Di Paolo’s Cafe and Restaurant has been voted Cafe of the Year by Observer readers.
The family-run Bexhill cafe, best known for its homemade ice-cream, was presented with the coveted prize earlier this week.
Owner John Di Paolo was very happy to receive the award, and paid tribute to the cafe’s long tradition of artisan ice-cream making.
“It’s nice to have some kind of recognition for all the hard work that’s been going on behind the scenes,” he said.
A Di Paolo has been running the shop since 1941, but the familiy connection goes back much further.
John said: “We’ve been in the area for 100 years, winning ice-cream awards for all that time.”
He added: “Our reputation is such that people come from afar to purchase the ice-cream.”
The shop underwent a major refurbishment over the last three years that included modernising the ice-cream making facilities, but the heart of the business is the same.
“It’s not a commercial process. It’s an artisan product, a handmade product. Pasturisers and freezers are the only machines involved, it’s all hand-decorated and crafted.”
The cafe currently employs six full time staff with more help over summer. Di Paolo’s sons help run the cafe and he has every hope that the business will continue to flourish.
“I hope it will go from strength to strength, it’s expanding all the time,” said John.
Di Paolo’s offers hot and cold meals, snacks and takeaway available all day from 8am - 7pm. Fresh local fish, homemade pasta dishes and home cooked traditional roast dinners are a speciality. Private parties, functions and special occasions catered for including private evening functions.
Runners up for Cafe of the Year were TJ’s Cafe, in Waldegrave Street, Hastings, in second place and Bluebells Cafe and Tearoom, High Street, Battle, in third place.
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