Southend institution Rossi has story told in new book

Rossi's book

Rossi’s: The Story of Southend’s Favourite Ice Cream by author Patricia Volante, who married into the Rossi clan, is realeased soon amid excitement by residents.
The story, published by Estuary Publishing, is about the founder and family who established the Rossi Ice Cream when they came to Southend in the 1930s.
When Agostino Rossi left his mountain home in Italy in 1901 he was just twelve years old. As he travelled to Britain where his uncle had found work for him, he could never have imagined that he would establish several successful ice cream parlours, nor that more than 100 years on his name would still be synonymous with an award-winning ice cream brand.
Yet it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Rossi clan, especially during war time when Italians were forbidden to live near coastlines and treated with suspicion, but thanks to the enthusiasm of Southend customers, the business boomed.
The new book contains photos from the late 1880s up to the modern day, following the life of Agostino Rossi and his descendants, many of whom still live in the town and several of his grandchildren and great grandchildren still run several restaurants and an ice cream parlour in Southend.
The book is officially launched at The Book Inn on the April 5 and two days later (April 7) the author will be doing a book-signing at Southend’s Waterstones.
Patricia Volante, a retired teacher, began working weekends in the Rossi’s Temperance Bar in 1959, aged 15, while continuing her schooling and it became a holiday job when home from college. When Patricia married Fernando Rossi, the son of the Agostino, she began to collect stories of how the business originated from the tenements in Glasgow and of the Rossi clan back in Italy.
Patricia said: “I started this book originally simply a few pages and something for the family to enjoy and for my grandson Enzo to learn about his roots. But when I approached Estuary Publishing for advice, I was encouraged to consider publishing it as a book to share with the people of Southend as so many people remember going for a Rossi and it is still a very popular treat.”


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