Tony's Ice Cream A Gaston County Tradition

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

What began in the 1920's as a push cart business, owned and operated by Carmine Coletta, has stood the test of time and remains one of the landmarks of Gaston County. In search of a better life for his family, Carmine came to America in 1911 from Glasgow, Scotland. He made and sold ice cream from carts and horse-drawn wagons. One of the wagon's has been restored and is located in the Gaston County Museum of Art and History in Dallas.

Ice cream was produced at two locations, Tony's Ice Cream on Willow Street and City Ice Cream on Morehead. Tony's was run by Antonia Janetta, the husband of Maria Coletta. They would take horse-drawn wagons to mill villages, ball games, carnivals and camp meetings. Their presence became a part of everyday life in Gaston.

In the early 1930's, trucks replaced wagons and in 1947 Antonia Janetta built the present location on East Franklin Boulevard and another one on West Franklin. Anthony Coletta, or Tony as he is known, was the youngest son of Carmine Coletta. He managed the two locations until the death of Antonia Janetta and his wife Maria in 1971. Tony passed away in 1976, and ownership passed to his two sons, Robert and Louis.

So the desire has passed from generation to generation and always with the same dedication to service and quality. Louis Coletta can still hear his father, Tony say, "Your customers will understand that you will have to change your price. They will never understand if you compromise your quality for the sake of price."

Tony's Ice Cream is located at 604 E. Franklin Blvd. in Gastonia and is presently run by Louis and Robert Coletta, third generation owners. Tony's Ice Cream offers a wide variety of traditional and new flavors.

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