Gelato king Guido Morelli had passion for creating ice cream
GUIDO Morelli was passionate about ice cream.
He believed making ice cream was his calling in life and he became an expert in the science of flavours in his constant search for the perfect recipes.
The father-of-five would experiment in the kitchen of his Portrush home, before taking the mixes to the Morelli factory in Coleraine and freezing them for testing.
Over the years he created hundreds of ice cream varieties to be sold under the Morelli brand in shops, supermarkets and restaurants across Ireland.
Mint chocolate chip was his personal favourite, though he was most proud of the best-selling vanilla.
With a combination of double cream and butter from the local Ballyrashane Creamery - and the know-how of centuries of Italian ice-cream making - it has also won 10 first prizes in the UK National Ice Cream Awards.
Guido's grand-uncle Peter opened the family's first cafe in Coleraine in 1911, offering fish n' chips and home-made ice cream using a recipe passed down by his father.
With no children, he invited his nephew Angelo over from Italy to run the business which was expanding along the north coast.
Guido was the youngest of his three children, born in Portstewart in 1935.
He married Dubliner Rosemarie after meeting her in her uncle's ice cream shop in Portrush and they moved to the town in the 1970s.
The loving couple both helped run the popular Morelli shops but Guido became increasingly interested in the production side.
Every day he could be found in his white coat standing by a ring in the kitchen making up mixtures, and after Rosemarie's death in 2009 he threw himself even more into his work, striving to improve the ice creams any way he could.
He was a warm person and a proud family man whose five children are all involved in the business.
In his little time away from work he enjoyed following Italian football and played golf at Royal Portrush.
Guido Leandro Morelli passed away on Monday aged 81 and was buried in Portstewart after a celebration of his life at St Patrick's Church, Portrush on Thursday.
He is survived by his children Marino, Romeo, Tania, Arnaldo and Daniela.