A FAMILY business has seen demand for its frozen desserts double despite the cold winter and is now looking to sell its products abroad.

Shoebury-based Gelato Italia has been making as much gelato, a milk-based dessert similar to ice-cream, this winter as it does in the summer after gaining customers in London, Birmingham and Southampton.

The firm, which is enlarging its factory in Waterloo Road by half, has added a third delivery van to its fleet in a bid to meet demand and is in talks over shipping the dessert to Sweden.

Manager Alessandra Siciliani said: “This year is has really taken off and we haven’t even had the summer.

“We are extending our purpose built factory, and purchased another delivery van to cope with the increase in demand, where we are now supplying throughout London, Birmingham and Southampton.”

The factory, which opened two years ago, makes about 12 litres of gelato a week – the same amount it was producing last summer.

This summer it expects to make twice that. Mrs Siciliani puts the firm’s success down to changing eating habits, with the public looking for healthier alternatives to ice-cream, and revamping its website in January.