99 reasons for success of St Albans ice cream dynasty

PUBLISHED: 18:59 12 December 2010

Sharon Tominey book signing

Sharon Tominey book signing


THERE were no cornets but there was a bit of a fanfare when a new book documenting the rise of a local business was launched at the Museum of St Albans.

It has been written by Sharon Tominey, the granddaughter of John Patrick Tominey and his wife Benedetta who set up a successful business in the city selling ice cream.

The couple moved south from Durham to St Albans and as the daughter of Italian immigrants, Benedetta knew the secret of making delicious ice cream which they sold first from their doorstep and then from tricycles and vans.

The book, entitled Tominey’s City Ices: An Illustrated History, describes the difficulty the couple had getting hold of ice at a time when no-one had a personal freezer.

It also explains about the setting up of the dairy on Sandridge Road, their many ice cream vans, the expanding business taken over by their son John and the family’s Chocolate Box sweet shop and Vaudeville Restaurant.

In addition, the book includes reminiscences from local people recalling the unique taste of Tominey’s ice cream and the excitement of hearing the chimes of the van coming up their road.

Elanor Cowland, keeper of community history at St Albans Museums, said: “This book is a real delight, both as a social history document and celebration of a company that so many people remember so fondly. It is really lovingly described with lots of brilliant photographs.”

Signed copies of the book were available at the launch and it is available from the Museum of St Albans or direct from tcibook1@gmail.com

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