Michael McGinty’s homemade icecream is going down a treat in Castlebar

A chat with some Italian friends in the Algarve inspired Achill man Michael McGinty to set off for Bologna, Italy, to study the fine art of icecream making, and open his own icecream parlour in Castlebar.

El Vito’s, selling Italian- style, homemade, gluten- free icecream, made on site, on Hopkins Road (opposite New Look ), opened for business on May 2 and the people of Castlebar are so far loving the new sweet offering.

Top selling flavours include the traditional favourites of vanilla and mint chocolate, while more contemporary flavours such as bubblegum, nutella, marshmallow and oreo, are going down a storm as well.

After many requests from customers, Mr McGinty also added homemade sorbets to the menu.

The former taxi-driver said the parlour’s ‘icecream bazaar’ - a mix of icecream with favourite chocolate treats such as crunchies and malteasers - is quickly becoming one of the top sellers.

“As far as I know, we are the only shop making homemade icecream on site in Castlebar,” said Mr McGinty. “All of the ingredients are imported here direct from Italy and all of the icecream in the display cabinet is homemade in the shop.”

Mr McGinty had been living in the Algarve in Portugal for a number of years. He previously worked as a taxi driver and in the bartrade.

“I met up with some Italian friends and they had an icecream parlour and a crepe shop,” explained Mr McGinty. “I thought it was so interesting so I went to Bologna in Italy and did a course in making icecream.” The key, according to Mr McGinty, is using top class ingredients and getting the mix and flavouring right. Pricing is another important factor and he believes he is offering a quality product at a very reasonable cost with one scoop for €1.80 and two scoops for €2.50.

“I have to say it’s a total departure for me but I am very happy with business so far. It is busy and people are really enjoying the icecream,” he added.

El Vito’s also sells take- away teas and coffees, crépes and pastries.


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