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Five Questions with James Orfitelli

Royal Ice Cream president talks about his company.

Royal Ice Cream has manufactured ice cream desserts in Manchester since 1926.  The business was started by Michael A. Orfitelli, Sr., who combined the ice cream treats from his native Italy with an American twist. 

The business, which has stayed in the family for three generations, has been operated by James Orfitelli since 1987.  In addition to serving Connecticut, Royal Ice Cream has branched out its ice cream specialities, cakes, and bulk gallons to New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maine.  The products are available through distributors, for clients such as restaurants and hotels, and for catering.  The public can visit the company's retail outlet at 27 Warren St. and see how the ice cream is made.

Royal Ice Cream makes a wide variety of cool desserts from the simple to the sinful.  If you are in the mood for a classic, Rayal's spumoni is still made with the old-world Italian recipe brought over by the company's founder.  If you are looking for a dairy-free option, Rpyal offers a hollowed out lemon and a hollowed out orange, both filled with a citrus sorbet.  For more information, visit www.royalicecream.com.

Here are five questions with James Orfitelli:

1.  What are your most popular products?

"In this kind of weather, everything sells."

2.  What is your personal favorite and why?

"I guess I'd have to say the Royal Wich because it's a great piece.  It's got great vanilla ice cream and two chocolate chip cookies dipped in chocolate.  It's not hard to like."

3.  What makes your ice cream different from other companies?

"We use good flavorings and inclusions.  There's a lower over-run compared to other companies, which means that we make a heavier, denser ice cream."

4.  This business has been run by your family since 1926.  How has it changed since you were a child?

"Well, when I was a child, it was one small room - 200 square feet.  Now, it's 1,500 square feet and we have 60 different products."

5.  What are your plans for the future of the business?

"All my children have grown and they have taken on other professions, so I guess I will have to sell at some point."

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