Madrid where she practiced for five years prior to joining her father in the family business during the launch of the Harrods parlour.[13]

She has since built the international franchise arm of the business which has recently seen the sale of Marka PJSC, a retail start up listed on the Dubai Stock Exchange, of the UAE franchise operations of Morelli's Gelato for US $8.4million,[14] with plans to expand by opening 17 additional Morelli's gelato stores in the MENA region by 2020.[15]

Now heading the 5th generation family business, Bibi Morellis is married with one daughter and lives in Europe and Zimbabwe.[16]

Current Morelli’s Gelato Units[edit]

  • Broadstairs, UK 1932 (historic flagship store)
  • Harrods, UK, (2003-2013)
  • Selfridge's UK, (2006 - 2010)
  • The Avenue, Kuwait, 2007
  • Café de Paris, Monaco, 2008
  • Dubai Mall, UAE, 2009
  • Saburtab, Tbilisi, 2011
  • Mall of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 2011
  • Bahrain City Centre, Bahrain, 2012
  • Rockwell, Manila, 2012
  • Zaguan Bakery, Dallas, 2012
  • ShangriLa Mall, , Manila, 2013
  • JBR, Dubai, 2014
  • Bangsar Shopping Centre, Malaysia, 2014
  • Covent Garden, London, 2014
  • Mall of Emirates, Dubai, 2015
  • Pont de Guegue, Libreville, 2015
  • Portobello Road, London, 2016
  • Empire Subang, Kuala Lumpur, 2016

New Openings in 2016[edit]

  • Qatar, Mall of Qatar, Q3
  • Mexico City, Q3
  • Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi, Q3


  1. ^ a b (July 2015), "Marka acquires master franchise for luxury ice cream brand, Morelli’s Gelato", The Franchise Magazine
  2. ^ Mary Lu Bakker, (6 June 2016), “Ice Cream Has Arrived to Portobello Road”, The Notting Hill Post
  3. ^ Deirde Hipwell, (April 22, 2014), “Gelato maker to expand into Zimbabwe”, The Times
  4. ^ Christopher Middleton (1 May 2004), "Playing it totally cool", Daily Telegraph
  5. ^ Nesling, (23 February 2016), '"Morelli's world famous ice cream parlour comes to Dreamland”, Isle of Thanet Gazette
  6. ^ (June 9, 2015), “Eastenders star Danny Dyer stops to pose with fans in Kent”, Daily Mail
  7. ^ (May 12, 2015), "Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites”, Thanet Gazette
  8. ^ (November 2016), “Dame Maggie Smith hit, Lady In the Van, filmed on location..”, Kent News
  9. ^ (28 May 2016), "Five Best Ice Cream Parlours”, The Telegraph
  10. ^ (Saturday 23 July 2016), “Top 10 Ice Cream Parlours”, The Times
  11. ^ "The Best Gelato in London”, CNN Traveller
  12. ^ “The Best Ice Cream in Britain", CNN Traveller
  13. ^ (July 25, 2009), “Glace Act”, The National
  14. ^ (11 July 2015), “Dubai’s Marka inks deal for Morelli’s Gelato franchise, Arabian Business
  15. ^ Sarah Algethami, (July 8, 2015), “Marka acquires Morelli’s Gelato”, Gulf News
  16. ^ (July 23, 2014), The Weekender

External links[edit]